The USDA is accepting applications for grants to use broadband e-Connectivity to improve access to health care and educational services in rural communities, the agency’s Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett said.
“Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is tackling e-Connectivity as a foundational issue for rural communities because it affects everything from business opportunities to adequate health care access,” Hazlett said.
“These grants are one of many tools USDA provides to help ensure that people who live and work in rural areas can use broadband to gain access to essential services and economic opportunities,” she added.
The agency is awarding grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 under the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program, said USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico, Josué E. Rivera.
“This is a unique opportunity in Puerto Rico that we must not pass up after the devastation of the past hurricanes. These grants will help us obtain and provide essential services and bring economic prosperity to our communities,” said Rivera.
Proposals for projects whose primary purpose is to provide opioid prevention, treatment and recovery will receive 10 priority points when applications are scored. USDA is approaching the opioid misuse crisis with a dedicated urgency because it impacts the quality of life, economic opportunity and rural prosperity. The application deadline is June 4, 2018.
USDA also will provide priority points for grants that offer access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math courses. Grants are available to most state and local governmental entities, non-profit groups, for-profit businesses or consortia of these.