RURAL PARTNERS

Community Development Resource Program

Project Overview
In this program, a communities development priorities are matched with the goals listed below that indicate issues vital to the success of communities in realizing their growth and vitality in Illinois. Once priority goals are identified, Rural Partners works to match the community with the resources and services available through collaboration with other members. A participating communities progress in this project is determined by their realization of objectives for each goal defined in the Building a Brighter Future publication of Rural Partners and the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University.

 

Leadership Development Goals:

  • Local leader possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to make effective decisions about the future of their communities and are engaged in the rural development process
  • Rural youth are included in the community and economic development efforts providing them with opportunities to develop leadership skills.
  • Community leadership development efforts in the public and private sectors are closely coordinated.
  • Rural leaders have access to effective leadership training and capacity building programs
  • Systematic efforts assess the capacity of governments and citizens groups to undertake community and economic development projects.
  • Community and economic development efforts include a method(s) for sustaining an effective leadership components.

 

Economic Vitality Goals:

  • A skilled and adaptive workforce possessing a balanced set of basic skills, professional or managerial skills and entrepreneurial talents.
  • Rural areas have a basic and advanced infrastructure including public services, transportation facilities, and communication technologies to support local production and export-related activities.
  • Rural entrepreneurs have access to and knowledge of creative or innovative funding strategies. Examples include: adequate access to capital for business start-ups; expansion of young companies; expansion of existing firms, and export opportunities. Also needed are modernization strategies for firms seeking to finance new technology for products or processes, workforce improvements or marketing efforts to maintain overall competitiveness.
  • Rural areas have adequate access to technology and business modernization resources such as current product and process technologies, applied research leading to new local (product or process) innovations and basic research in multidisciplinary fields offering economic potential to be competitive globally.
  • Rural communities have adequate resources to capture the economic and social benefits of local tourism.
  • Illinois residents and policy makers are better informed about community and economic development goals of rural areas.
  • A pro-competitive business climate encourages prudent use of tax dollars (e.g. education, transportation, research), stable tax rates and competitive tax burdens among jurisdictions
  • Economic development recognizes the preservation and advancement of social, cultural, and physical amenities essential to a high quality of life.

 

Quality of Life Goals:

  • Rural communities are committed to the future growth and well-being of more productive, responsible, and value oriented families and children.
  • Rural public leaders and officials are skilled at assessing local needs and creatively seeking appropriate financing from public and private agencies (e.g. grants/loans, conventional credit, partnerships and other sources).
  • The State of Illinois recognizes the hardships created by unfunded mandates on units of local governments and aggressively works to provide solutions for rural areas.
  • Broad inter-community, inter-governmental cooperation to maximize economic benefits from development projects that would otherwise exclude some rural areas underway across Illinois .
  • Effective and efficient units of government in rural areas are created through careful analysis and/or reorganization whereby impediments for economic development are removed and duplication of public services is minimized.
  • Rural Illinois residents have access to activities bringing cultural enrichment and exposure to the arts.
  • Statewide development of “safe-community” plans are developed through coordinated efforts, consistent with state and regional policies, and are driven by standard measures for law enforcement effectiveness.
  • Broad inter-community, inter-governmental cooperation to maximize economic benefits from development projects that would otherwise exclude some rural areas.
  • Effective and efficient units of government in rural areas are created through careful analysis and/or reorganization whereby impediments for economic development are removed and duplication of public services is minimized.
  • Rural Illinois residents have access to activities bringing cultural enrichment and exposure to the arts.
  • Key historic and cultural landmarks depicting early American architecture, heritage, and cultural themes pertaining to specific ethnic groups are preserved and promoted in rural Illinois.
  • Cooperative planning between public and private rural leaders to maintain a balance between the utilization and preservation of natural resources.
  • Affordable housing for all rural residents including individuals with special needs, is available.

 

Homeland Security Goals:

  • Rural Residents are informed of statewide and county security efforts that ensure public health and safety. Rural community leaders and residents are familiar with statewide and county agencies that provide contact information relating to public health and safety issues, as well as programs and services providing relief following a natural disaster or other catastrophic events.
  • Rural communities officials are aware of existing health and safety strategic plans for their communities.