We could not agree more with Tony Pipa’s assessment of the need for a national focus on rural communities in his recent New York Times article. We are proud to have played a role in the preparation of the plan he references as one component that is driving the renaissance that is occurring in the small rural context city of Shamokin, PA. Rural small towns and cities have lacked dedicated resources, both financial and in the form of human-capacity, needed to adapt to evolving economies and to capture available opportunities. Sound planning, strong community engagement, and dedicated partnerships are all necessary ingredients to reinvigorate communities that still have strong social networks needed to thrive. Consensus building through a deliberate planning process provides a roadmap to securing such resources, as shown with Shamokin’s success in obtaining $13M for key initiatives so far and with great hope that more is coming.
January 5, 2023