Presented Virtually by
Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University
In conjunction with
Governor’s Rural Affairs Council – Chaired by Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton
and Rural Partners
The 2022 Rural Community Economic Development Conference will focus on repositioning rural communities for the future. Recent Census data show rural population declines but technology advances. Remote working opportunities, and preferences for living in nonmetro areas, suggest that the future for many rural communities can be bright. However, communities must reshape their workforces to take advantage of these trends, revitalize their downtowns, and provide a high quality of life to attract residents. This action-oriented, virtual conference will provide insights into steps communities can take to reshape their economies, implement advances in broadband and telehealth, and collaborate with regional centers. Innovative ideas such as community land banks and environmental resiliency will be discussed as well.