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Joint Council on Economic Education Summit

James Wilcox, Director of the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Education at the University of Southern Mississippi

By Kevin Woodcox

The Economic Education group recently hosted its sixth Joint Council on Economic Education Summit that brought together economic and financial education leaders from across the Fifth Federal Reserve District. Attendees represented a myriad of organizations, government departments and nonprofits from Maryland to South Carolina that support economic and personal finance education.

Laura Ulrich discussing the payoffs and challenges of pursuing post-secondary education and the disparities that exist between the districts urban and rural areas.

The meeting was held on September 25 at the Charlotte branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and focused on how the disparities between schools in urban and rural communities affect the educational attainment and workforce outcomes of youth across the District. A primary focus of each Joint Council meeting was summarized by Ann Macheras, group vice president of Microeconomics and Research Communications. “Our goal is to learn from the research, and leave with concrete ideas about how we can provide educational programs and resources that support students in the District,” she said.

Both Matthew Martin, vice president and Charlotte Regional Executive and Laura Ulrich, a regional economist, provided a deep dive into recent research concerning the payoffs and challenges of pursuing post-secondary education and the disparities that exist between the District’s urban centers, small cities and rural communities. Joint Council members also had the opportunity to seek assistance from a panel of rural educators that shared their experiences, challenges and the future opportunities for their students. The panel session was a sounding board for both emotional stories from educators, but also an opportunity to ask probing questions concerning best practices.

Dr. Eleanor Glover Gladney, Edward Hallyburton, and Ebony Williamson participate in a rural educators panel discussion focusing on the challenges and opportunities ahead by students today.

One of the highlights of the day was when James Wilcox, director of the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Education at the University of Southern Mississippi, shared innovative educational resources for teaching and fostering entrepreneurship in rural areas. “James’ training session presented us with the opportunity to learn how young people in rural settings can think innovatively about economics, build their human capital and develop soft skills while exploring entrepreneurship,” said Kevin Woodcox, senior economic education specialist at the Richmond Fed.

The day concluded with the Joint Council members discussing their common educational purpose and outlining strategies for reaching students in the District’s underserved rural communities.

If you would like to be included in future Joint Council meetings or have ideas for meeting topics, please email us at econed@rich.frb.org.

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