Thanks to Tim Marema and an email from the National Rural Assembly, I took a quick look at today’s announcement by The White House “that it is creating a Rural Council to help the administration better coordinate the impact of federal programs in rural areas.”
|Obama, center, and Vilsack, right,
and Morgan Hoenig, left,
touring an organic farm in 2010.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
I’m pleased to see that rural smart guy Tom Vilsack (Secretary of Ag) will chair the council, and that all Cabinet departments will be represented.
Their first focus? Job creation and economic development. This morning, the group discussed availability of capital as a necessary first step to creating jobs in small towns and rural areas. Renewable energy was singled out as a sector with a lot of promise for rural areas, as well as a lot of competition.
The other issues listed in the AP announcement included education, transportation, health care, Internet access, agriculture, credit, innovation, conservation and regional economies.
“Many of you have worked long and hard to raise the awareness of rural issues within the Obama administration. We assume that the Rural Council is one response,” Marema said. “So, now that you have their attention, what do you think are the most pressing inter-agency issues the federal government should address first in rural America?”
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The only jobs that most councils create are used to create council members… here’s to hoping that this one is a bit more successful… I am a skeptic at best!
Riya Sam says
It’s good to see that awareness is raised for the development of the rural areas as well. I think the foremost thing that should be done for economic development is job creation and a healthy education system, when those two things are in place, we can be certain that the rural areas upcoming generation would be better educated and qualified to contribute to the US economy. Thanks for sharing!
This is a positive step, as Ray said let’s hope they can actually get something done. We feel that infrastructure should be a strong focus, because it is essential for economic development (think back to CCC days) and there are no rural communities without it. It also links closely with other focus areas: jobs, access to credit, and networks.
Becky McCray says
Ray, do you have any suggestion on a topic you’d like them to cover?
Riya, job creation and education certainly do go together, laying a foundation for development.
Water, I do agree that infrastructure is linked to all our development issues. It’s also such a big ticket item that most small towns have trouble funding major improvements without help.