This article focuses on the problem of human resources in the South during the 1980s. The author contends that the problem is especially critical in the rural South, where the impacts of widespread rural economic stress in the eighties contributed to further underdevelopment of already limited human resources. Educationally, the South not only lags other regions, but the rural South lags the urban South. Furthermore, a wide gap exists in the educational attainment of southern rural blacks and whites. It is argued that the development of an adequate human resources base in the rural South begins with building initiative and capacity at the local level to enable each community to assess its own human resource problems and initiate ways to address them. The challenge for rural leaders is to devise a mix of strategies that balance economic and human goals. Strategies for human resource development in the 1990s involving local, state, and federal governments and the role of rural sociologists are discussed.

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