Saturday, November 18, 2017

Regional economic development plan set to be discussed in Vienna

The University of Illinois Extension is hosting an informational session on Thursday, Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University of Illinois Extension office located at 208 East Main in Vienna.

The informational session will outline the components of a rural regional economic development plan established by a team of community leaders and elected officials from throughout an eleven-county region of southernmost Illinois in cooperation with a USDA Rural Development program entitled Stronger Economies Together, SET.

Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack in his role as leader of USDA, is working hard to strengthen the American agricultural economy, build vibrant rural communities and create new markets for the tremendous innovation of rural America.

The new approach recognizes that the rural economy of tomorrow will be a regional economy.

The informational session will be held on Thursday, Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University of Illinois Extension office located at 208 East Main in Vienna.
The informational session will be held on Thursday, Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University of Illinois Extension office located at 208 East Main in Vienna.

In response, SET was designed to foster a regional approach to economic development focused on working with neighboring counties to capitalize on available assets and work together to decrease economic obstacles while building on the current and emerging strengths of the region.

“SET is at the core of our USDA Rural Development mission…committed to the future of rural communities. There is strength in numbers, as the saying goes, and SET encourages collaboration and cooperation, that in turn builds regional economic strength,” USDA Rural Development State Director, Colleen Callahan said in a news release.

Training and technical assistance during the planning process was provided by the Illinois State Office of USDA Rural Development and University of Illinois Extension Community Economic Development Educators, Susan Odum and Ron Duncan.

“Over the course of the planning period, the regional team has taken a fresh look at where the region is, where it wants to go, and the best way to get there in support of a stronger, more sustainable southernmost Illinois.  As a result, a set of initiatives have been established and the Stronger Economies Together Regional Plan has passed High Quality Review,” Odum said in a news release.

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

Sessions are free and advance registration is needed.

To submit an RSVP, contact Monica Reid at mnreid@illinois.edu or 618-658-5321.

For questions about the upcoming informational session, contact Odum at sodum@illinois.edu.

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