White House representatives stopped in Blytheville to boost new - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

White House representatives stopped in Blytheville to boost new program

MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, AR (KAIT) -

White House representatives made a stop in Region 8 to boost awareness of the Rural Impact Program, which was created in 2015.

The nationwide program is a new effort from the White House Rural Council to address the challenges of rural childhood poverty, according to Sam Scruggs, executive director of the Mississippi County Economic Opportunity Commission Inc.

President Obama's Senior Policy Advisor Doug O’Brien and Chris Masingill, co-chair of the Delta Regional Authority to Mississippi County visited Arkansas Northeastern College on Wednesday to discuss ways to improve the standing of poverty.

Mississippi County is one of ten counties involved in the nationwide Rural Impact Program, according to Liz Smith, executive director of the Greater Blytheville Area Chamber of Commerce. 

The county, according to Smith, has a poverty rate of 25.5 percent.

“I think that it's very valuable that they came,” Smith said. “I think that any time we have people of power or influence coming into our community it builds awareness of what we are trying to do.”

The room was full of rural impact partners from the county who will continue to work and collaborate to reduce the poverty rate.

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