This week the Association of Washington Business conducted its second major event focusing on the challenges facing rural communities in our state. Last March, AWB hosted a Saturday rural jobs summit (video); the response prompted the group to conduct this week’s expanded follow-up.
The Employment Security Department’s unemployment rate map shows why action now is important. We’ve written previously about the urban-rural divide in our state and nation, a divide that still seems daunting. AWB president Kris Johnson wrote earlier in the month,
It’s clear that bridging the urban-rural economic divide will take a committed, long-term effort from elected officials, employers, community leaders and others.
AWB is ready to help build that bridge.
About 250 people attended the two-day summit, including two dozen state legislators. But many more will want to review the excellent coverage of the panel discussions. Fortunately AWB and TVW have made it easy.
We commend AWB for its leadership in convening these important discussions of how to spread shared prosperity throughout the state.