Rural Policy Symposium
Global Pathways for a Thriving Rural Workforce
The Global Pathways for a Thriving Rural Workforce symposium will be held at the Pennsylvania College of Technology, in Williamsport, PA, on March 8, 2024. This symposium is supported through a generous grant by the U.S. Department of State, and the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. The goals of the event are to: 1) inspire rural innovation and policy recommendations for rural communities in need of skilled labor forces to boost local livelihoods, 2) fill industrial gaps, and 3) build inclusive communities that will encourage local leadership or international migration.
While this symposium will take place in Pennsylvania, its content will be applicable to rural communities across the U.S. The symposium will include research on current best practices, map out opportunities with participants, and presentations of case studies where international workers have successfully been integrated into the rural community's workforce. Symposium sessions may include, but are not limited to, practices regarding education and apprenticeship training (both in the U.S. and abroad), support systems within the rural community (e.g., social networks, transportation assistance, finding housing, etc.), inclusivity and integration initiatives, solutions for existing rural workforce development, and avoiding displacement of existing residents, among other topics.
This flagship symposium was proposed by a team of rural policy advocates and researchers - Dr. Kyle Kopko (Center for Rural Pennsylvania), Zoe Swarzenski (Brookings Institution), and Alena Klimas (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities). The program was awarded funding by the U.S. Department of State's initiative to engage rural areas in the U.S. in international exchange.