A recent opinion piece in the New York Times gives a little hope to small rural communities. The author of the op-ed piece, Michele Anderson, recently moved back to rural Minnesota from Portland, Ore. She is a writer, musician and arts advocate. .
Anderson describes herself as a “homecomer,” but she feels conflicted about her role in Fergus Falls, Minn. She says she found that her homecoming story is not unique, citing that demographers noticed several years ago that a modest but persistent gain of people in their 30s and 40s are taking up residence in small communities.
Rural life, Anderson writes, can be stimulating and rewarding, a place for bold creativity. “I am more involved in politics, more outspoken about social and racial justice, economic development and feminism than I ever was in Portland.”
A recent Gallup poll, according to Anderson, found that though most Americans live in cities, given a choice they would prefer to live in rural areas.
Concordia needs to encourage its own “homecomers.” Perhaps, some organization like CloudCorp needs to reach out to former students who have elevated themselves to positions of responsibility in firms seeking to expand. They have benefitted from the local school system and need to be challenged to pay back to the community who gave them an education.
Concordia has much to offer “homecomers.” Concordia has prepared itself for growth with the community college, an outstanding school system, plentiful affordable housing, the Brown Grand Theatre, the Majestic Theatre, the National Orphan Train Museum, an outstanding public library and county museum and the Broadway Plaza, along with a municipal swimming pool, playgrounds, two parks, ball fields, tennis courts and a golf course.
Who knows, maybe a Linkedin connection might be the entrepreneur that the community so desperately needs.