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Secretary Vilsack Highlights Resurgence of Rural Manufacturing, Touts Obama Administration Efforts to Create Jobs in Rural America

Press Release

Location: Lexington, NC

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today highlighted the Obama Administration's successful efforts to grow rural manufacturing, create more jobs and help generate economic opportunity in small towns and rural communities. During a visit to Tarheel Plastics, LLC in Davidson County, Vilsack discussed how rural manufacturing is growing, with rural manufacturing employment increasing by 3.8 percent in 2011 over 2010 - double the national rate.

"Rural manufacturing is making a comeback, demonstrating that Obama Administration efforts to grow jobs in rural communities is working," Vilsack said. "President Obama understands that, in rural America, we prosper when we make things and we grow things. That is why this Administration continues to work with small businesses and entrepreneurs in our rural communities to expand capital investments, spur business development and make infrastructure improvements that is helping to increase manufacturing and grow our economy."

Tarheel Plastics produces components for automobiles and a wide variety of household appliances, supplying parts to companies such as Frigidaire and Electrolux. Today the company is rebounding from the economic recession and creating more jobs in Davidson County. Since 2009, Tarheel Plastics has increased its staff from 22 to more than 60 full time workers. The company is certified as a minority business enterprise - 51 percent minority owned - and recently received a USDA business loan guarantee which allowed them to refinance.

Vilsack noted additional investments the Obama Administration has made in North Carolina since 2009, including:

Provided grants and loans to assist more than 570 rural small and mid-sized businesses.
Helped nearly 25,000 rural families in more than 1,000 communities secure safe, affordable housing.
Helped improve and modernize rural electric infrastructure for over 1.1 million rural residents and businesses with more than 5,000 miles of upgraded and new electric lines.
Invested nearly $150 million in new and improved broadband service that serves approximately 25,000 rural residents and businesses.
Invested in more than 150 water and waste water community infrastructure projects to help safeguard the health of more than 18 million rural residents.
Helped more than 300 rural small businesses, farmers, and ranchers, save energy and improve their bottom line by installing renewable energy systems and energy efficiency solutions that will save more than 300 million in kWh -- enough energy to power more than 26,000 American homes for a year.
For additional information on RD projects, please visit Rural Development's new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011. The data can be found at:

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's 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. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $172 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

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