What will the future be like in the Pocono-Northeast?

Are there solutions to long-standing obstacles and liabilities? Will the region be successful in finding a way to meet the needs of the 1 million or so people living in the region? Is the future bright or dim?

One action may be to find ways to co-create answers and find solutions by looking at other regions and applying some of their solutions to our situation. Finding such response means a total look at research and data that can be explored by regional specialists and governments as well as the private and nonprofit sectors. If it is good enough for other places, it is good enough for this region. This is a future opportunity for many problems that pop up across regional boundaries.

Small communities make up much of this region as they do in other locations. We need to find ways to apply solutions found elsewhere to what we do inside this region. Or example, South Dakota, has no income tax and does not allow communities to apply such taxes. In the commonwealth, suggestions in the past have recommended the elimination of the school property tax that falls hard upon many senior citizens and substituting another form of revenue. The idea still sits there without moving forward.

We need to find ways to meet the needs of the elderly without aggravating problems that already exist. Anther issue has been broadband, which should become standard for every population in the region, especially in rural parts of the state. Since this state has more rural population that any other, this needs continuing attention now and in the future.

Open access think boxes are another potential opportunity as used in Western Reserve University in Ohio where students, artists, faculty, local residents and the business community can meet and mingle and collaborate on new ideas and inventions. Such a mechanism could be considered in the future of this region. In their case, real-world experiences are illustrated and explored. Items such as this have just as much need in our region as as elsewhere and we have more than 16 higher educational institutions where such inventions could be applied.

This is one of the strengths of regional life that could be coordinated by each institution deciding that a future means more collaboration at the student, faculty and administration levels. Another look at what COVID-19 continues to do in this nation is to see what Zoom has meant , and it is likely that this form of communication may continue even when vaccines have mitigated the health issue. There should be many more virtual agencies and actions than found previously. For employees, this could mean less paperwork and more service delivery as discussed in a publication of the magazine, Government Technology recently, and that future may mean less need to share office space and more sharing of ideas through nontraditional means. The future should become a champion of ideas, no matter how it is presented.

One state, Vermont apparently has invested in a remote worker recruiting system that includes money to help offset the cost of moving there as well as grants for coworking spaces in some towns. These ideas should be explored in the commonwealth to see if there is a need to apply some of the same efforts. This relates to working age as well since some parts of Pennsylvania have found it difficult to find enough workers to replace those retiring. This challenge has been found in this region as well.

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