The Vital Roles of a Newcomer

Amanda Classen. Submitted photo.

In small towns and rural areas, new folks bring big changes that matter a lot. When people move to different states or areas, they have all sorts of reasons for choosing those locations. Understanding these reasons is key to knowing how newcomers help places grow.

Newcomers aren’t just faces in a crowd—they’re the ones who bring new energy and ideas to small towns. Experts have studied and seen that, when fresh faces show up, it can be like a breath of fresh air for communities.

You might wonder why someone chooses to move to a specific town or state. Some come for jobs or better work opportunities, while others might move for the beautiful landscapes or a slower pace of life. Some pick a place because of family ties or friends already living there. Understanding these reasons helps communities see what makes them attractive to new folks.

When newcomers arrive, they’re like a boost for small towns. They often bring new skills, different perspectives, and lots of enthusiasm. They bring a bit of their own spice to the mix, making things more interesting. And it’s not just about them moving in; it’s about what they do when they get there.

Some newcomers dive right in—they join clubs, volunteer, start businesses, and get involved in making decisions for their community. This isn’t just good for the town; it’s good for everyone. They bring fresh ideas, help businesses grow, and make the place feel more connected; others may need a bit more of a “pull” from others in the community to come out of their shell.


Understanding what makes newcomers feel at home is vitally important. Maybe it’s about creating more job opportunities, inventing fun events, improving schools. Knowing these things helps make the place more welcoming and helps keep these new faces around.


A few ways your community can become more welcoming for newcomers:

  • Start by listening: Both newcomers and longtime residents can feel alienated by change and unwelcome in their community.
  • Create “Do It Together” opportunities: Bring residents together through common projects. It’s an opportunity to bring people together through the arts, sports, volunteering, or myriad other ways that provide a chance for neighbors to find common ground.
  • Build a community-wide Welcoming agenda: Communities can create their own welcoming plan and bring together different sectors—government, business, community, faith, etc. Remember, when new people come in, they bring fresh perspectives and ideas. And when they feel welcomed and understood, they stick about and help make things better for everyone.

In the end, newcomers can be the secret ingredient that makes small towns better. They bring new ideas and energy, making these places feel like home for everyone. When new people come in, they bring fresh perspectives and ideas, but when they feel welcomed and understood, they stick around and help make things better for everyone.


For More information, contact Community Vitality Agent, Amanda Clasen at [email protected] or at 620-244-3826.

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