On Jan. 8, 2018, the Colorado Trust hosted a webinar on rural economic development. “Connecting Rural Colorado Communities with Emerging Market Dynamics, State Initiatives, and Opportunities to Think and Collaborate Regionally” featured Stephan Weiler, Dept of Economics, Dawn Thilmany and Becca Jablonski, Dept of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
The webinar, available on the Colorado Trust website, offers a brief introduction on current challenges and possible solutions for rural economic development, particularly in Colorado. The presentation first reviews who in fact is rural and how rural economies vary from those in more urbanized areas.
The recent attention to the rural/urban divide is merited, in that there are sizable gaps in rural economic opportunities. But this gap can be bridged by emphasizing the strengths that already exist in these communities, particularly their entrepreneurial sector which is surprisingly both larger and more resilient than its urban counterpart.
Communities can focus on these and other existing human, historic, natural, and cultural assets in considering opportunities for improved economic growth; regional collaborations across communities can create complementary regional assets that are greater than the sum of their individual parts. Amenities, lower costs, and broadband’s link to the global market can all make rural economies more competitive in the future.
Colorado, in particular, may be especially well-positioned to productively bridge the rural-urban divide, creating a growth win for rural areas and an easing of cost and infrastructure pressures in urban areas. The webinar concludes with examples of CSU partnering with rural communities to advance and broaden their economic development prospects.
Watch the REDI Learning Series Webinars.
Visit the Regional Economic Development Institute (REDI) website.
The Institute is an engaged research enterprise that aims to understand, analyze, and inform economic development strategies particularly in struggling regions in both rural and urban areas, especially in Colorado.