Many college graduates head for big cities like New York or Chicago after they graduate, although there may be some good reasons to consider less heavily populated regions as employment locations. For years rural areas have been losing its citizens to big cities, causing many smaller towns to decrease in population and having a severe negative impact on their economies. As a result, many rural areas are taking steps to prevent their citizens from leaving, and perhaps even attracting new inhabitants.
Kansas has recently implemented the Rural Opportunity Zones program, in which new full-time residents of the state are offered Kansas income tax waivers for a period of up to five years, providing that they live in of the 73 counties who are participating in the program. The majority of these counties are also offering student loan repayments up to $15,000.
Nebraska, which is located directly above Kansas, has also taken steps to attract more residents. The University of Nebraska has started an initiative it refers to as the Rural Sourcing Project. This undertaking outsources jobs to smaller towns throughout the state, instead of to major metropolitan areas. The Rural Sourcing Project was inspired by an Atlanta-based software development company called Xpanxion. Over the past six years Xpanxion has created about 100 jobs in Nebraska in an effort to attract skilled workers to small towns throughout the state. This has saved Xpanxion a great deal of money on labor expenses, since workers in Nebraska do not need to be paid as much as in Atlanta or the Silicon Valley. Likewise, workers benefit from the much lower cost of living, so it is a win-win situation. Xpanxion has since established a program with the Center for Rural Research and Development at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and with the university’s al umni association in an effort to recruit graduates. Today these programs are collectively known as the Rural Sourcing Project.
In addition to offering a lower cost of living, rural areas are also attractive because they have lower crime rates and less pollution than big cities. Many people also enjoy the charm of small towns. Large urban areas still offer many work opportunities, but job searches need not be restricted to big cities. If you need help finding a job, contact us today.