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While considerable attention has been given to the impact of COVID-19 on urban areas, very little research has examined its impact on rural America. This is despite the fact that rural communities – which make up tens of millions of people from diverse backgrounds – are among the nation’s most vulnerable populations and may be intrinsically less resilient to the effects of such a large-scale exogenous shock.
In response, we launched Prosperity Through Equity, a national stakeholder engagement initiative to collaboratively use data and feedback to identify best practices, develop equitable policy initiatives that result in long-term sustainable solutions, and most importantly, pinpoint the most pressing economic development challenges of rural America. Here are the top 5 challenges identified:
• Challenge #1 Access to affordable quality housing
• Challenge #2 Access to broadband internet
• Challenge #3 Access to living-wage jobs
• Challenge #4 Access to childcare
• Challenge #5 Access to reliable transportation
The Solutions Challenge
We are initiating a Solutions Challenge, and invite organizations, practitioners, and community champions to submit their unique solutions that address one of the top 5 challenges identified in the Prosperity Through Equity initiative. Starting October 23rd 2021, #NationalMakeADifferenceDay, participants will be able to submit solutions. A winner with the most compelling response will be chosen on January 31st, 2022 and awarded a grand prize of $5,000 for being a thought leader and advocate as we strive for national economic recovery. Please read more information and frequently asked questions here.
Our unique approach to economic development and community resiliency includes placing a high value on economic diversity, quality of place, resource alignment, and overall community vibrancy. We use proven strategies to help communities adapt to changes in the economy or environment
Data Driven Solutions
Our data analysis is driven by research and community engagement, allowing us to identify where your community may be vulnerable and craft custom, comprehensive strategies to capitalize on emerging opportunities