Which Way for Rural America?

12 Jul 2021


The challenges facing rural America are well-known and exhaustively documented. Chronically shrinking populations beget shrinking tax bases and shriveling public services. Town squares board up. Hospitals close. The most promising youth light out for elsewhere, just as lack of reliable internet now helps to quash most any notion of winning back folks from the city, post-pandemic.

It’s also been noted that many rural communities have fallen victim to a vicious cycle.

“Some communities are dominated by people that really don’t want any change,” says Ron Tillery, executive director of the Phelps County Development Corporation in Phelps County, Nebraska, a top performer in this Site Selection examination of rural economic development.

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