By Luke Mahin
Invitation to the Class of 2014
On behalf of Republic County Economic Development (RCED), I extend an invitation to all area graduates to consider, when you are ready, the opportunities we have here in Republic County. I would like to congratulate the Pike Valley and Republic County High School graduating classes of 2014. I would like to congratulate as well, all of our alumni who are graduating with post-secondary degrees in 2014.
RCED believes everyone should strive to attain a post-secondary education, whether that is at a tech school, trade school, junior college or a university. We encourage you to see and experience new places, meet new people, and learn as much as you can after high school. That way, if you return, you will know for certain that this where you want to be. You will also bring back an array of skills, knowledge, and connections that can benefit your community because of your experiences.
Our schools claim many accomplished alumni who display an unmatched work ethic and high values in their chosen fields. You don’t have to look far in Republic County and across the U.S. to find them making a positive impact in their industry or community. I would like to tip my hat to those who are “rural by choice” and have bucked the brain drain trend in moving back. There is a movement of PowerUps (www.ruralbychoice.com) who are 21-39 year olds that are changing stereotypes across Kansas, proving you can be successful AND live in a rural community.
Yes, some of these alumni were fortunate to make returning home a quick and harmless transition. While others are pioneering their way back, working odd jobs to grow roots, waiting for that opportunity to create their own business, or patiently waiting until that career opportunity arises.
This is an exciting time for Republic County: young people are exploring opportunities back home, new housing is being developed, people are more mobile due to telecommuting, businesses are transitioning to younger owners, and we have strong industries like agriculture and manufacturing seeing growth.
As young people are returning remember they will be our future business, agriculture, arts, civic, and family leaders. Many volunteer lead groups and communities follow the 80/20 rule where eighty percent of the committees are led by twenty percent of the people. I can name more than a few people in the county that serve on five or more boards. We need more leaders from all ages to help lighten that load of civic responsibility for these saintly community leaders.
For those looking for fresh ideas empower young people any chance you can. They want to be involved but many have never been asked. Ask them what brought them back, about their needs, what they would change, and how you can help. People that have opportunities to invest their time in a community are more likely to stay and support that community.
If you would like stay updated on RCED news find us at www.republiccountykasnas.com. Feel free to contact the RCED office if you need job listings, housing, business resources, or community information at 785-374-3047 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of luck to the Class of 2014!
Please contact RCED so we can highlight accomplishments of local alumni in the future (this includes those who live in Republic County!). If you are an alumnus that is interested in future opportunities in Republic County please fill out this form so we can target you for career or housing opportunities.
*We promise to only provide periodic updates on opportunities, for frequent updates follow our social media outlets.