Ben Winchester Shares the Good News on the Future of Rural Communities

The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine invites you to hear Ben Winchester, a national keynote speaker, researcher and rural sociologist speak on March 26, 2020.  His presentation is titled “The Future of Rural Communities – Moving In, Moving Out, Staying Put, and Moving Over.”

Ben has worked in and for small towns across the Midwest since 1997. As Research Fellow for the Center for Community Vitality, Ben manages evaluation studies that monitor the effectiveness and outcomes of leadership, civic engagement, and community economics programs.

Ben will be speaking about the future of rural communities.  You will learn:

         Why it’s a rural “brain gain” not “brain drain”.
         How the heartland is changing, and we need to change our narrative to reflect the good news!
         There is workforce housing available, we just have to be strategic. 

Learn how positive changes around community involvement, economic development, and regional living have been occurring across the rural landscape that requires us to rewrite the narrative of rural community change.

There’s a wave of change coming to rural America – people are moving in, moving out, staying put, and moving over resulting in major demographic shifts that will forever change the face of rural communities and have far-reaching consequences. During the next 20 years, we are poised to welcome in a whole new generation of residents as nearly three-quarters of our owner-occupied housing will turn over as seniors and baby boomers move out. A broad examination of the trends related to these moves – such as workforce housing, a tight labor market, and changing residential preferences – will be discussed.

Cindy Mays, Market President for MidWest One Bank in West Liberty, has attended Ben’s session and says this, “Both entertaining and thought-provoking. Make time to hear Ben’s presentation—it will change how you think.”

Dr. Naomi DeWinter, President of Muscatine Community College, has also heard Ben speak and noted, “Ben was filled with practical ideas and data. He spoke about housing and especially, senior housing, in a way that seemed actionable. He gave a sense of excitement for rural towns in Iowa – we can thrive if the entire community comes together.”


Who Should Attend:  Area Leaders, Influencers, and Interested Community Members

When:  Thursday, March 26th from 11 am to 1 pm.  A box lunch will be served.

Where:  Muscatine Community College Little Theater Strahan Hall—152 Colorado St., Muscatine

Cost:  There is no cost to attend.  The event is being paid for by the Community Foundation.

RSVP Required:  Email to reserve your seat or call 563-264-3863 by Monday, March 23rd.

Bob Roach Little Theatre • 152 Colorado St • Muscatine, Iowa
This event occurs in the past
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
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