ERIC Number: EJ789385
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 30
Workplace Learning in Rural Contexts
Reardon, Robert F.; Brooks, Ann K.
New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, n117 p71-82 Spr 2008
Many people perceive rural America as being an almost completely agricultural, farming, or ranching economy. In fact, less than 7 percent of rural employment is in agriculture; service industries account for over half, and service and manufacturing together account for more than 66 percent of employment in rural areas. Rural regions take 50 percent of total earned income in service sectors, especially recreation, tourism, and retirement living, and while many view foreign competition as reducing rural manufacturing, recent studies indicate that manufacturing has decreased only in apparel, textiles, and footwear, while remaining strong in construction, mining, rural factories, and high-skill business activity. Two main barriers make work-related learning difficult in rural settings. First, rural settings can be remote from centers of power where policies are made; knowledge is generated, stored, and disseminated; and opportunities for professional networking are more abundant. Second, small rural businesses may lack the resources in people and training to acquire or provide learning opportunities to employees. In this article, the authors look at specific industries from five economic segments and find that each of these has unique needs and barriers to learning. These segments include tourism and health care; agriculture, forestry, and fishing; mining; education, law enforcement, security, and corrections; and small business.
Descriptors: Employment, Rural Areas, Agriculture, Allied Health Occupations, Forestry, Mining, Education, Law Enforcement, Small Businesses, Manufacturing, Tourism, Work Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A