On December 18, USDA Rural Development hosted a Jobs and Economy Roundtable discussion in Livingston, Montana in Park County. About 7,000 people live in Livingston, which has an unemployment rate of 7.9 percent. The local economy was once dominated by the railroad and agriculture, but in recent years, because Yellowstone National Park is less than an hour away, tourism has become a growing business segment. Read more »
Oscar Wilde once said, “The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.”
It was within that frame of mind that the Obama Administration brought its ‘Jobs Roundtable’ series to Somerton, Arizona. The goal of the roundtable was to reach out to local leaders for their thoughts and ideas on how to create jobs, move the economy forward, and create rural wealth.
The roundtable, hosted by USDA Rural Development and Farm Service Agency, was comprised of a diverse group of community and employment advocates and leaders all looking to provide solution on how the Administration could stimulate job creation in their region.
It wasn’t long before the 35 participants had a constructive dialogue going on how our Federal agencies could best promote job growth in rural Yuma County, the state’s hardest hit region of job loss. Paul Newman, Arizona Corporation Commissioner, spoke of the potential for green technologies. It turns out that the Yuma area has the largest area in the world of contiguous solar potential. State Senator Amanda Aguirre and State Representative Lynne Pancrazi emphasized the drastic cuts the State has taken in trying to mitigate a projected $2 billion deficient, noting that federal assistance in job creation is very important.
The discussion ranged from tapping into the green energy potential, taking a more regional approach to projects and jobs creation, and making changes to the Workforce Investment Act to add more flexibility and system building.
Among the other participants were bankers, city and county officials, representatives of the local community college and school districts, hospitals, food banks, and housing groups.
Somerton in heeding the advice of Oscar Wilde passed on some great advice and without a doubt, it will be of use to their community and to the nation.
USDA Communications Coordinator, Aaron Lavallee