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|WIU-Hosted Rural Economic Development Conference Starts Tuesday
|The 21st Annual Rural Community Economic Development Conference will be held Tuesday, March 2 and Wednesday, March 3 at the Holiday Inn City Centre in Peoria (IL). The theme for this year's conference is "New Approaches for New Times." The conference is sponsored by IIRA in conjunction with the Governor's Rural Affairs Council, chaired by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, and Rural Partners.
According to Christopher Merrett, director of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) housed at Western Illinois University, the conference will feature innovative local community and economic development approaches. Nationally recognized individuals and development practitioners will share their insights and possible strategies that could succeed in rural communities, he noted.
Notable conference speakers include:Kim Huston, author of "Small Town Sexy": She will discuss how she has been able to successfully attract and retain youth in Nelson County, Kentucky.Will Lambe from the University of North Carolina: He will present, "Small Towns with Big Ideas," which is "a yearlong effort to identify and document the stories of small towns that are surviving -- and, in some cases, thriving -- as hubs of civic and economic activity." "Given the challenges of the past year, community and economic development practitioners must look for new strategies in addressing the needs of rural areas. At the same time, local governments must continue to deliver services, maintain infrastructure and position themselves to compete in the global marketplace," Merrett said. "Rural leaders must be more innovative than ever when addressing the issues critical to rural Illinois. We believe that this year's conference offers a unique opportunity to learn about new strategies that will help you meet the challenges ahead."
Merrett also noted that conference attendees will have an opportunity to meet with state and federal agency representatives and learn about available funding programs; this session will allow time for session attendees to ask questions about potential projects, he added.
For more information, contact Carol Harper at (309) 298-2637, toll free at (800) 526-9943 or at CS-Harper@wiu.edu. The announcement and program brochure are also available at www.IIRA.org.
(Western Illinois University)
|02 27 10 by Newsroom
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