My first opportunity to speak with the citizens and leaders of Piute, Wayne, Juab, Sanpete, Millard and Sevier Counties to listen to some of their concerns as they pertain to economic development and education.
Their concerns were many. The central theme was the need to development a highly educated and dedicated to the community home grown workforce, thus attempting to abate the “brain drain”. This is issue where TEACH^UP would be a perfect fit. I spoke with Dr. Cameron Martin from the Utah System of Higher Education specifically about the need to include retired professionals in any solution since the “brain drain” also includes the resource loss of those professional who have left the workforce. I also spoke with President Scott Wyatt of Snow College, Richfield on how to create a more organic, community wide learning environment with the college leading the way.
Any home grown economic growth must start with the position of “can do”! The communities represented at the summit have the knowledge base and the resources to begin the process or reinvesting in their community; they simply must believe they can do it. The backbone of this nation was the hard working men and women or small town America. When they struggle, as many small towns are, everything should be done to insure the rural way of life does not need to be sacrificed for growth. The key is creating a relevant educational environment where the focus is on sustainable prosperity.