Webinar Briefing: Strengthening Economies in Our Nation’s Coal-Reliant Communities

Despite the challenges caused by the decline in the coal industry and its effect on local communities, there is a powerful movement underway across the country as coal-reliant regions seek to change their fortunes through economic diversification.  With funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (Denver Regional Office), the NADO Research Foundation and the National Association of Counties have partnered to collaborate with coal communities in Appalachia and the Western states of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah.  These projects seek to boost the innovative potential of places dependent on the coal industry as they grow and diversify their economies, create good jobs, and explore emerging opportunities and sectors.

Momentum for change at the community level is heartening.  Residents, businesses, elected officials, educational institutions, workforce boards, and other key stakeholders are coming together and developing new and interesting strategies to support diversification.  This 15-minute webinar briefing provides examples and best practices from efforts in coal communities that are tapping into local assets and growing local economies.  These include drone technology, outdoor recreation, mine reclamation, broadband, and more.  The process of change will not be easy, but the current transition offers tremendous opportunities to rebuild communities and forge a path towards a more prosperous future.

Click here to access the presentation slides (PDF)

To learn more, visit:  www.diversifyeconomies.org or contact NADO RF Associate Director Brett Schwartz at [email protected]

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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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