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Now Is The Time!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

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By Craig Schroeder

As I am writing this article, it is early May and it is 95 degrees outside! School is just about out for the summer and few people have their minds fixed on next fall, unless you're a die-hard football fan, of course. However, this is the perfect time to begin preparing for a strong launch working with students when school resumes in just 90 days or so!

To encourage you to begin thinking about the great opportunities you can create by engaging youth, I want to share a few highlights from the "Engaging Young People - Revitalizing Rural Communities" paper I just updated with the latest youth survey results from across the county.

Through partnerships with economic development organizations, university extension and foundations, surveys have been administered to more than 40,000 young people to determine their perspectives about their communities, education and career interests and their desire to stay or return to rural communities, and to ascertain why or why not. 

The results show that 46% of the young people rated their communities as an above average to excellent place to live. Half (50%) picture themselves living in their hometown in the future if quality career opportunities are available. 

Family ties and a good place to raise a family were two top motivators for 46% of the survey participants to stay or return to their communities.

Many respondents expressed that they feel their communities encourage youth to seek their futures elsewhere instead of presenting opportunities for them at home. 

Forty-two percent of survey participants expressed the desire to own a business in the future and 13% own a business now.

The findings of these surveys provide real encouragement for rural community leaders and developers to build upon the too often untapped potential and energy of young people. To learn more about strategies you can use in your work with youth, please get a copy of this latest report. 

To schedule a time to visit about opportunities to attract young people to your community, please contact me at

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The GROW South Dakota Organizations Have had a Remarkable Few Years!

NESDEC celebrated 42 years in 2020, closing 60 business loans for a total of $3.8 million.

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GROW South Dakota

GROW South Dakota
104 Ash Street East | Sisseton, SD  57262
Phone (605) 698-7654 | Fax (605) 698-3038