ICYMI: Blue Dog Special Task Force on Rural America Hosts Panel Discussion on Strengthening the Rural Economy

Jun 7, 2018
Press Release

Yesterday, the Blue Dog Coalition’s Special Task Force on Rural America held its second panel discussion on rural issues. The Task Force met with representatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Midco, and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC of America) to discuss ways we can strengthen our nation’s rural economy. The panel discussion focused primarily on infrastructure and workforce needs that are unique to rural communities. Click here to watch the full event.

Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), Chairman of the Blue Dog Special Task Force on Rural America, issued the following statement:

“Our rural communities are made up of hardworking families, farmers, and small business owners that are often left out of the conversation here in Washington. That’s why when I came to Congress a year and a half ago, I made it my mission to give them a seat at the table. Our issues are different, and our challenges are real. Every weekend when I’m back in Arizona, I meet people who are working hard to start and grow their businesses, to bring their goods to bigger markets, and who want to see their communities thrive.

“I have long said that rural America is primed for revitalization. But policymakers across every level need to come together to understand and address the unique challenges and needs we face.

“This panel discussion focuses on the infrastructure and workforce needs of rural communities—issues that I hear about from every corner of my district. From communities and tribes who need updated water infrastructure; to rural schools who have a hard time attracting and retaining qualified, talented teachers—these issues affect the ability of rural America to thrive. These issues also affect the ability of entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses.

“This is the start of an important conversation, and one that I hope we can build momentum for as we look for bipartisan action in Congress.”