Campus News

View Year

Booming Success: Expert Offers Keys to Economic Development in Small Towns

(Posted March 26, 2007)

Jack Schultz

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- An expert in small-town economic development will lecture at Juniata College at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 5 in Sill Board Room in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus. Jack Schultz is the author of \"Boom Town USA: The 7 1/2 Keys to Big Success in Small Towns,\" which also is the title of Schultz\' presentation on Thursday. Schultz will give his talk to business leaders in Huntingdon and to the general public. Tickets are free, but required, so Juniata can determine seating options for the presentation. The presentation is sponsored by Mutual Benefit Group, Huntingdon County Business and Industry, and Juniata College. There will be a reception, with refreshments, at 6 p.m. in the Pheasant Lounge, which is adjacent to the Sill Board Room on the second floor of the science center. Schultz\' presentation is roughly one hour, followed by 30 minutes of question and answer. Schultz will share the keys to small-town success, which include: (1) Adopt a can-do attitude; (2) Shape your vision; (3) Leverage your resources; (4) Raise up strong leaders; (5) Encourage and entrepreneurial approach; (6) Maintain local control; (7) Build your brand; and (7.5) Embrace the teeter-totter factor. Schultz founded the Boomtown Institute in 2006. He also is the CEO and founder of Agracel Inc, a development firm that has completed building projects in 12 states. Shultz says the company\'s mission is to develop businesses in rural communities and keep wealth and prosperity in hometowns. Schultz published \"Boomtown USA\" to mentor towns and cities that currently face growth issues. Schultz researched the book by studying towns and cities across the country. He evaluated 15,800 communities, ranging in population from 190 to 52,000, which were outside metropolitan areas. Schultz calls these towns \"agurbs,\" which means small towns in rural America having the potential for successful markets. Schultz calls the top 100 \"agurbs\" in the United States \"Golden Eagles.\" \"Hometown entrepreneurs are the new paradigm shift in economic development. Less time should be spent on going after the big elephant companies, and more time should be spent on developing entrepreneurial communities,\" Schultz said in a recent newspaper article. Agracel, which is in Effingham, Ill., recruits manufacturing and high-tech businesses to small towns. Schultz started his Boomtown idea by revitalizing his hometown of Effingham. When the city of 34,000 people lost major manufacturers, Schultz led an effort to build the Effingham Railroad, which was a secondary line connecting two major rail lines. As a result, Krispy Kreme, the national doughnut chain, built its manufacturing facility in the town.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.