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November 1, 2018

AWB's 2018 Rural Jobs Summit to focus on revitalizing rural communities

By: Andrew Lenderman   Comments: 0

America has more than 7 million open jobs right now, a story that’s generated lots of headlines around the country.

But this news, along with stories from the booming Puget Sound region, often glosses over the fact that many in rural communities are struggling to keep up and feel left behind.

AWB is proud to convene the 2018 Rural Jobs Summit this Nov. 8-9 in Longview to take the lead in finding solutions to revitalize the economy in Washington’s rural regions.

Employers, elected officials, economic development and community leaders will gather at Lower Columbia College for the two-day summit focused on expanding economic prosperity in pockets of the state to small towns.

Rural communities exist in each of the state’s 39 counties, including King, Pierce and Snohomish. And a quick view of the latest labor report shows predominantly rural counties have much higher unemployment rates than urban areas.

King County had an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent in September 2018, the state Employment Security Department reports. In contrast, Mason, Grays Harbor and Pacific counties came in at 5.5 percent, and Pend Oreille and Ferry counties came in at 5.6 and 7.5 percent, respectively.

AWB has confirmed nearly 30 speakers to date that will tackle the big challenges faced by rural communities. This year’s agenda includes topics like access to capital, broadband and technology, housing, federal Opportunity Zones and more. There will also be a networking reception, allowing attendees to connect with state and local leaders as well as business owners and issue experts.

“AWB is committed, and serious, about removing barriers to success and helping our rural communities create jobs and reinvest in small towns today,” AWB Government Affairs Director Mike Ennis said in Washington Business magazine earlier this year. “We’re in this for the long haul, and we encourage our rural communities to get involved.”

Click here to learn more and register for this year’s conference.