By Rachel Smith, RCAC executive assistant

Rural America has experienced significant disruptions in its labor force and population due in part to automation in its most vulnerable industries; but the solution to thriving America’s rural towns could be found in history.

Americans moved from rural to urban cities after agriculture dropped steadily through the 1900s, and the nation mandated that every student receive a high school education. The government helped expand electricity access into rural communities. Today’s equivalents – computer science skills and broadband internet – could be the next step that rural America needs to take to be successful.

States like Wyoming and Kentucky are already committed to training computer science teachers in hopes of making computer science classes mandatory at all high schools.

Access to broadband internet presents similar challenges to electricity during the 1900s. Rural communities still lack high-speed fiber and typically pay more for bandwidth than urban users. With federal funding, municipal cooperatives and other creative strategies, rural communities have the opportunity to bridge this digital divide.

To read the full story, click here: