©2011 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
|GREDA Official Attends Conference
|Michelle Smith, Marketing and Communications Director with the Galesburg Regional Economic Development Association (GREDA), recently attended the 20th annual Rural Community Economic Development Conference: Promoting a Rural Renaissance recently held in Peoria, IL.
"Rural Illinois is changing and can no longer depend on traditional economic development methods," Smith said. "Community leaders must look for new and innovative practices that take advantage of local assets. Entrepreneurship and new technologies are being put to use in rural areas to build new models of prosperity. This conference provided a variety of informative and innovative sessions focused on these important issues."
The conference featured speakers on rural development from across the country. Sponsored by the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University, the Governor's Rural Affairs Council, and Rural Partners, the conference attracted more than 300 participants from throughout the state.
"The conference offered a unique opportunity to hear from national experts in rural development and, at the same time, network with practitioners from throughout Illinois," said Christopher Merrett, IIRA director.
Don Macke of the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship opened the conference with a discussion of community foundations. David Ivan, Michigan State University Extension, presented three sessions on ways to make small towns "cool" to build long-term sustainability. Sam Cordes of Purdue University addressed the anticipated changes in rural policy in the wake of a new presidential administration. Other conference sessions featured discussions of entrepreneurship, TIF districts, business succession, and financing infrastructure projects.
The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs was created in 1989 to help community leaders find ways to improve the quality of life in rural areas based on research, education, and technical assistance initiatives. It is funded with state, federal, and private support. Information about IIRA and its programs, including upcoming training events is available on the IIRA Web site, www.iira.org.
(Michelle Smith. Story and Photo Submitted by GREDA.)
|03 07 09 by Newsroom
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