Home%20Town%20Competitiveness:%20A%20Come-Back/Give-Back%20Approach%20to%20Rural%20Community%20Building - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Title: Home%20Town%20Competitiveness:%20A%20Come-Back/Give-Back%20Approach%20to%20Rural%20Community%20Building

Home Town CompetitivenessA Come-Back/Give-Back
Approach to Rural Community Building
  • Sponsored by
  • The Nebraska Community Foundation
  • The Heartland Center for Leadership Development
  • Center for Rural Entrepreneurship

Hometown Competitiveness Field Day on
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Windmill A Symbol of the Nebraska Community
Report by Craig Hertel, Greene County Extension
Education Director
  • Thanks to the Community Vitality Center at Iowa
    State University for support to this conference
  • and
  • The Nebraska Home Town Competitiveness partners
    for their materials, ideas and program.

Welcome to Atkinson, Nebraska
  • One of the reasons for the field day was to
    showcase an actual community, and its physical
  • This community sign is the first thing you see
    driving into town.

About Atkinson, Nebraska
  • Located in Northern NE, in Holt County. Holt Co.
    is an oversized county, about 50 miles square.
    Population 11,500.
  • ONeill is county seat, with 3,500 people
  • Atkinson, population 1,244, is 18 miles from

Down the road ¼ mile
  • Further into town, I saw another sign that jumped
    out and caught my eye
  • Little did I know how important it was to the HTC

The Home Town Competitiveness (HTC) model
encourages action
  1. Mobilize Local Leaders
  2. Energize Entrepreneurship
  3. Capture Wealth Transfer
  4. Attract Young People

1. Mobilizing Local Leaders
  1. Communities must be intentional about recruiting
    and nurturing an increasing number of women,
    minorities and young people into decision-making
  2. Tap into everyones potential knowledge, talent
  3. The usual suspects model works for recruiting new
    business, but entrepreneurship is not limited by
    income or industry. So, including more people
    networks increases odds for successful community
  4. Continuing leadership training programs

2. Capturing Wealth Transfer
  1. Rural residents do not always recognize local
    wealth, because so much of it is held through
    land ownership.
  2. Most people are at first shocked, and then highly
    motivated, one they understand the enormous
    amount of local wealth that will transfer out of
    the area to heirs who have migrated.
  3. Planned gifts need to be cultivated now!

3. Energizing entrepreneurship
  • The Nebraska Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
    focuses on
  • 1. Saving Main Street through planned
    ownership succession
  • 2. Creating new wealth and good jobs by
    helping entrepreneurial companies that have
    potential to break through to a broader
    product-line and/or larger market
  • 3. Using local charitable assets to support
    entrepreneurial development

Nebraska Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
  • Far too many communities continue to invest
    resources in economic development for job
    creation and business development that exports,
    rather than builds, local wealth.
  • HTC model embraces local business and strategic
    downtown redevelopment efforts

4. Attracting Young People
  • HTC teaches
  • How to target youths attraction
  • Create career opportunities
  • Nurture a sense of ownership and vested interest
    in the communitys future leaders

Conference reinforced the 4 Pillars of HTC
  • Most sessions had panel discussion
  • Each time all 4 pillars highlighted
  • Community spokesman seemed very clear on the need
    for the 4 pillars, although smaller communities
    (lt400) may focus on 2-3 pillars
  • For a relatively new model, people seemed to
    easily grasp on terms, reasons and approach
  • Many of the community examples just getting off
    the ground therefore, immediate reflections of
    getting started (and motivated to perform since
    they had to report!)

Panelist comments
  • The Sandhills 3-county group residents appeared
    afraid of here we go again these efforts come
    and go.
  • Valley observation youth had more profound
    comments than adults
  • Think about strategically about succession of
    the home owned business.
  • The 4 pillars may not all happen at once, or at
    the same speed. Adjust
  • Think regionally

Youth component.
  • Very visible (presence, tour leaders, signage)
  • Youth NOT the future they are the Present!
  • Strategy to personally connect with H.S. students
    and finding people to come home
  • Goal 11-14 of graduating class to return
  • Goal is being monitored
  • Personal mentoring and encouragement
  • Want them to leave BUT come back!
  • Early in their life connections to stay

Leadership has progressed
  • Used to be leaders had to know the right answer.
  • Then, leaders had to know the right question.
  • Now, leaders need to know who to go to!

  • Significant number of young adults in the
    audience from across Nebraska and border states.
    In visiting, good enthusiasm and interest in
    making a difference!
  • Same exact comments of community challenges as we
    hear in Iowa!

  • Importance of Entrepreneurial Skills I.D.
  • Key is what community leaders Say Do, and
    setting a good example
  • Old challenge of how to get the Old Guard to
    buy-in, always an issue
  • Need rural (out of town) participation to balance
    out city resident needs
  • Use Chamber list serve for outreach
  • Build Hope

Philanthropy pillar
  • Ex. Ord, Valley Co -- 1.2 million gift via will
    leverages other giving to 5.2 M in
  • 5 Nebraska target seemed well known goal 5
    tied to actual, measurable numbers
  • Banks and individual donations used as impetus to
    initiate giving
  • Philanthropy used as gifts/loans to support
    entrepreneurship pillar

Surprised that
  • The importance of retail business in the model
    caught me off guard
  • new business tied to retail
  • Efforts put in by community facilitators to
    encourage retail
  • Importance to community image was retail
  • Number of retail places in town of 1,244
  • Retail seemed to attract youth

more on Retail
  • 6. Retail places visited all had their nitch
    market that covered a wider area
  • -- IGA ?locker ? seasoning ? mail
  • -- Ogden Hardware ? Dish
  • -- Something Special ? asks wholesalers if
    anyone has this merchandise w/in 100miles
  • -- Old fashion soda fountain
  • -- Clothing jeans outlet

  • Can that much retail hold on? Business increases
    as more businesses develop.
  • Surprised that I heard retail business, but not
    manufacturing or other businesses
  • Fear expressed of Wal-Mart by participants of
    conference retails
  • Holt County early pioneer of irrigation in
    Midwest, therefore, lots of money made in late
    1960s, early 1970s

The Sign
  • It changed the Youths Attitude!
  • Developed by the youth
  • They owned the sign, and had tremendous pride
    in it
  • Prominent!

Downtown Attractiveness Pride
  • The flags were out!
  • A main intersection had a message board, with
    attractive landscaping
  • Streets were kept up
  • All field day participants were bused downtown
    for a 5-stop walking tour.

High School Youth Engagement
  • The High School youth were not only the tour
    guides, but clearly actively involved in framing
    the enthusiasm and future community plans.
  • Encouraging youth to return was one of the 4
    pillars of HTC.

Town of 1,244 3 Hardware stores
  • Ogden Hardware was run/owned by a young person.
  • One line of merchandise, dish network, had a
    service area of about 100 miles.
  • Father co-signed initial loan noted need for
    start-up capital

Gift-tee type items EVERYWHERE!
  • Something Special by Marilyn is indeed a
    special destination store
  • Very large, two story retail store full of gifts
    galore for any occasion
  • Business started about 11 years ago by two local
  • Would be a draw for women everywhere!

On the community center wall
  • . Were four wall hangings, strategically placed
    by the restrooms!
  • Each one was a positive quote that a left a great

  • Can this Hometown Competiveness Model be
    implemented without cash incentive and grant
  • -- Perhaps if there is strong community
    leadership that is present and training to act
  • If no at the beginning to hire human resources,
    then it is encumbent on the community to rally
    and see the benefits, and fund appropriately

Community Road Map
  • Formation of
  • Steering Committee
  • Leadership Working Group
  • Entrepreneurship Working Group
  • Philanthropy Working Group
  • Youth Working Group
  • Leadership Training

Steps in Process
  • Develop clear goals map assets, identify needed
    programs and services
  • Identify potential entrepreneurs, conduct visits,
    offer one-on-one entrepreneurial training,
    develop strategies for long-term entrepreneurial
  • Conduct youth entrepreneurship courses, hold
    summer youth camps
  • Promote human and financial investment

Atkinson youth promote community pride
Atkinson, Stuart youth serve as active leaders in
downtown entrepreneurial developments
Its all about attitude
Brauns IGA, owned by two brothers, is a grocery
store, meat locker, deer and game processor,
catering business, processor/distributor of meat
seasonings, and a trophy hunting guide service.
Ogden Hardware is now owned by the original
owners son, who returned from a high-paying job
in Colorado, to purchase and manage the Atkinson
A gazebo in a park-like setting and flags greeted
visitors to an area of Atkinson currently on the
Main Street architects drawing board for
A new sign graces the town entrance. It marks a
new beginning for Atkinson and serves as one of
many steps community citizens plan to take to
revitalize home.
Donor Perspective
  • Reinvestment through philanthropic efforts
  • Creates personal and community pride
  • Offers opportunities for youth and adults to stay
    in the community
  • Builds local business
  • Demonstrates citizens care about their
  • Creates a cycle of wealth
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