Volume XVI | Issue 2 | Fall 2016
Cover Story

Vital rural economies take a long-term view

Incentive-based business attraction strategies like the ones employed by the Central Oregon region to attract Facebook data centers are a favorite economic development tool for many communities. Data centers may well be a win for some rural areas, but there are not enough to bring prosperity to all. Plus, incentives don’t always work out. In 2002, Dell opened a much-anticipated call center in Roseburg, drawn by generous incentives. Five years later, the call center abruptly closed its doors, leaving 220 Douglas County residents without jobs. 

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Community Vitality is a storytelling publication published since 2000. Send article ideas, questions or requests for past issues to communityvitality@tfff.org.

© 2000-2021 The Ford Family Foundation. Anne Kubisch, President; Mandy Elder, Editor; Megan Monson, Assistant Editor

Vital rural economies take a long-term view

When Facebook announced last year that it was building its third data center in Prineville, adding hundreds of more jobs to the 147 it already created, the region’s vigorous efforts to attract...  Read More

WealthWorks: Boosting rural economies

A group promoting a regional approach to boosting rural economies is WealthWorks. Originally formed in Appalachia, it has spread across the country to other rural areas. It aims to advance a region’s...  Read More

Start a Cash Mob in your town

One of Paulette C. Roden-Jones’ favorite Cash Mob visits was to the Myrtle Creek Saw Shop. “That mob blew our mobsters minds,” says Roden-Jones. “They had no idea our saw shop carried Carrhart...  Read More

The Umpqua Story Project: Many acts of kindness

The Umpqua Story Project was formed in the weeks after the shooting on Oct. 1, 2015, at Umpqua Community College.   The creative and experimental project sought ways to provide healing to affected...  Read More

Euvalcree: Accent on leadership

Symbols, like photographs, can be worth many words. When the nonprofit group Euvalcree of Ontario, Oregon, adopted a winged beacon as its logo in November 2014, the message was as clear as a speech...  Read More

Growth-from-within transformation

What do The LEGO Movie and the Ford Institute’s approach to community building have in common? Lots, according to the Foundation’s first Community Building Approach (CBA) working group. As the 13...  Read More

Still in circulation: Libraries adapt

In a corner wing, preschoolers and their parents gather for story time, awash in pirate tales. It’s the same site where, earlier, children with autism or Down syndrome giggled and clapped as they...  Read More

Putting a price on libraries

There’s a heavy dependence on local public funding, says a consultant, “and sometimes it’s not transparent to the public how important that funding is.”  Read More

Coordination for home visiting

When it comes to strengthening families and improving the health of women and young children, home visiting is a proven strategy. Programs are voluntary and serve families from diverse backgrounds...  Read More

Ford Scholar: Justice and opportunity

Leif Coorlim says there are two clear themes in his work as an executive editor at CNN: justice and opportunity. Whether uncovering evidence of human trafficking in the southern United States or...  Read More

Theaters: Restoring the past

When the Ross Ragland Theater opened its newly renovated doors in March 1989, it gave the town of Klamath Falls more than a new entertainment venue. The Art Deco theater, built in 1940, quickly...  Read More

Grant writing: Getting a fair share for rural

When it comes to securing their share of federal grant dollars, rural communities are lagging far behind their urban counterparts.  Consider this: In the most recent federal fiscal year, the federal...  Read More

Book review: What leads to success?

Community building is a complex process with a lot of moving parts. It helps to know what has worked. Many people start by doing extensive research into what has worked in similar towns, but doing...  Read More

Foundation team grows

Our team is growing. Six new employees have filled newly created positions.  Kathleen Flanagan is a program officer for Community Economic Development. Flanagan comes to the Foundation from the...  Read More

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