U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA-RD) program has awarded a $1.04 million grant and loan package to South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation (SKRECC) to construct a network operations building at The Center for Rural Development. The network operations center (NOC) will improve and secure broadband services to the Valley Oak Technology Park, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, and future customers. The facility will ensure adequate data storage and service is available to regional businesses and data-dependent institutions.
“To deliver high speed Internet services for tomorrow’s jobs, you need a top-notch broadband backbone. The NOC is a critical piece to building that long-term architecture,” said Rogers. “This federal investment creates immediate jobs while laying the ground work for new businesses, on-line job training and webcasting, and new high-tech careers. We no longer compete for jobs in neighboring counties, but around the world and the Internet provides an invaluable tool toward marketing our region’s rich manufacturing skills, technology services, and future capabilities. South Kentucky RECC is a model community leader and I applaud their continued partnership with the Center for Rural Development.”
USDA Rural Development funds are used to provide loans and grants to rural programs that will provide economic development. An additional contribution from SKRECC of $60,000, along with a $148,000 contribution from the Center for Rural Development brings project funding to $1,248,000. This project is expected to create 5 permanent full-time jobs and save 12 existing jobs over a three-year period. The network operations center, currently operational at Valley Oak, will be moved to the Center for Rural Development and safely house and monitor servers for data-intensive customers.
SKRECC was created in 1938 to provide electricity and related services to its members at a competitive price and to improve the quality of life in the communities of its service area. The cooperative’s Office of Community Development was established to further this goal. The Center for Rural Development is a non-profit corporation in Somerset, Kentucky that aims to improve the quality of life in 42 economically distressed counties in southern and eastern Kentucky.
Rogers currently serves as a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. Through this role, Rogers supports important initiatives in the Fifth Congressional District.