MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WTVA) -- Pickens County is among 23 across Alabama selected to participate in the StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity.
The program was launched Monday by the Alabama Rural Development Office and federal and state agriculture officials.
The goal of the StrikeForce initiative is to partner governmental and community organizations on projects to promote economic development and create jobs.
USDA officials say 90 percent of Americans below the poverty line live in rural counties.
StrikeForce also works to improve the quality of life in those counties.
The 23 Alabama counties listed in persistent poverty include Bibb, Bullock, Barbour, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Escambia, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Perry, Pike, Pickens, Russell, Sumter and Wilcox.