The National Association of Counties(NACo) and the National Association of Development Organizations(NADO) Research Foundation hosted the Strengthening Economies in Montana: A Forum for Coal-Reliant Communities on April 18th-19th, 2018 at the Billings Food Bank facility in Billings, Montana, through the support of the U.S. Economic Development Administration-Denver Regional Office.
This educational and interactive forum was designed to convene and assist counties and regions in Montana experiencing economic and other community challenges due to changing conditions of the coal industry. The forum brought together stakeholders from local, regional, state and federal government, as well as nonprofit and private sector partners, to learn and share best practices, lessons learned and new opportunities to support economic diversification and other economic development efforts. During the event, plenary sessions, small group discussions and mobile tours covered a variety of topics including strategic partnerships; entrepreneurship; technology and e-commerce; downtown revitalization; and education and workforce development.
Below is the link to the full forum agenda, followed by links to the presentations.
Brownfields Redevelopment & Restoration Economy
- Emily Rhodes, Communities Specialist, Delta Institute
- Samantha Chagnon, Brownfields Coordinator, Bear Paw Development Corp.
- Kate French, Study Coordinator, Northern Plains Resource Council
Strategic Resources and Funding for Transitioning Communities
- Cindy Winland, Senior Fellow, Just Transition Fund
- Amity Rembold, Rural Development Specialist, Rural Community Assistance Corporation(RCAC)
Building Stronger Economies in Montana: Outlook & Opportunity
- Mark Haggerty, Economic Geographer, Headwater Economics
- Barbaba Wagner, Chief Economist, Montana Department of Labor & Industry
- Tash Wisemiller, Main Streets Program, Coordinator, Montana Department of Commerce
- Jim Atchison, Executive Director, Southeastern Montana Development Corporation
- Becky Bey, KLJ Engineering
- Molly Herrington, KLJ Engineering
- Stronger Economies in Appalachia: NACo & NADO Report
- Economic Diversity in Appalachia Report & Data
- BitSource: Teaching Coal Miners to Code in Eastern Kentucky Video
- Montana’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: A New Frontier
- Colstrip Diversification Plan, NADO Case Study
- Coal Country Coalition Executive Summary
- Growing Stronger Economies in Our Nation’s Coal Communities
- NACo Western Interstate Region(WIR) Conference, May 23-25, Blaine County, Idaho
- NACo Annual Conference, July 13-16, Nashville-Davidson County, Tenn.
- NADO Annual Training Conference, October 13-16, Charlotte, N.C.
This forum was the second in a series of four state-based convenings that NACo and NADO Research Foundation will be leading throughout the rest of 2018. A similar event was held in Richfield, Utah in October of 2017, while upcoming forums are scheduled for Wyoming and Colorado in June and September, respectively.
This three-year “Building Stronger Economies in the West” effort is made possible through the generous support of the U.S. EDA- Denver Regional Office. In addition to the in-person trainings and workshops, our project team looks forward to providing on going support and technical assistance to coal-reliant counties and regions across the West through a bi-weekly newsletter and an interactive webinar series.