The 2014 Department of Health Report Socioeconomic Position in Washington states, “Many rural counties have larger proportions of people in poverty than the state as a whole.” It’s this disparity in opportunity and economic prosperity between urban and rural communities that have led state officials to try and bridge the gap for rural youth.

The Rural Pathways to Prosperity Conference is one step local leaders are taking to help rural youth access opportunities to help them succeed economically. Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council, Washington State University Extension, Career Connect Washington, Capital Region ESD113, Thurston County Chamber, Thurston Economic Development Council, and Yelm Community Schools are all partnering to host the conference.

The conference is being held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on May 9 at the Thurston EDC Center for Business & Innovation, South Puget Sound Lacey Campus.

Digitally delivered keynote speeches from Brent Parton, deputy director for the Center on Education and Skills, New America, and Chris Reykdal, superintendent, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), will be featured. Additionally, the event will offer networking opportunities with local employers and information on pathways to success. This event is intended to build on the Governor’s Summit on Career Connected Learning.

To register for the event, visit the registration page.