Globalization and Restructuring in Rural America

Globalization and Restructuring in Rural America, a June 2005 conference sponsored USDA’s Economic Research Service and Farm Foundation, examined the technological breakthroughs, changing consumer preferences and trade liberalization transforming how and where products are made. A critical policy challenge is finding ways to smooth the progress of structural change while enhancing the productive potential of workers and rural communities facing local economic contraction.

This conference focused on the circumstances of rural areas that are typically more reliant on trade-sensitive sectors, and where economies are less diversified than in urban locales. Participants–community leaders, policy officials, program administrators and researchers–gained a broader understanding of how global economic forces impact rural communities, and how government responses might assist in economic restructurings.

Betsy Kuhn, Director, Food and Rural Economics Division, USDA’s Economic Research Service
Walter Armbruster, Farm Foundation
The Issue and its Rural Context
Stephen MacDonald, USDA’s Economic Research Service
Assessing the Benefits and Distributional Costs of Globalization:|Robert Thompson, University of Illinois
The Rural Context of Restructuring from Globalization: Tim Wojan, USDA’s Economic Research Service
Discussant: Leslie Hossfeld, Institute for Emerging Issues, North Carolina State University
How Rural Workers and Industries are Affected by Globalization
Import Penetration in Traditional Rural Manufacturing Industries:  Jean Crews-Kelin, North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center
Displacement of Textile and Apparel Workers: Karen Hamrick, USDA’s Economic Research Service
Discussant: Mark Henry, Clemson University
The Case of Offshoring Services
Globalization and the New Economy in Rural America:Martin Kenney, University of California-Davis
Which Jobs are Most Vulnerable to Offshoring: Jon Sargent and Chester Levine, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Current U.S. Programs
Erin FitzGerald, U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration
Dolores Esser, Commissioner, Virginia Employment Commission
Bill Hagy, Deputy Administrator, Business Programs, USDA Rural Development-Rural Business Programs
Local Strategies for Responding to Restructuring
Modernization and Increasing Competitiveness:Jan Youtie, Georgia Institute of Technology
Promoting Distinctiveness through Design: Stuart Rosenfeld, Regional Technology Strategies
The Role of Entrepreneurship: Deborah Markley, RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
Policy Recommendations and Future Research Directions
Thomas Vollrath, USDA’s Economic Research Service
Randy Johnson, Commissioner, Hennepin County, Minn.
Howard Rosen, Trade Adjustment Assistance Coalition
Walt Armbruster, Farm Foundation


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