Midwest Governors Gather For Annual Meeting
GALENA, Ill. (AP) _ Revitalizing rural areas of the Midwest and marketing them to the rest of the world will be a chief topic as the annual Midwestern Governors’ Conference begins Sunday.
″In the heartland of America, that is a major concern to us,″ said Hans Brisch, chief of staff for Nebraska Gov. Kay Orr. ″What can be done to aid the farm economy? How can we bring jobs?
″People here want jobs. That is their particular ethic - the work ethic is very strong here.″
At least six of 13 governors are expected to be on hand here through Tuesday for an agenda that includes seminars on promoting Midwestern tourism and the ″Governors’ Best Shot Golf Tournament.″
Task forces on rural revitalization and marketing the Midwest were formed by the governors last year and their reports should serve as centerpieces for this year’s meeting.
″We have a real opportunity to recommission the Midwest as a competitive place to do business, to live in and to travel to,″ said Marilyn Tomasi, who served as Ohio’s staff member on the task force on marketing the Midwest.
As part of the task-force studies, each state was asked to highlight rural development programs that have been particularly successful in keeping jobs or drawing new jobs to rural parts of the region.
″This was one of those where everyone seemed willing to participate,″ Ilene Grossman, director of corporate relations for the Council of State Governments, which acts as an administrative staff for the conference.
The 13 member states included in the governors’ coalition are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
The governors of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin are expected to attend the meeting, according to their offices.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has served as chair of the conference since his appointment at last year’s annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. His successor will be named later this week.