Has your area grown in the last 100 years? Areas across the United States have not grown in population for more than 100 years, as rural communities have struggled how to address economic development, create more of a workforce and build population. We've learned that a community has a personality just as an individual does and to change how it looks at the world requires time, persistence, and a willingness to change the way they look at things.
Our experience tells us it takes at least a three-year commitment to change a community's personality and outlook. These super-fun, interesting processes are critical building blocks to begin a steady, consistent, long-term relationship-building, image-changing, sustainable plan to grow rural areas. Great benefits come for rural areas in this bottoms-up approach to community growth through building and strengthening relationships within and between communities!
Relationship Economic Development WUCA!-izes communities to:
- prepare for newcomers,
- learn skills to talk through community issues that positively guide the future,
- learn more about their own area - how each community is unique and complements one another,
- identify, invite, and welcome those from around the globe who want to live in rural areas, and
- grow populations and business sectors.
This 24+-hr classroom experience is available for up to 25 community members per class. This in-depth walk through our book and its exercises, The Be WUCA! Way, The ART of getting along, seeks to ingrain soft skills that lead to workforce and people engagement. When people truly walk this lifestyle, their personal and professional environments and relationships will change. When perceptions change, behavior changes, one person at a time. We recommend that a notable number of the starting class is selected from service sector employees in convenience stores and restaurants. These front-line managers and service industry professionals are often the front-door to any community and the impression a visitor/potential new business receives.
For faster results, we can train as many groups as desired.
Public Policy Institute
We’ll teach the art of deliberative dialogue to talk through wicked issues, not just about them – like school issues and immigration.
This powerful tool is the approach for schools, communities, business, families, and organizations to participate in the art of civic engagement in each school district. It’s powerful because dialogue includes the voices and values of all who want to participate – the more divergent, the more powerful. The outcome of these conversations will provide common ground to overcome school, workforce, and all critical community growth issues.
We’ve led hundreds of dialogues, including 108 separate ones in the four caucus/primary states. The report informed then-presidential candidates of citizen voice on healthcare and financial security.
We’ve written/helped write local and national issue books including county economic development, education, eminent domain and more. One we led with high school students on America’s Role in the World was included in the 50th anniversary of The Dartmouth Conference on U.S./Russia relations.
Professional Development for School Staff / community/Kickoff Back-to-School Speaker
Lead the year with a one-day training The Be WUCA! Way. This will set the stage for expectations and opportunities during the school year to impact thousands between staff, administration, students, and families.
Held in each community of the school district, these dialogues will focus on workforce development and community growth. Using their training from the Public Policy Institute (above), community members will be able to co-moderate, record, observe, and be part of writing the report from value-based conversations that seek win-win outcomes, that, again, talk through issues, not just about them. This training will equip citizens on how to tackle the tough issues they face.
Community Builders – March-September/October
Community Builders is a fast, easy, super-fun way to change the environment of an area. From the March kickoff meeting through community tours and educational components during April/May – October, we’ll focus on technology infrastructure the first year in each area. This process allows communities to dig deep into their area and showcase what makes them proud.
We’ll repeat each year with a different focus, and beyond, if desired. It’s critical for sustainability and new ideas to bring in new people each year to create the town tours and to continue changing the culture through what is learned.
Years Two & Three begin the cycle again, with new professional development topics, participants, and more intentional connection with entrepreneurship in the school districts to impact student achievement and outcomes for students and communities.
Individual business session: Employees Leave Managers, Not Companies
This one-day session is designed to present a core WUCA! message for employee engagement and application for increased workplace productivity, customer service, and expansion.
Coaching in the Classroom (CIC): year-round
Global Horizons will be in the classroom once a week to focus on workforce development and entrepreneurship that nurtures great ideas from a student into potential businesses and connect them strongly with the business community. During three years at a rural Iowa school district, we reduced their high school “at-risk” population from 41% to 12% by teaching workplace skills.