Education Key to a Sustainable Rural Future

Education Key to a Sustainable Rural Future

by Jason T. Kessler
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Leveraging #education to drive economic growth in #rural communities @ncnewschools via @CSRwire #CSR

Multimedia from this Release

Students from Hertford County pose with Jason Kessler after presenting at a local event celebrating the district’s participation in the Rural Innovative Schools initiative. The event showcased the 170 students who had a 99 percent success rate in courses taken through Roanoke-Chowan Community College, East Carolina University Second Life program and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro iSchools.

Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 12:30pm

CAMPAIGN: Education for a Sustainable Future


Parents raising children in rural areas across the United States do not need a study of job opportunities close to home to tell them that employment prospects for their children are bleak. Unless systematic changes in rural economic development take place, the next generation will be forced to move away or face little chance of finding jobs that provide wages high enough to sustain a comfortable lifestyle. 

These parents have lived through dramatic changes in the economic fabric of rural America during the past twenty years. They’ve seen firsthand how global competition in manufacturing and the flight of the brightest minds to metropolitan areas have combined to devastate their communities, leaving behind low-skilled, low-paying jobs and a thirst for talented entrepreneurs whose skills could possibly create new industry to revitalize the sagging economies. The rural life of earlier decades is no longer sustainable.

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Jason T. Kessler is director of community development for NC New Schools/Breakthrough Learning. He has worked in community engagement and advocacy for 16 years, in addition to spending ten years as a social studies teacher in Ohio and North Carolina. Kessler holds a graduate degree in public administration and resides in rural eastern North Carolina with his wife and daughter.

CATEGORY: Education