Johann Zimmern Global Education Marketing Lead Follow EDUCATION, GOVERNMENT, HEALTHCARE USDA grant seeks applicants to fund technology projects in rural communities – in Zoom

The rural areas of our country are often underserved and do not have access to technology that allows them to access critical information and services. However, many organizations are struggling with expanding their reach and capacity to these rural parts of the country when they are trying to accomplish their goals. With the help of a USDA grant program, organizations in the education, government, and healthcare sectors can apply to receive funding to use Zoom solutions to support rural communities in need by using interactive technology like Zoom. By using interactive technology like Zoom, this gap has been bridged as a result of the Zoom platform’s effectiveness in bridging this gap.

Rural Utilities Service Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant (RUS-DLT) covers capital expenditures needed to facilitate live, interactive distance learning as well as telemedicine services to rural USDA areas – or communities with populations under the 20,000 population. It is a unique program that covers capital expenditures needed to facilitate these services.

As a result, rural schools, higher education institutions, tribal organizations, community health centers, hospital systems, clinics, government agencies, and many other types of organizations can now take advantage of technology – primarily video conferencing and collaboration technology – as a means to promote access to these vital services and opportunities that are essential to a person’s well-being. Furthermore, these grants will also contribute to the expansion of the reach and availability of resources of these same organizations in urban and suburban areas to the benefit of rural communities, as well. It is our hope at Zoom that educational institutions will be able to apply for this grant and use Zoom solutions to enhance the causes that will have the most positive impact on the future of our planet.

Continuing education for all ages

The two campuses of Southeastern Community College, which is a public community college located in Iowa, is very serious about the business of education. We are committed to lifelong learning and proud to support all students as they strive to achieve their educational and career goals. Southeastern Community College, which has been part of the region since 1920, enjoyed the support of the RUS DLT grant 100 years later, enabling it to create distance learning programs in four counties across the region. This way, students from both dual enrollment programs in K-12 as well as higher education schools are able to take courses in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) as well as college readiness and professional development courses. Additionally, students can take programs of workforce development, certifications, and continuing education throughout their academic career in these fields. With the grant awarded by RUS-DLT, students will be able to access health and substance abuse prevention education along with the equipment provided through the grant.

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Empower others to learn through technology

Even though this grant is primarily intended to fund capital expenditures for the purchase of technology, it is designed to provide funding to programs and projects that allow access to technology through the use of technology. As an example of how RUS-DLT has been used, here are some of the most common reasons why it has been used.

Higher education

  • Dual enrollment – using interactive video conferencing to deliver courses as part of your dual enrollment program can help you expand the program.

  • Campus-to-campus – As one way of enhancing the availability of courses, bridging academic programs, or developing the workforce, satellite campuses are connected.

  • Community education – provide adult learners with opportunities to access higher education by partnering with anchor institutions, such as libraries and community centers, which are community anchor institutions.

  • Workforce development – To increase the employability of remote professionals, it is important to connect with them. As an example, you can arrange for an RN to BSN program to be offered in rural hospitals for nurses, or arrange for graduate programs to be offered in education in rural high schools for teachers.


K-12 primary and secondary education

  • Dual enrollment – Courses that are provided in real-time, interactive mode by colleges and universities.

  • School-to-school collaboration – Partner with other K-12 schools to share teachers and courses with each other.

  • Professional development – pay for professional development through remote access and reduce costs at the same time.

  • Vocational programs – providing access to vocational and CTE programs that can be accessed remotely.

  • School-based telehealth – offering students the opportunity to connect with professional healthcare providers via telehealth.

  • Remote specialists – such as speech therapists, special education services, etc., can be improved through remote specialists.


  • Medical centers to rural hospitals and clinics – Provides primary care and specialty services to rural hospitals and clinics by connecting them to medical centers.

  • Clinic-to-clinic or hospital-to-hospital – healthcare facilities that are connected to one another can share doctors, dentists, nurses, allied health professionals, continuing medical education programs, wellness programs, and prevention strategies with one another.

  • Mental health and substance abuse clinics – they provide psychological and/or substance abuse treatment, education, counseling, and a wide range of other treatment services.

  • School-based health – Assist in the provision of health care services at schools for students in grades K-12.

  • Continuing medical education – in order to reduce rural healthcare workers’ time spent traveling for continuing education courses, we need to connect with providers of CMEs.

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State and local government

  • Educational programming – Identify and connect with educational providers located at higher educational institutions, or at other establishments that provide instruction

  • Clinical care – Providing specialty care, primary care, or managing chronic conditions and diseases through telemedicine consultations to patients and their families

  • Mental health care – ensure that people have access to mental health care, counseling, and therapy

  • Substance abuse services – such as counseling, education, and therapy, are provided

  • Training for staff/workforce development – Ensure that all employees have access to a variety of training and educational programs.

How to make the RUS-DLT grant work for you

There are so many opportunities out there, it is our hope that you will be able to find a project or program that meets your needs. It’s time to explore how we can use the grant money we won in order to achieve our objectives. This list is not exhaustive, nor does it imply that all items on this list are automatically eligible for consideration. Applicants will be required to demonstrate the main purpose of the equipment as technology that is capable of delivering education or medical care in rural areas to residents who live there.

Budget items that are provisionally eligible for inclusion in the budget include the following:

  • Packets of three-year prepaid video licenses with no subscriptions (cap ex, not prepaid)

  • There are many different types of endpoints for video (cameras/audio bars), as well as video codecs.

  • A camera system, an audio system, and a controller are all required

  • A peripheral device that enables sharing and displaying content (e.g. a scope, a monitor, a display, etc.)

  • To support synchronous video streaming, you will need the following network components

  • An access point or component that is wireless

  • A personal device (tablet, laptop, etc.)

  • There are a number of components that make up cyber security

  • Contracts for the replacement of hardware for a period of three years

  • A training budget of up to 10% can be allocated to training

Make a difference today

Please feel free to contact us at if you’re interested in finding out how your organization might benefit from this program, or to explore whether your initiatives might qualify for this program.



What technologies are used in zoom?

The native applications developed by Zoom make use of the Android and Ionic frameworks. On the list of essential tools are Android Studio, the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), Visual Studio, Apple Code, and the iOS Software Development Kit. Kotlin and Java are the backend languages for Android applications, whereas Swift and Objective C are the backend languages for iOS.

What are the future plans for Zoom?

It would appear that Zoom is cognizant of the fact that it must evolve beyond only being a video calling service. Late in the year 2022, the company stated its intentions to incorporate email and calendar functions into the platform, as well as to launch an AI-powered chatbot to assist customers with any problems they may be having.


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C++ was used for the majority of the development of Zoom’s real-time backend services, and it is also used for 70 percent of our cross-platform client engine. The C++ portion of our code base currently contains approximately 3 million lines of code and is continually expanding.