LIMA, Ohio – Through a series of training and technical assistance workshops, Ohio is well under way to promoting regional economic development under a new national initiative intended to strengthen economies and create new jobs.
"Stronger Economies Together" (SET) is a new initiative launched by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and Regional Rural Development Centers to encourage rural communities to work across county borders to strengthen their regional economies. Ohio, one of the pilot states, has been holding training sessions for economic development directors, elected officials, and community and economic development representatives.
The next training is scheduled for Nov. 17 at the Ford Training Facility in Lima, Ohio, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. The training, hosted by the West Central Ohio Network, is the first of four sessions planned for the eight-county rural region that includes Allen, Auglaize, Hancock, Hardin, Mercer, Paulding, Putnam and Van Wert.
"The purpose of the training is to develop a regional economic development plan for the region and to determine where the region holds a competitive edge, as well as to market the region's collective assets within the domestic and international marketplace," said Nancy Bowen, an Ohio State University Extension economic development director for Van Wert County.
Ohio State University Extension is just one of several organizations in Ohio partnering on SET.
Other states participating in the pilot program include Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. For more information about SET, log on to http://srdc.msstate.edu/set/.