Symposium on Small Towns Set for June

University of Minnesota Morris

The Center for Small Towns of the University of Minnesota at Morris presents an excellent conference each spring on small town and rural issues.  This is where I met Ben Winchester for the first time and started learning about his work (now with Extension) on rural migration.  I really wish I could make it back to western Minnesota for what looks like an excellent session.

The Center for Small Towns will present the 2014 Symposium on Small Towns this year on June 4–5, Understanding Rural Migration: Myths, Trends, and Opportunities Exposed. Hosted at the University of Minnesota, Morris campus, the symposium will address the changing truths of small towns and debunk the current myths surrounding migration to and from small towns. Spanning two days there will be a series of breakout sessions, discussions, and keynotes.

Goals for Symposium include:

  • Improving the dialogue surrounding migration research in rural areas.

  • Exemplifying the ways communities are connected through migration.

  • Informing the rural development industry of current strategies for recruitment and retention.

  • Bringing the macroeconomic perspective of migration theory to the rural development industry.

  • Exploring the role narrative language plays in recruitment strategies.

  • Delineating the strategy differences between youth and adult recruitment.

  • Developing a strategy to evaluate the effectiveness of recruitment and retention efforts.

  • Exploring common recruitment strategies between states.

  • Describing the economic impact of newcomers.

  • Exploring opportunities the upcoming baby boomer housing relocation may hold for growth.

  • Gathering experiences with place-based strategies; i.e. Land incentives, internships, alumni.


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