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Cabinet Officials Continue to Tour Rural America

The Rural Tour is continuing this week, as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood head to Wisconsin today to talk about economic development.  As you may remember, Secretary Vilsack is leading the Rural Tour to travel to rural communities, listen to residents and get their thoughts on recovery.  The aim is to come up with the best solutions for community challenges, and let residents know how the federal government can assist them.
On Saturday, Secretary Vilsack will be joined by Energy Secretary Stephen Chu in Virginia.  They will discuss carbon sequestration and weatherization as part of the President’s plan to create green jobs and focus on clean energy.  The Recovery Act is allocating $4.8 billion to install insulation, fix heating and cooling systems and other repairs, to help make homes more energy-efficient.  These funds will weatherize 1 million homes, which will help lower utility bills for struggling families, and provide construction jobs.  
On Monday, the tour continues in Louisiana, where Secretary Vilsack will be joined by Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to discuss rural health.  Health and Human Services has been awarding Recovery Act Capital Improvement Program (CIP) grants to rural health centers across America to repair and renovation facilities.
Head over to the Rural Tour blog where you can read stories from the tour, and post your thoughts.

Update: At the event in Wisconsin today, Secretary Vilsack and Secretary LaHood highlighted the importance of investing in both physical infrastructure, like roads and bridges, as well as expanding broadband infrastructure in rural areas.  They also discussed Recovery Act efforts underway in Wisconsin, where $375 million is available for transportation projects. The Recovery Act provides $34 million for new clean-fuel buses, vans and other equipment to improve mobility for those living in rural areas. You can read more about the event, as well as Recovery Act projects in Wisconsin, here.