A story on Bloomberg today focuses on efforts to get young workers to settle in rural areas in states such as Iowa and Nebraska.


The story spotlights rural Nebraska native Paul Eurek, who left the state for a technology career and moved back in 2007. His Atlanta-based company, Xpanxion LLC, now has centers in Nebraska and Iowa, including a location in Ames.


Xpanxion is pairing with the University of Nebraska to research best practices for "rural sourcing" and matching state university alumni with small-town companies looking for skilled in employees.


According to a 2013 U.S. Department of Agriculture analysis, counties outside metropolitan areas lost 44,000 people between April 2010 and July 2012. Rural areas cover about 72 percent of the country's land and have about 15 percent of the country's residents.


The USDA in 2013 has invested $498 million into rural Iowa to develop homeownership opportunities, help create jobs and help community improvement projects and activities, the department announced last week. The money was invested through its Rural Development program.


"These are the places that help support American agriculture and foster an ethic that impacts our workforce, our military and our economy," said Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development state director in Iowa, in a news release.