Regional Wealth Creation Case Studies

In 2016, the NADO Research Foundation released the Regional Wealth Creation Case Studies.  These case studies feature three regions working on economic development initiatives that build multiple forms of wealth, root economies in place with local ownership and control of assets, and intentionally include people at the margins of the economy as beneficiaries of economic development work.

A trainer from University of Minnesota Extension demonstrates making a healthy recipe using local foods
Courtesy Region Five Development Commission

These efforts are working to build social, political, cultural, built, intellectual, individual, financial, and natural assets, without harming community assets by identifying demand for a products that can be produced or developed within a region.  Value chains, or networks of people and organizations working together on a market opportunity, are a tool for building an economy that is rooted in a place.

Learn more about the rural wealth creation framework at, and read the NADO Research Foundation Regional Wealth Creation Case Studies:


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Joe McKinney serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Headquartered in Washington DC, NADO provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s 500+ regional planning and development organizations.

Joe has thirty-one years of experience having served in city, county, regional, national association, and government management since 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

McKinney has provided congressional testimony on numerous occasions regarding the importance of regional development organizations in helping shape the nation’s economic growth. He is nationally recognized for promoting innovative solutions in areas such as planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, and aging services.

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