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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on April 5, 2000. All rights reserved.
The flip side of globalization and the digital economy
is that rural areas are getting left in the dust, says Amy Glasmeier
professor of geography and regional planning at the Institute for
Policy Research and Evaluation at Penn State. "Internet businesses
stay in the urban regions or they move abroad," she says. "If
you’re looking for a place to standardize software design modifications,
you’re not going to Tupelo, Mississippi, but you may go to Bangalore,
India, where there are many computer engineers for a cheap price."
Glasmeier speaks on "What Happens to the Small Places? Economic
Globalization and the Future of Community Well-Being" on Tuesday,
April 11, at 4:30 p.m. at the Livingston Student Center on Rutgers
Livingston College. Call 732-932-7084. Free.
Businesses have always been drawn to urban centers where the access
to educated workforce and other resources are greater. "In the
past we would see that an industry would begin in an urban area, but
as it matured and stabilized, and cost became more important, it would
move out into other areas to be more cost effective," says Glasmeier.
"Rural areas benefited from some of that."
The Internet-driven economy, however, remains geographically concentrated,
mostly in the cities, and companies that might have moved into rural
areas are instead moving out of the country to find cheap labor. "Companies
are now increasingly able to tailor their location to exactly the
kind of labor force they want," says Glasmeier, who has a PhD
in city and regional planning from University of California, Berkeley,
and worked at University of Texas before coming to Penn State.
The poverty-stricken parts of the country are only going to be poorer
unless civic organizations, government, and businesses work to provide
inhabitants with the kind of skills that are desirable to companies
in the post-industrial economy, says Glasmeier.
Wednesday, April 12
The NIMBYs (those shouting "Not in My Back Yard")
have a stake in preventing too much development, but so does everybody
else, says Michael McGuinness,
Association of Industrial and Office Properties. "The rapid growth
now occurring throughout the country in metropolitan areas, coupled
with continued economic expansion, has thrown a spotlight on quality
of life issues, and the result has been an intensified effort to slow,
or at least more closely manage, growth."
He has organized the "Smart Growth and Sustainable Development"
seminar for the NJ-NAIOP. The meeting will be Wednesday, April 12,
at 8 a.m. at the Newark Club. Cost: $100. Call 732-417-9010.
is among the speakers. Also on the panel are Pippa Woods
the NJ Department of Transportation; Brian Blaesser
and Cole; Peter Buchsbaum
Davis & Himmel; Dennis Toft
the mayor of Washington Township; and Eric Eicher
"Along with legitimate concerns, there are many myths and much
misinformation surrounding the attempts to manage growth," says
McGuinness. "Our seminar will arm attendees with expert advice
from a number of disciplines, so that they can get a clearer understanding
of a phenomenon that is affecting our industry on both a local and
national level. This forum will be of interest to developers, builders,
engineers, planners, consultants, public officials, and all others
involved with the development process."
Rare in the annals of child care has an agency declared
it has more money than applicants for government funds. Under a program
administered by the Child Care Connection, families living in Mercer
County can now apply for financial assistance from the New Jersey
Cares for Kids Child Care Certificate Program. Call 609-737-7498.
"This is an unusual situation in which Mercer County does not
have a waiting list," says Nancy Thomson
of the Child Care Connection. "We are hoping eligible families
will come forward and take advantage of the opportunity the state
Income eligibility is based on family size. A family of two can be
eligible with a gross income of $22,120 or below. A family of three
can have an income of $27,760. The minimums are increased by $5,640
for each additional child.
Family members — a grandmother, for instance — can be paid
by the state to do the child care. If a grandmother is babysitting
her grandchild she could get as much as $63 per week from the state
and the parents would come up with about $40 for co-pay. But the money
does not need to be used for low-cost solutions. If the child were
attending a daycare center that cost $150 per week, the state would
pay as much as $100 of that fee.
Among the services of the Child Care Connection: resource and referral
services to the community and corporations, training for providers,
corporate seminars, resource development, advocacy, and consumer education.
The non-profit agency serves central New Jersey.
The reason for the unusual plethora of funds: the state made a one-time
increase of funds so that the families lingering on the waiting list
could get immediate assistance. "We’ve cleared out the waiting
list, and now there is $500,000 available," says Thomson. "In
most counties the money has been used up."
<D>Cachet Cleaners collected non-perishable foods
for the soup kitchen/food bank of the First Presbyterian Church of
Mount Holly. Douglas Gammon
service that picks up and delivers from Princeton’s office buildings,
offered one free shirt laundering for every two items donated to the
Hunger program teamed up with United Progress Inc. (UPI), a community
action agency that has a food pantry, to show its clients how to prepare
nutritious meals using items from the food pantry and winter produce.
Chef David Jenkins
a registered dietitian from UPI, taught the class at Pennington United
Methodist Church. Farmers Against Hunger (609-777-0553) collects and
distributes fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables to those in need
in new Jersey.
The agencies cite statistics showing that nearly 12 percent of New
Jersey families live below the poverty line, and that one out of four
children in Trenton are hungry.
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