Reversing the Exodus

Encourage young adults to live and work in their home communities.

Communities are looking for answers on how to reverse the outmigration of young adults. Based on the new census data 87 of Illinois’ 102 counties experienced population decline between 2010 and 2020. Almost every rural county in Illinois has experienced an outmigration of its youngest and brightest talent, and unfortunately, the trend appears to be continuing.

University of Illinois Extension's Reversing the Exodus program offers several research-based strategies communities can implement now to help reverse the trend, including insights into how remote work may provide more opportunities for people to migrate back to rural communities. The program often includes a young adult panel discussion.

There are so many things that are impacted by the outmigration of young adults from rural communities, including school enrollment, availability of quality health care, future leadership, a skilled workforce and business development. Developing a strategic plan to address outmigration and attract young adults back into rural communities could have a major impact on a community’s future. – Pam Schallhorn

Developing a Young Adult Advisory Panel

In May of 2018, Reversing the Exodus was presented to the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce' leadership class.  Following the presentation, Kris Noble, Executive Director of the Chamber led the development of a young adult advisory panel now called the Sauk Valley Keystone group with seven collaborating organizations.  Watch this short video to learn how the panel was created, who participated and the results the Sauk Valley area have seen from this energetic and talented group of young people.

Request more information on Reversing the Exodus

Pam Schallhorn

Pam Schallhorn

Extension Specialist - Region 2 Community & Economic Development
Economic Development
Consumer Economics
Community Development
Downtown Development
Community Planning
Managing Stress
Mental Health
(217) 782-4617