Although each small town and rural area has its own distinct culture, they share common challenges when it comes to workforce development. How might investments in workforce development address their challenges around both labor demand and supply? A External Linkspecial topic brief, just released as part of the External LinkInvesting in America’s Workforce (IAW) initiative, explores opportunities to build stronger rural economies.

The brief is the first of a series based on roundtable discussions with community leaders throughout the country. The discussions focused on specific workforce-related topics. Visit the External Linkwebsite to learn more about the IAW series.

Research and three listening sessions informed “Strengthening Workforce Development in Rural Areas.” The Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Chicago and Minneapolis convened a range of stakeholders. Participants reflected groups such as governments, chambers of commerce, colleges and technical schools, and nonprofits. The listening sessions identified the challenges that are uniquely rural and ideas for addressing the challenges.

The brief shares various ideas for solutions, among them:

In addition to this special topic brief, the recently published book External LinkInvesting in America’s Workforce: Improving Outcomes for Workers and Employers includes chapters that discuss investing in rural workforce development. They are:   Please contact if you have questions or would like to share how you use these resources. For more information about the initiative, the briefs, and the book, please visit External