The economic state of America’s rural communities has significant impact on the overall economic health of the entire country. According to the USDA, the total population in US rural counties (populations under 50,000) is 46.1 million – 14% of the US population. These same counties make up 72% of the US land area, including large regions that contain critical natural resources.
Over the past 15 years, there have been substantial swings in regional economic patterns in rural communities across the United States. In most cases, these economic booms and busts were a direct result of local dependencies on a single industry. The lack of economic diversity in many US rural communities creates high economic risk, especially for regions in which the workforce pools have skills that are limited to only a few industries.
Join us for a discussion with rural entrepreneurship ecosystem builders. Our speakers will share stories of success and ideas you can use for your communities and touch on challenges we still need to solve.
Stacy Strauss, Director, Ohio University Innovation Center who will discuss the efforts to build out capacity of micro-clusters in biotechnology/life sciences and advanced manufacturing
Jim Spencer, Executive Director, Bluefield WV Economic Development Authority (BEDA)
Erik Pages, President, EntreWorks Consulting