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Community initiatives combat outmigration of young talent in rural areas

URBANA, Ill. ­­– In 2018, 86 of Illinois’ 102 counties experienced population decline, and almost every rural county in Illinois has experienced outmigration of its youngest and brightest talent.

“Outmigration of young adults impacts so many areas of the community, including school enrollment, availability of quality health care, future leadership, a skilled workforce, and business development,” says presenter Pam Schallhorn, University of Illinois Extension regional specialist in community and economic 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.”

In a free session May 19 at noon (CT), Schallhorn will discuss development and implementation of community talent retention strategies and share insights into the opportunities remote work may provide for people to migrate back to rural communities.

Register in advance to attend the free online event co-hosted by University of Illinois Extension and Rural Partners:

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, contact Nancy Ouedraogo, organizer and Extension specialist, at Early requests are strongly encouraged.

Schallhorn has spent the past six years studying what prompts people, especially young adults between the ages of 20 and 40, to return or remain in rural communities. She holds a master’s degree in political studies and has assisted communities in conducting research by developing survey instruments and holding focus groups. Schallhorn brings over two decades of commercial lending experience to her role with Illinois Extension and served as director of the Small Business Development Center in Rockford, IL. Her teaching and research interests include entrepreneurial development, creative economies, reversing workforce out-migration, and building cultural awareness.

SOURCE: Nancy Ouedraogo, Community and Economic Development Specialist, University of Illinois Extension

SOURCE: Pam Schallhorn, Community and Economic Development Specialist, University of Illinois Extension

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.