Local officials are searching for resources to support economic development initiatives within Virginia counties and cities.
“Emphasis must be placed on the need for each community to fully assess its strengths and weaknesses and then develop a proactive plan to build its economic power base,” said Otis Brown, vice rector of Longwood University. “Business as usual is a thing of the past.”
Emory & Henry College, Longwood University, the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development, and Virginia Cooperative Extension Community Viability have joined forces to host two economic forums delivering an opportunity to link rural communities to Virginia’s economic resources. “Emory & Henry College is eager to be involved in this partnership-building forum” said Tal Stanley, Director of The Appalachian Center for Community Service at Emory & Henry College. “These workshops build on the College’s historical mission and ongoing efforts with and for the people and places of Southwest Virginia. The Economic Forum promises the opportunity to focus on more effective strategies for sustainable economic development for our region, at the same time as looking to the people of our region to be the leaders and visionaries in that effort.”
The Economic Resources for Rural Virginia forums will be held on Thursday, May 19, at Emory & Henry College and will be repeated on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, at Longwood University. Both sessions will begin at 8:45 a.m. and conclude around 4:00 p.m. Participants will gather information on Virginia’s incentives and resources for rural economies, discuss resources available for expanding a community’s broadband infrastructure, explore links to support and expand a region’s manufacturing sector, understand the process of creating a creative economy, and network with higher educational institutions that offer training and intellectual resources to local leadership.
Attendees will hear exceptional speakers representing Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Carroll and Smyth Counties, Prince Edward Electronic Community, Virginia Tech E-Corridors Program, Virginia Manufacturing Association, GENEDGE Alliance, Commonwealth for Advanced Manufacturing, Fort Lee & VLRC, and Virginia Community Colleges.
Jesse White and Josh Levy, University of North Carolina Office of Economic and Business Development, will use the 2010 report on the Appalachian Colleges Community Economic Development Partnership to explore Virginia’s opportunity to link to its colleges and universities.
At the Emory & Henry College session, Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Commission, Virginia Tourism Corporation, and USDA Rural Development will share insight into resources for a creative economy.
Whether you are an elected official, an economic developer, a member of the county/city staff, business leader, or a member of the community, you are invited to attend one of the sessions.
The forum is free, but registration is required and must be completed by Friday, May 13, for the Emory & Henry College session and by Wednesday, June 1, for the Longwood University session.
For more information or to register, contact Martha A. Walker by e-mailing email@example.com or calling 434-766-6761.
If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Martha A. Walker, Central District Office, at 434-766-6761 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event. *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.