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Globalization and Restructuring in Rural America

A conference sponsored by USDA's Economic Research Service and Farm Foundation

This conference 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 typcially 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

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

 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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