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Keywords

Sociology

Abstract

In declining population regions, such as much of the rural Great Plains, many rural communities are competing for both employment opportunities and people to fill the work-force needs. While the former (jobs) has been traditionally emphasized in community development efforts, it is increasingly evident that new resident recruitment and retention is just as critical, if not more, to community sustainability. As part of a larger study of new resident migration into Nebraska’s Panhandle region, the purpose of this study was to explore new resident recruitment and retention patterns perceptions and development strategies from both sides of the market—the demand side (new residents) and the supply/provider side (communities marketing themselves as a desirable places to live). Using an iterative Delphi survey process of community practitioners, with input fed into the analysis from new-resident focus group findings, we were able to assess current market performance in terms of the relative effectiveness of new resident recruitment and retention programs and draw implications for future improvement.

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