Governor Laura Kelly Announces New Report To Help Avoid Churn and Boost Kansas’ Workforce and Economy
Today, Governor Laura Kelly announced the results of a new report detailing the challenges facing young Kansans in rural communities and possible solutions to prevent brain drain and strengthen the Kansas workforce and economy.
The report is the result of the Kansas Sampler Foundation’s Power Up & Go project, created in collaboration with the Kansas Office of Rural Prosperity (ORP) to gain a better understanding of the current barriers and opportunities faced by young Kansans in rural areas Parts of face the state.
“This report will help us address the needs of young Kansans to prevent brain drain and fuel our growing economy.” Governor Laura Kelly said. “My government will continue to prioritize the key issues identified – such as childcare, broadband expansion and affordable housing – while keeping our state welcoming and inclusive for all to support our rural and young kansans.”
The Kansas Sampler Foundation produced the report based on 460 surveys and 175 interviews with Kansans, ages 21 to 39. The final report includes information from each county in Kansas.
The survey and interview questions focus on actions that young rural Kansans believe will revitalize and refresh communities facing emigration. The overwhelming response points to the “need to create a culture, an ecosystem that supports and builds the capacities of rural communities”. To this end, childcare, broadband access and housing shortages were identified as the main barriers.
“An overwhelming majority of respondents indicated that while rural needs may be specific to local areas, the problems are systemic across the state.” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said:. “By focusing on the recurring challenges like broadband and housing construction, we can see where our state needs to emphasize funding and additional resources for everyone. This report will help us paint a fuller and more detailed picture of the rural Kansas communities, both individually and as a whole. “
Further fields of action and proposals for progress are:
- Improving ties with the government;
- Recognition and support of grassroots work;
- Support for local advocates;
- Improving child care;
- Create and develop a culture of appreciation for rural Kansas among the youngest residents of rural Kansas;
- Creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem;
- Creating a healthier space for employees / improving work-life balance; and
- Cultivate a positive and inclusive culture in rural Kansas.
“This report will guide our work for rural communities by promoting a grassroots team environment that builds collaboration, inclusivity and partnerships to grow rural communities.” ORP director Trisha Purdon said.
“The report reflects the collective brilliance of the 175 young rural Kansans I interviewed.” Marci Penner, executive director of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, said. “I encourage people to read the report and then find areas where they can take action. If we do this, I believe we can provide a fresh look at the future of rural communities. “
Purdon and Penner will host a live discussion on the ORP’s Facebook page at 2 p.m. CT this afternoon. To view the live announcement, click here.
To view the full report, click here.
Via the Kansas Sampler Foundation
The Kansas Sampler Foundation is a 501 © (3) public not-for-profit organization. Our mission is to preserve and preserve rural culture by educating Kansans about Kansas and by connecting and supporting rural communities. The aim is to keep any city viable that shows the will and spirit to help itself.
Via the Office for Rural Prosperity
ORP is a non-partisan initiative that endorses and promotes rural Kansas and focuses on efforts aimed at improving rural areas. Through ongoing discussions with rural stakeholders, ORP identifies key policy priorities and combines administrative measures with legislative work to remove barriers to prosperity.
Via the Kansas Department of Commerce
As the state’s premier economic development agency, the Kansas Department of Commerce strives to empower individuals, businesses and communities to prosper in Kansas. Commerce accomplishes its mission by building relationships with businesses, location advisers, and stakeholders in Kansas, the nation, and the world. Our strong partnerships enable us to create an environment for existing Kansas businesses to grow and foster an innovative, competitive landscape for new businesses.