Building Strong Communities: Tools, strategies, and techniques for economic development

April 14 – Building Strong Communities: Tools, strategies, and techniques for economic development!

The eXtension Entrepreneurs and Their Communities webinar series is wrapping up our fourth season with a three-part economic development series.

Communities are struggling to make decisions that will spur economic recovery for their communities during times of public budget crisis. Join us as we explore some tips, tools and strategies available to those working in the area of economic development. We invite anyone with an interest in community development to join us for these informative sessions.

On April 14, 2:00pm (ET); 1:00pm (CT); 12:00pm (MT); 11:00am (PT).

Steve Deller, University of Wisconsin, will explore economic clusters and what they tell us about development. The work of Harvard business economist Michael Porter has brought the notion of economic clusters to the forefront of economic development policy discussions. But what is a cluster and why should we worry about them? What are some common tools that can be used to identify clusters that might be targeted for economic development efforts? In this webinar we will review concepts, tools and approaches.

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On May 12, we turn our attention to Community Business Matching (CBM) with Tom Harris, University of Nevada. This session will explore this robust process for selecting potential development opportunities given the assets and existing resources of communities. Part of this webinar will feature an example of how CBM was used successfully in Montana.

The series ends on June 9 with Sam Cordes, Purdue University for an introduction to some data-rich sites. The world is awash in data, and one of our roles as educators is to help others move along the data-information-knowledge-wisdom continuum. This is a major issue when focusing on economic development issues; and is especially problematic for smaller jurisdictions that often lack the professional staff to help overcome information-knowledge deficits. This webinar will showcase several new and important web-based tools and analytics that that help address this deficit, including industry and occupational clusters and an innovation index. The webinar will also feature tools that can be aggregated across multiple counties to create a perspective for regional economic development.

All webinars begins at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, 1 p.m. CT, 12 noon MT and 11 a.m. PT. eXtension Entrepreneur and Their Communities webinars are on the second Thursday every month.

All webinars are one hour long. The Web meeting room opens 10 minutes before the start time.

Go to to view.

Newcomers to online learning are welcome.  All webinars are recorded and available for on-demand viewing at ETC Webinar Archive. No pre-registration is required and there is no fee to participate.

All sessions are open to the public so please spread the word. About 10 minutes prior to the start time simply go the Adobe Connect Pro meeting room at You will be presented with a login screen that has an “Enter as Guest” option. Enter your full name then click “Enter Room” to join the conference. You will be able to hear the audio directly from your computer’s speakers.

Newcomers to online learning are always welcome!


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