The Western Rural Development Center's 2018 Annual Report includes highlights from the year along with a message from Executive Director Don E. Albrecht.
From the Director: "The communities of the Rural West are confronted with a variety of significant challenges. At the top of the list are economic concerns. Throughout U.S. history, rural areas, compared with their urban counterparts, have had lower incomes, higher poverty rates, and lower rates of employment. These problems have been compounded in recent decades with employment declines in sectors that traditionally have been the primary employers of rural workers (agriculture, forestry, mining, and manufacturing). While employment in other sectors has increased, rural workers often lack skills to obtain high quality employment in these emerging sectors."