Thursday, September 3, 2009

Putting young folks to work with stimulus funds in Arizona

Listen to this NPR marketplace report out of Coconino County, Arizona, population 126,087. A group there called Coconino Rural Environment Corps is making use of federal stimulus dollars to build and improve trails and maintain habitat in national forests and other public lands in and around the Grand Canyon. Many of those benefiting are in a demographic group hard hit by the recession, those aged 15-25. Here's an excerpt that quotes one of the crew supervisors regarding the local impact of the program:
So providing jobs and job training opportunities for that age group specifically helps stimulate the economy through their spending. And the side effects of that are the work that gets performed on public lands that help to enrich recreational experiences for tourists and hopefully thereby stimulating the tourist industry, which is a huge piece of the local economy.
Listen to Kai Ryssdal's full story here.

Coconino County is metropolitan, though it graduated to that designation only in the last census and previously had been designated nonmetropolitan. The county is nevertheless "rural" by some measures. Covering almost 19,000 square miles, it is the second largest county in the country in terms of land area, and its population density is just 6.2 per square mile.

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