ERIC Number: ED456974
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
The Importance of Manufacturing in the Rural South.
McGranahan, David A.
Rural South: Preparing for the Challenges of the 21st Century, n22 Sep 2001
Manufacturing employs a declining share of the U.S. labor force but is still the most important sector of Southern rural economies. Manufacturing has played a major role in reducing poverty in the rural South and is particularly important to economies where tourism, recreation, or commuting is not strong. Historically, manufacturers moved to the rural South as part of a low skill/low wage strategy; this strategy is now implemented through international relocation or has been put aside as some manufacturers shift toward more capital- and technology-intensive types of production requiring a more highly skilled and educated workforce. The low-skilled meat products industry and the higher-skilled auto industry are compared in terms of their growth in rural versus urban areas in the 1990s, education levels of the areas in which they expanded, and economic and demographic effects of their expansion. Rural areas with low education levels will not attract high-tech industries; the best opportunity for such areas may be to aim at attracting industries in the mid-range of skill requirements. However, challenges include lack of local resources to provide incentives for industry relocation; lack of a trained labor force; and quality-of-life considerations for relocating professionals, including quality of local schools. It is unclear whether low-education rural counties have the capacity to compete. (SV)
Descriptors: Education Work Relationship, Educational Attainment, Educational Needs, Job Training, Manufacturing Industry, Poverty Areas, Rural Areas, Rural Economics
For full text: http://ext.msstate.edu/srdc/publications/millennium.htm.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Economic Research Service (USDA), Washington, DC.; Farm Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: Southern Rural Development Center, Mississippi State, MS.