Do you work in rural parts of Oklahoma were Friday night rivalries limit economic development potential? Or, are you aware of counties that are in need of help forming a unified vision or a plan to address development issues? Do you know of counties that have been denied USDA-Rural Development funding because of the lack of a business plan or ability to demonstrate the project’s contribution to the region’s economy?
If you can answer, “Yes!” to any of the above questions, then Stronger Economies Together can benefit your community/region!
Stronger Economies Together, or SET, is a multi-county visioning process that guides community leadership, local economic development professionals, and concerned citizens to develop a vision and plan for their region. The 6 month process culminates with the completion of a High Quality Plan, which, if approved by the national SET team, can lead to seed funds to begin implementing the plan. There is a strong focus on economic development, though other issues can be addressed through this program (housing, workforce development/availability, or other quality of life issues).
Regions which participate receive the following benefits:
· Step-by-step coaching to guide the design and implementation of a practical and viable regional economic development plan
· In-depth data tailored to the region, describing its current and emerging clusters, comparative economic advantages, and detailed demographic and socio-economic information
· Tools to uncover local assets and resources that can advance the region’s economic strategies
· Technical assistance from Extension educators, USDA RD state staff, the Regional Rural Development Centers, and the Purdue Center for Regional Development to guide the initial stages of implementation of regional goals and strategies
Regions (3 or more counties) self-identify and apply to participate in SET; applications are due to me by email on March 10, 2017. This program is provided at no cost to the region participating.
Please share the attached overview and application with potentially interested people in your region!
Also, invite them to the following events, where I will go into more detail about the program and they can ask questions about the process or the application:
· Friday, February 24 @ 9 am, High Plains Technology Center (Room 206), Woodward
· Monday, February 27 @ 2 pm, Washington County Extension Office, Dewey
· Wednesday, March 1 @ 4:00 pm, Adobe Connect Webinar: http://dasnr.adobeconnect.com/set_intro/ (this will be recorded)
Feel free to direct any questions to me.
Associate Professor and Community Development Specialist
Department of Agricultural Economics
Oklahoma State University
323 Agricultural Hall
Stillwater, OK 74078-6025
405-744-8210 – fax
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