Applications for regional strategic planning assistance due March 23
By the U of A System Division of Agriculture
- Stronger Economies Together, or SET, helps regions ID, implement asset-based strategies to create jobs
- SET Information webinar planned for March 10
- Application deadline March 23
LITTLE ROCK – Multi-county regions looking to identify new economic opportunities and implement strategies to create, retain and attract jobs can apply for technical assistance as part of a national initiative, Stronger Economies Together.
An educational webinar on how to apply is being offered March 10 at 10 a.m. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the program website www.uaex.edu/SET.
The deadline for applications is March 23.
“Pursuing economic development as a single rural county in isolation from other nearby counties is oftentimes unproductive,” said Stacey McCullough, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture assistant director for community and economic development.
“In today’s world, economic breakthroughs are more likely to occur when counties work together to assess, design, and implement plans built on their assets and comparative economic strengths,” she said. “That is where Stronger Economies Together, or SET, can help.”
How to participate
To apply, regions must consist of three or more counties, be fifty-one percent rural based on population or land area and at least one county in the region must be economically distressed. In addition, there must be commitment from representatives of each county in the region to participate in SET.
Selected regions will receive coaching and technical assistance from extension professionals and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural development staff. They will also receive data to determine critical drivers of the region’s economy and tools to identify local assets and resources that can be tapped to advance economic strategies and actions.
Arkansas is one of six states selected to participate in this year’s program, a partnership between the Division of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service, USDA Rural Development, and other national partners.
Following the March 23 application deadline, site visits to regions will occur between March 24 and April 5, and regions that are selected with be announced in late April.
To learn more, visit www.uaex.edu/SET.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact the extension’s community and economic development unit at (501) 671-2072 as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service