An interesting - and perhaps chilling - article originally from the Kansas City Star that landed in the Idaho Statesman today:
The cost of gas is a huge threat to any situation that calls for commuting, especially lower wage jobs.... and one victim are rural communities. As the article suggests, this makes it all the more compelling to think entrepreneurship in rural Idaho. They quote Don Macke whose Center for Rural Entrepreneurship has developed a ton of powerful free tools that can be used -- they take a little training but there are two or three people already with this training & who could move this forward pretty quickly (some of you sat in on the Entrepreneurial Effect training while back).
There's also now an Entrepreneurship Development Committee in Region III chaired by Brandon Armstrong as paprt of Joe Herring's WIRED project; there's also of course the IRP's Entrepreneurship Task Force, chaired by Mike Field. In any event, isn't it time to start thinking more about this? Youth entrepreneurship is a good place to start - and we have started (like the IRP-backed H.S. entrepreneurship course this fall) and there are more opportunities we can explore right now (such as November's Global Entrepreneurship Week - more on that later!)
You'll find some additional useful resources on rural entrepreurship development at http://pronetos.com/disciplines/75 [thanks, Shane & Chris!] but read that article, whether linked here or in the Statesman.
Things may look bad - but the alchemy of entrepreneurship is turning threats into opportunities!