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The question is: How do we bring those jobs to the countryside ?
To stop the outmigration, it is estimated that we will need 555,000 new jobs a year in rural America, or in cities within easy commuting distance of rural areas. This means a business investment of $5.5 billion a year. Most of this money must come from private industry and, of course, the investor must have sound economic reasons for locating in rural areas.
Some of the advantages of rural industrial location are obvious: abundant space, moderate land costs, easy commuting, clean air, plenty of water, an eager labor pool, a welcoming community, and, in many instances, adequate transportation and communication facilities.
But, industry needs more specific incentives to break the traditional attitude about location.
I have recommended a serious study of possible tax incentives to encourage location of plants and facilities in rural areas. I have also suggested a review of the policy of awarding Government contracts and of building public facilities as another possible means of dispersing people and opportunity to smaller communities wherever feasible.
As yet we have neither. But we do have other tools to build a rural America that will attract industry and jobs.
We know that without an industrial tax base, many individual rural communities cannot afford the adequate resource planning, utility systems, educational systems, health facilities, community facilities, recreation and cultural opportunities that industry seeking a new location wants.
The circle can be endlessly self-defeating. Communities that need industry cannot afford to provide industry with what industry needs.
But we know now—as we have seen in the Little River showcasethat all levels of government, working together with the private sector, can overcome this problem.
We know that a group of neighboring counties—bound together by traditional trade patterns—can pool their skills and resources to develop a multicounty unit that can, with planning and program assistance, develop the accommodations, facilities, and services that are attractive to industry. The USDA, HUD, and EDA are all working to encourage adoption of the multicounty approach wherever it is feasible.
Planning is paramount in the development of such units, howerer, and up to now this has been difficult without supporting legislation that would provide professional counsel and assist in funding. Now before the Congress is a measure that would make it possible for the Federal Government to assist multicounty development planning. I speak of the proposed amendment to section 701 of the Housing Act, contained in H.R. 8068 and introduced by the Honorable Wright Patman.
Once a multicounty unit has been developed, its resources catalogued and its needs determined, the many programs of the many departments and agencies of the Federal Government can be brought to bear on the total problem of economic development with much more dispatch and efficiency.
But even while we await the full-fledged development of multicounty units throughout the Nation, the USDA is continuing to serve the cause of rural development with a number of programs aimed at increasing jobs and economic opportunity.
This year alone, the Farmers Home Administration will finance about $282 million in loans and $24 million in grants for the construction or improvement of approximately 1,700 central water or waste disposal systems and will provide approximately $4.5 million for 300 planning grants for community water and sewer systems. FHA will also finance approximately 200 community-sponsored rural recreation centers with about $29 million in loan funds.
The Rural Electrification Administration will provide $353 million in financing for rural electric coops in fiscal 1967, and an additional $101 million for rural telephone facilities. REA will continue to work with its more than 1,900 rural electric and telephone borrowers to help them stimulate economic development in the 2,700 counties in which they now serve, and the bulk of this assistance will be directed toward creating new industries and businesses in rural areas.
Recreation-another positive influence in sparking economic activity and creating new jobs in rural America is the growing need for outdoor recreation. The USDA estimates that 200,000 full-time jobs could be created in our small cities and open countryside by 1980 if we are to meet the expanding public demand for outdoor fun.
What are USDA agencies doing to meet this need and help create new jobs? During 1967, our Soil Conservation Service expects to provide technical help to an additional 20,000 landowners and operations in the establishment of income-producing recreation enterprises, and expects to provide the following community facilities through its watershed protection and flood prevention program: 1. Approve the construction of 170 recreation developments, providing 42,000 surface areas of water for swimming, fishing, hunting on 10 million annual visitor days of recreation; 2. approve an additional 60 projects with installations specifically for fish and wildlife programs.
The Forest Service, in 1967, expects to develop 295 additional recreation sites, provide opportunities to accommodate an anticipated 180 million visitor days of outdoor recreation in the national forests-an increase of 10 million over last year—and develop existing national recreation areas administered by the Forest Service and some 40 key recreation sites as additional National Forest Service attractions.
It is difficult to determine with complete accuracy what these and other USDA programs mean and I might add, Mr. Chairman, in the field of housing and a host of other programs which I am sure this committee will probe, there are a number of other activities which I do not list here today, but adding all of these up, in round figures we estimate that they meant more than 700,000 jobs in 1965 and more than 800,000 jobs in 1966. This includes direct impact--the jobs developed to carry out USDA projects—and the indirect impact—the creation of new jobs through economic development inspired by USDA projects.
Mr. Chairman, this is but a selective sampling of the efforts the USDA has been making and will continue to make to spearhead the campaign to build a vigorous new rural America.
The USDA recognizes its key role and its heavy responsibility in this campaign, and pledges its personnel and its resources to the task.
This Nation is at a crucial moment of decision, a moment when we must recognize once and for all that there are no exclusively urban problems, no exclusively rural problems. There are only national problems that require united efforts to bring about national solutions.
Once again, I thank you for the opportunity to appear before you and I earnestly solicit your advice, your help, and your encouragement in the monumental task we have before us.
Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. (The narrative referred to concerning Lower Collins Community, Warren County, Tenn., follows:)
RURAL AREAS DEVELOPMENT—LOWER COLLINS COMMUNITY-WARREN
COUNTY, TENNESSEE Man by rubble.-We illustrated for you RAD activities brought about in an entire county with the aid of government programs provided by the Congress over the past six to seven years—now I would like to show you the dramatic change taking place in a small rural community. The Lower Collins area in the eastern section of Warren County, Tennessee contains two towns: Campaign, population 100 and Rock Island, population 150. Interspersed between these towns and about the community back in 1961 were some farms and a few rural residences.
Long low building.–This old lumber shed near Campaign was about the only industry in the community in 1961.
Close-up of old house.--There was some company-type housing still being used and left over from the days of the Rocky River Coal and Lumber Companynow defunct.
Street in Campaign.—This street scene in Campaign showed little in the way of business activity.
Small building and flag.—Here is the post office for the town of Campaign.
Building destroyed by fire.-There was little or no fire protection in Lower Collins. When a home, business or other building caught on fire, it usually burned to the ground. One of the major problems in Lower Collins was the lack of water. Digging a well didn't serve the purpose as the water was hard to find, of poor quality, and often polluted. Consequently, the Lower Collins area had been going backwards for years. People moved to other places in search of jobs and opportunities.
TAP in session.--The people that stayed in Lower Collins and Warren County recognized that something had to be done if the area was to come back to life. They formed Rural Areas Development committees, organized their Chamber of Commerce on a county rather than town-wide basis, and activated their Technical Action Panel consisting of local USDA representatives and those of other agencies in the area. The local rural electric and telephone co-op added a RAD specialist to their staff.
Man in blue suit.--Their TAP panel is chaired by George Lewis, FHA county supervisor, and includes such people as the Manager, Chamber of Commerce.
Lady with glasses.—The local director of the Tennessee Department of Employment Security. ..
Blue suit and glasses. The County Office Manager for the Agriculture Conservation Stabilization Service.
Suit.-The Manager, Caney Fork Electric Cooperative...
Newspaper Office.--Rural Areas Development in the Lower Collins community and all of Warren County received the active support of the local newspaper (Southern Standard) and three radio stations. They made headline news of each rural development activity.
Four men holding banner.-In 1963, local leaders made their first move to ohtain good water by forming the Lower Collins Public Utility District of Warren County, Tennessee.
Contract.--They drew up a water subscription contract and canvassed the community for support.
Two men.—The county judge helped the group get started.
Ad in paper.--- In accordance with State Law they published in the local newspaper their petition to form a water district.
Pipe along road.-In December 1963, they received a $285,000 FHA loan.
Pipe along road.-Water was purchased from McMinnville—the county-seat town and trading center. About 32 miles of pipeline was required to serve 340 water users -1,625 persons.
Two men by tank.—The community water system began operation July 1, 1964less than seven months after the loan was made. Now water tanks dot the area.
Tank by hospitalServing businesses, small industries and homes. Two FHA subsequent loans have been made since the initial loan to expand the water system and add customers.
Map.—There are now five rural water systems financed with FHA loans totaling $1.4 million. Like spokes from the hub of a wheel, they fan out from McMinnville, serving 7,000 rural water users in Warren County.
Golf course.-Recognizing that recreation was an important inducement in keeping people and attracting new business, Warren Countians built a new nine hole golf course. It was financed by private subscription and a loan. They hope to expand the course to 18 holes by 1968.
Man by waterway.-Soil Conservation Service assisted by locating the site for the dam and seven-acre lake, running an engineering survey to determine the size of dam and spillway, and furnishing technical advice on the seeding of greens, roughs, and fairways. Bass in the lake run as large as seven pounds.
Four people on green.--This slide taken two weeks ago shows teenagers from the local high school celebrating the beginning of vacation by playing a round of golf. Corker DeLoach-putting—was the Tennessee High School State golfing champion and received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Houston this fall.
Four people by building.–From the very beginning, George Lewis, FHA county supervisor, left, County Judge L. H. Barnes, Mrs. McGregor, her assistant, Roscoe Miller of the Employment Security Office and other local leaders have realized that industry was needed to support their rural county.
Lady by Tennessee map.- Local leaders were successful in securing a new State Area Vocational Technical School. It is served by the Lower Collins water system.
Siv people by building.–The school is integrated and students are of all ages.
Drafting room.-Classes are conducted in mechanical drawing, drafting, office work, machine shop, auto mechanics, woodworking, electricity, welding, advanced electronics, and practical nursing.
Machine shop. Classes for persons enrolled under the Manpower Development and Training Act are conducted at night. Since June 1963 440 people in the area have been enrolled in 22 classes under the MDTA program.
Three people outside building.–Students usually find a job waiting for them after graduation. One local employer is the new Century Electric Plant which manufactures small motors and employs 800 people in three shifts.
Man at machine.-Charley King, age 35, 4th grade education, father of five children, attended MDTA school, now earns $1.80 an hour at Century Electric operating a four-spindle precision boring machine. He recently received an FHA rural housing loan to build a new three-bedroom home.
Plating company.—This plating company, a new industry, established in the Lower Collins community because of the water system.
Inside plating company. It uses a tremendous amount of water in the electroplating process. An $8,000 FHA subsequent loan financed running a line to the plant. Plant and equipment are valued at about $100,000.
Four men in front of building.—The Tennessee Metal Fabricating Company located near Campaign in August 1965 after the Lower Collins water system was installed.
Four men with steel trusses. The small industry employs 15 men and has a weekly payroll of over $1,500. Skilled labor at this plant received up to $7.50 an hour.
Tuo men with ladder and tank.-The plant does contract work for the Space Center at Huntsville, Alabama, and the Arnold Engineering Development Center at Tullahoma, Tennessee. Some of the men that have worked at this plant learned their welding and machine work skills under the Manpower Development and Training Act. Members of the community who had gone to seek employment in Nashville and States as far away as California returned to Warren County and jobs at the Tennessee Fabricating Company.
Building in final construction stage.—The Warren County Shirt Company was established on a rural industrial site near Campaign and began operations in July 1966, because water was available. FHA made a $14,000 subsequent loan to Lower Collins to finance piping water to the plant.
Two men by fire plug.-A 12-inch water main was installed to adequately pressure the plant's fire-control sprinkler system. This cut the company's insurance costs by 70 percent.
Sign and plant.-The plant covers nearly 43,000 square feet of floor space (about an acre) and was financed with a $200,000 SBA loan. Plant and equipment are valued at over $300,000.
Inside plant.--It is fully air-conditioned and features modern equipment and lighting.
Lady by machine.-The plant's payroll totals $10,000 a week. All of the 202 employees of the Warren Shirt Company including the management come from Lower Collins and surrounding communities.
Two men and lady by machine.--Like many families in the Lower Collins area, Mrs. Al Stotts and her husband live on a small farm in a modern three-bedroom home financed with FHA funds. House payments total $50 monthly. Her earnings at Warren Shirt Company total $200 monthly.
Man with shirts.-The plant turns out 500 dozen shirts weekly under the trade mark "Fruit of the Loom".
Men by building.–The Lower Collins community now has a modern store and gasoline service station .
White building.–And a new laundromat ..
Building under construction.-A new eight-classroom elementary school scheduled for opening this fall (September 1967) and financed with a $315,000 bond issue
White frame building.–Will replace this wooden frame structure behind the Warren Shirt Company.
Building with hospital sign.-A new 54-bed hospital now serves the Lower Collins area and Warren County. It was constructed with the aid of $520,000 in Hill-Burton funds.
Three men in field.—Five new greenhouses are under construction. Water will be provided by Lower Collins.
Irrigation of orchard.—There are over 100 nurseries and some orchards served by the Lower Collins and other FHA-financed water systems in Warren County.
Three men by fence.-Local leaders are now negotiating with a large nationwide metal fabricating company to establish a new plant on this 300-acre rural industrial site.
Field.-Securing the plant will bring 1,500 new jobs to the area. REA co-op electricity and telephone, plus natural gas, a good highway and railroad line are already available on the site. A 12-inch water main capable of providing one million gallons of water per day will be installed.
Church under construction.-Construction is underway on this modern new church (Church of God) which will be served by the Lower Collins water system.
New church.-Within a half-mile is Friendship Baptist Church served by Lower Collins.
New building.—This new building on Lower Collins serves as the cafeteria for the Church of God summer camp.
Men on construction site.-Once a water line goes down the road, new homes soon follow. This has been proved over and over in Warren County.
House under construction.-Land values triple along the water lines.
Jan digging trench.–Since the Lower Collins system was installed, nearly 100 new homes with a value of over $1 million have been built. As estimated 150 older homes have been remodeled to add bathrooms and running water.
Man laying blocks.-House construction and other building activity have stimulated employment and provided needed jobs for carpenters, plumbers, brick layers and other laborers.