Tester leads national summit on challenges, opportunities in rural communities

Senator outlines priorities for rebuilding rural America's economy

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester today said the key to rebuilding rural America’s economy is creating jobs and investing in critical infrastructure, such as water and transportation systems.

With the help of two economic development leaders from Montana, Tester led a panel of Senators at a national summit on Capitol Hill exploring the needs of rural communities and the unique challenges those communities face.
A third generation farmer from Big Sandy, Tester called for jobs and infrastructure investments for rural communities in Montana and across the country.

“A lot of folks in Washington have a hard time understanding what it means to be ‘rural’,” Tester said.  “So we’re here to help them understand why rural and frontier communities need strong infrastructure and good education to support new job opportunities and stronger economies.  Because, right now, too many young folks are leaving their home communities to make ends meet.  That’s why we’re working together to make sure the future of rural America is a strong one.”

Montanans participating in the summit included Paul Tuss, executive director of Bear Paw Economic Development Corporation in Havre, and Rosalie Cates, president of the Montana Community Development Corporation in Missoula.

“Once again, Jon is educating the folks in Washington about what it means to be from rural America,” Tuss said.  “Today was an exciting opportunity to hear different opinions about moving forward with real economic growth—creating jobs and opportunity in Montana and across rural areas of the country.”

“Communities in rural America face very unique challenges, and with those challenges come exciting opportunities,” Cates said.  “Jon’s good ideas on banking, small business, and agriculture will help get our rural communities back on their feet.  We appreciate his leadership as we continue working together to bring more jobs and business development to our state.”