USDA Resource Guide for Rural Workforce Development

This guide was created for community leaders and other local entities to help them access resources to create jobs, train talent, expand educational opportunities and provide technical assistance.

America’s rural workforce provides a vital foundation for the nation’s economy. Rural America supplies the nation’s food and energy resources, and the fiber necessary for goods and manufacturing. As USDA continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and help restore the economy, we remain committed to supporting rural employers and job seekers to rebuild rural America’s workforce better, stronger, and more equitably than ever before.

For these reasons, USDA is prioritizing collaborations with its federal partners to help start and grow thousands of businesses and give individuals the educational and financial tools to succeed in rural America. This guide was created for community leaders and other local entities to help them access resources to create jobs, train talent, expand educational opportunities, and provide technical assistance. The guide outlines programs and services available at USDA and other federal departments and agencies that support workforce development in rural communities.

The guide highlights four key assistance types necessary to building a stronger rural workforce:

1. Workforce development planning

2. Infrastructure and equipment financing

3. Industry and employer engagement, entrepreneurship, and local business development

4. Education, training and apprenticeship

Examples on page 2 illustrate how customers have used USDA programs to support each
assistance type. A resource matrix on page 10 organizes USDA funding opportunities by
customer and assistance type.

A list of additional federal resources that complement USDA funding opportunities is
provided on page 16. Additional USDA resource guides are available on page 17.

Attached document published January 2022

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