Residents of Emporia, Kansas, weren’t laughing when the satirical news site The Onion named it “best small town to escape from” in 2017. In fact, “brain drain” from rural areas has been a problem across the country for decades. But Emporia has a new plan that harks back to its business past, a railroad hub that helped spur a local manufacturing base. Thanks to an existing local fiber network and help from the Rural Innovation Initiative, Emporia is hoping to become a rural tech hub, with an incubator for entrepreneurs who will bring jobs to the area.
For small-town economic success, broadband is the new railroad
By Peggy Lowe • Apr 17, 2019