The Human Capital can be described as the set of skills or knowledge that the individuals of a community contribute to the community as a whole (Green & Haines, 2015). In small, rural communities such as Potsdam, NY, the human capital plays a large role in the success of the community. Many of the individuals from Potsdam were born and raised in the area, and few people move to the region as adults. With this, there is a large importance for all members of the community to have skills that maintain the economy, social structure, and other aspects of the town. Parents pass on skills to their children so that they may later assist others in the ways that their family has for generations. However, this does not just include different trades that are important for maintaining vast farmland. The members of the Potsdam community are close-knit, which assists with success of small business owners and people are happy to support each other in exchange for their own skills. Flora and Flora emphasize the importance of these interpersonal skills in the building of a successful community (Flora & Flora, 2008).
While there is “successful” human capital in Potsdam, the people of the community are limited by technological advancements that have not been brought to the area due to lack of immigration from more urban areas. In a way, Potsdam appears “frozen in time,” and unable to advance itself. Potsdam and its people would benefit from workforce development programs that increase computer literacy and networking to more industrialized areas. While the Potsdam Neighborhood Center exists to assist members of the community living in poverty to gain access to computers to look for work, this center and its attendees could benefit from the introduction of classes to develop the technological skills of the people of Potsdam (Tischler, 2016).
Flora, J. L. & Flora, C. B. (2008). Retrieved from CDAE102 Lecture Notes, 10/24/2016.
Green, G. P., & Haines, A. (2015). Asset Building and Community Development. Washington, DC: SAGE Publications.
Tischler, R. (2016). Village of Potsdam: Community Groups: Potsdam Neighborhood Center. Retrieved from http://vi.potsdam.ny.us/content/CommunityCategories/Home/:item=2&field=groups;/content/CommunityGroups/View/1