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Abstract

Employment growth is a primary economic development goal of most small communities. More jobs generally mean more residents, more spending at local businesses, and more tax revenues for local governments. Thus job growth permits the expansion and improvement of public goods and services, leading to an improved local quality of life and enhanced prospects for future employment growth. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the principal advantages and disadvantages associated with alternative employment generation strategies. The discussion of community approaches to more and better jobs is organized as follows. First, two theories of community economic growth are presented as background to the causes and effects of local employment change. Second, six employment generation strategies are introduced along with suggested plans of action for communities interested in implementing a specific strategy. Finally, a procedure is provided for incorporating an employment generation program in the community economic development strategic plan.

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