Introduction: Rural wealth creation as a sustainable economic development strategy
Many rural areas in the United States ﬁnd themselves struggling to build local assets and create wealth. They struggle to create economic activity on a par with their urban and suburban counterparts. The post-Great Recession rebound in employment experienced by both rural (nonmetro) and urban (metro) counties has now stagnated in nonmetro America with no net employment growth in 2012 and early 2013 (Kusmin, 2013). The earnings gap and higher rates of poverty and persistent poverty in rural vs. urban areas are increasingly permanent features of the rural landscape (Kusmin, 2013).