Rural Community Economic Development

Rural Community Economic Development

Rural Community Economic Development

Rural Community Economic Development

Synopsis

This work examines the main economic trends affecting rural areas today and the types of local programs that are being implemented in response. The lessening of federal government involvement since the Reagan administration has shifted the public policy focus, placing greater responsibility for economic development on local governments. With more states encountering financial austerity, even greater requirements for economic development activities will rest with local governments--especially in rural areas. The long-term effects of these developments on states and localities are analyzed, and suggestions are made for economic development initiatives that local governments can undertake.

Excerpt

Slow growing rural economies have been a concern of state and local public policy makers as high unemployment, relatively low incomes, and population outmigration threaten the quality of life in many rural counties. Policies by federal and state governments to improve economic conditions have had limited success and the disparity between urban and rural areas continues to persist.

This book examines rural conditions in the Midwest, a region which was hit particularly hard by the recession in the early 1980s. A combination of a depressed agricultural economy, employment declines in mining and resourcebased industry, and loss of manufacturing employment to foreign competition brought hard times to many rural midwestern counties. The authors of this book review these trends and describe the policy responses of state and local public officials as they attempted to improve the local economies.

Many persons assisted in the preparation of this book. Don Norton and Louis DiFonso of the State of Illinois Governor's Rural Affairs Council helped identify authors and assisted in raising revenues to finance the conference at which these papers were presented. Lt. Governor George H. Ryan provided financial support for this project. Nancy Baird and Poh P'ng, Ilnois Institute for Rural Affairs, worked many hours to prepare the manuscript for publication. Without the help of these individuals, this project could not have been completed.

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