Surry Business

For and about business in Surry County, N.C., including Dobson, Elkin, Lowgap, Pilot Mountain and Mount Airy

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Cooperation needed to create a climate for entrepreneurs

September 19th, 2007 · No Comments

Workers go where they can best use their skills and enjoy life. That often means a “brain drain” from rural areas.

Dr. Mark Drabenstott, a vice-president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and the director of the Center for the Study of Rural America (now the bank’s Regional, Public and Community Affairs Division), says that if places such as Surry County want to grow, they must provide a higher quality of life and opportunity for entrepreneurs who create most new jobs in America.

The foundations of economic development today include public safety, quality education, attractive homes and neighborhoods, modern health-care facilities and other services, Drabenstott says, and a cooperative network of community businesses, non-governmental organizations and public agencies to build and strengthen those foundations.

Regional cooperation in rural America is rare, however, he said. In most successful regional collaborations, Drabenstott continued, “there is an organization that brings the community together — a ‘King Arthur’ who creates the regional roundtable. In many cases, the catalyst of regional cooperation is either a non-profit group or a university or community college.”

Click here to listen to Drabenstott’s 50-minute speech.

Tags: Economic development · Workforce

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