The University of Texas-Pan American was presented with a $20,000 check from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Monday, Jan. 27 that will help promote economic development in under-served rural communities to further President George W. Bush's economic agenda.
The University was named the National Center of Excellence (NCE) for the State of Texas, and will serve our local community. USDA also designated seven other centers across the country.
"I am very pleased to partner with UTPA in their continuing efforts to promote economic development in the Valley," said Bryan Daniel, Texas State director for USDA Rural Development. "This partnership has resulted in economic opportunity, sustainable community development with community-based partnerships, and a strategic vision for change."
Brett Mann, director for the UTPA Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED) said the contribution will be of assistance to under-served areas around the community.
"In the past, we have received grants that have helped implement technologies in the rural areas, and through these programs, we have provided training to over 1,000 people," Mann said. "This investment will lead to a huge impact in rural areas."
The NCE program provides cooperative partnerships, which create strong information sharing and technical assistance links between Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Communities, Texas USDA Rural Development field staff, colleges/universities, civic organizations and other rural communities. Funds will be administered through USDA Rural Development's Office of Community Development.
USDA Rural Development serves as the lead federal entity for rural development needs, and administers program assistance through three agencies: Rural Housing Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, and Rural Utilities Service.