The purpose of this study was to determine if workforce development has an impact on changing the economic growth of rural communities in the state of Florida. Currently there are no consistent strategies for developing workforce ready individuals in the many rural communities of the United States. This research provides data as a point of correlation for defining how workforce development affects the business opportunities for economic growth in rural communities in Florida. This study develops ideas regarding the impact of workforce development programs based on the two age categories of "45 and Under" and "Over 45", as this relates to the advancement of economic growth of rural communities in the state of Florida. Participants for this study were drawn from the members in the National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA). A researcher-designed questionnaire was used to determine self-reported viewpoints, divided by the two age categories above, regarding business, community, and workforce issues as related to economic development in rural communities that can be applied to the state of Florida. The results indicated that those National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA) members who self-identified in the researcher's survey as "45 and Under" and those who self-identified as "Over 45" recognize that (a) businesses have an influence on the workforce development levels in rural communities as this impacts economic development, (b) communities, themselves, have an influence on the workforce development levels in rural communities as this impacts economic development, and (c) community workforce development agencies and educational systems focused on developing workforce ready individuals within rural communities do have an impact on economic development.
|Subjects||Agronomy; Management; Business education|
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