ERIC Number: ED467547
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Creating Vibrant Communities & Economies in Rural America.
Beaulieu, Lionel J.
Although the economic expansion of the 1990s was felt even in small towns and rural areas, events in recent months point out that the economic health of rural America remains fragile. Rural manufacturing has suffered sizable employment declines in recent months and only modest expansion has occurred in the service sector--the lifeblood of rural job growth over the past decade. Wages in both sectors for the remaining jobs are less than in urban areas. Four strategies for strengthening the viability of rural America are offered. Community human capital resources can be enhanced by helping parents foster a home environment in which educational aspirations are developed, creating positive teacher-student and teacher-parent relationships in schools, and building youth-supportive communities that give youth a voice in community decisions and opportunities to experience positive role models outside of school. Entrepreneurial activities in communities can be spurred by providing access to quality workers, embracing and nurturing entrepreneurs, enacting public policies that support entrepreneurial development, and making entrepreneurship an explicit economic development strategy. The digital capacity of rural communities must be built through focused investments in rural telecommunications infrastructure. Civic engagement in rural communities can be expanded by involving all segments of the community in guiding its future, providing opportunities for new and expanded leadership development, sharing leadership responsibilities, and supporting the establishment of local-oriented small and entrepreneurial businesses. (Contains 22 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: Academic Aspiration, Access to Computers, Community Development, Community Needs, Community Relations, Educational Attainment, Educational Economics, Entrepreneurship, Family Influence, Human Capital, Internet, Leadership Training, Rural Areas, Rural Development
Southern Rural Development Center, Box 9656, Mississippi State, MS 39762. Tel: 662-325-3207; Fax: 662-325-8915; Web site: http://srdc.msstate.edu. For full text: http://srdc.msstate.edu/publications/vibrant_communities.pdf.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southern Rural Development Center, Mississippi State.