USDA Teams up with Great Promise Partnership, Inc. to Increase Workforce Readiness, Lower High School Dropout Rates 

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MACON, Ga. – Dec. 4, 2014 –USDA today formalized an agreement with Great Promise Partnership, Inc., (GPP) to increase economic opportunities in persistent poverty counties and help ensure rural Georgia is workforce ready.  The partners will leverage available resources to increase the availability of capital for educational programs, technical assistance and community economic development.

“Meeting educational needs leads to improving the economic condition of Rural Georgia” said Quinton Robinson, state director of USDA Rural Development. Great Promise Partnership’s work based learning programs lower high school dropout rates in persistent poverty counties by supporting at-risk students and preparing them for further education, military service or the workforce after graduation. If students promise to stay in school and work hard, GPP promises to provide the support and tools needed to succeed, lead productive lives and participate fully in Georgia’s economic future. For more on GPP, see http://gppartnership.org.

The two-year Memorandum of Understanding ensures USDA is at the table with available tools – administrative, programmatic, and outreach and customer service – to implement financial support and technical assistance.  The agreement continues the work of Rural Development, investing resources in workforce readiness.

For example, since FY2012, Georgia Rural Development invested nearly $300,000 in grants for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education projects. Projects range from building all new chemistry and physics laboratories at South Georgia Technical College, to paying part of the cost for distance learning equipment that connects dual enrolled high school students to University of North Georgia for classes.

President Obama’s historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger.  Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.

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