"This investment in rural electric and telecommunication infrastructure creates job opportunities and provides services that improve the quality of life for local residents,” said Thomas C. Dorr, undersecretary of agriculture for rural development.

According to USDA statistics, 23 jobs are created for every $1 million of federal investment in electric infrastructure. The loans being awarded could help create 7,675 jobs in rural areas across these 15 states.

"The funds will be used to serve 50,906 new customers, build 3,650 miles of new distribution lines and cable and make other improvements to existing electric and telephone systems," Dorr said.

The following is a complete list of approved project dollars by state. A description of each funding recipient can be found at the USDA Rural Development Web site at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rd/newsroom/2003/elec_loans.htm.

  • Alabama - $21,126,000
  • Georgia - $130,320,000
  • Kansas - $7,502,000
  • Missouri - $42,786,000
  • Minnesota - $3,964,000
  • Oregon - $4,536,000
  • South Carolina - $78,152,000
  • South Dakota - $1,196,000
  • Virginia- $10,500,000
  • Wisconsin - $11,587,000
  • Multi-State Coverage - $22,190,000 (Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming)
Funds are provided from the USDA Rural Development electric and telephone programs. USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents.

As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA's web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov.

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