The Project Manager for the Rural Ontario Institute brought a message about Social Capital to members of the Huron County Library Board yesterday.
Mark Cassidy explained most of us have our own social networks, as do most of the people we know. So social capital is bringing all of those networks together and using the resources that result from bringing those social networks together. Cassidy says attracting newcomers is vital to the growth of communities in Huron County and those newcomers could be retirees coming here to enjoy the scenery and lifestyle, it could be workers coming here for jobs or it could be immigrants. Cassidy says scenery and lifestyle can be effective in attracting those newcomers but he says tapping into that social capital and making them feel part of the community is what will keep them here.
Cassidy says rural Ontario communities are known as welcoming communities but we have to go the next step and engage newcomers in our communities.