~ ~CONTAGIOUS! SPREADS RAPIDLY THROUGH
~RGE GROUPS. CAN BE FATAL!
HAVE WE FALLEN VICTIM to "Agency-itis" here in the
southern mountain region? In an address given before a regional meeting of the Council of the Southern Mountains this spring, Dr. James L. Patton, head of the Kentucky Bureau of Vocational Education and a member of the state board of the national Rural Development Program, spoke of the challenge to all groups working for the welfare of a region to 1) pool their knowhow and gear into a united program and 2) to keep their work people-centered.
Beginning with a statistical analysis of the economic, educational and other needs of the people in fifteen eastern counties of Kentucky (copies of which analysis may be ordered from the Council office) Dr. Patton went on to discuss how we may hope to meet these needs.
"There is sufficient know-how in the different governmental agencies," he said, "that if properly geared in to a pattern of work could be a great force in the development of the people in the area. A degree of hope lies in the Rural Development Program because of its basic concept of all agencies working together to stimulate people in rural areas to self-improvement.
"The individual agencies that make up the Rural Development state organization"-and could this not include all of us who are working in the Appalachian region?-"are so inflicted with 'agencyitis' that we are unable to give the leadership that could be given if once we would get the welfare of people definitely at the center of our thinking. It is true that in our basic philosophy people are uppermost in mind; but in setting up the machinery to operate we are sometimes handicapped by the inability of groups to get together and work as a team.