The National Association of Counties (NACo) recently released a report: Cultivating a Competitive Advantage in Rural Counties, which highlights
how rural counties are pursuing asset-based economic development initiatives that create jobs and build wealth while preserving rural landscapes, cultural and heritage.
The report— Cultivating a Competitive Advantage: How Rural Counties are Growing Economies with Local Assets and Regional Partners—was released as NACo’s Rural Action Caucus (RAC) kicked off its annual meeting in Yellowstone County, Mont., on November 6.
Rural places have traditionally provided the food, natural resources and energy needed to fuel our country, while also supporting tourism, cultural resources and growing knowledge industries. However, rural counties—whether facing challenges related to shifting economic trends, population decline, lack of access to metropolitan areas or losses in traditional industries—sometimes struggle to sustain economic growth. To address these challenges, counties are focusing on their existing assets, not deficits, to strengthen economic competitiveness and enhance quality of life.