Strengthening Economies in Utah: A Forum for Coal-Reliant Communities


The National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National Association of Development Organizations(NADO) Research Foundation hosted the Strengthening Economies in Utah: A Forum for Coal-Reliant Communities on October 18-20 at the Sevier County Fairgrounds in Richfield, Utah, with 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 Utah that are experiencing economic challenges due to changing conditions of the coal industry. The meeting brought together stakeholders from the public and private sectors to share best practices, lessons learned and new opportunities to support economic diversification and other economic development efforts.  During the forum, plenary sessions, small group discussions and a mobile tour covered a variety of topics including entrepreneurship, technology, workforce development, energy, outdoor recreation and strategic partnerships. 

Below is the link to the full forum agenda, followed by links to the presentations.  

Full Program: Strengthening Economies in Utah 

Strengthening Economies in Rural Utah: 25K Jobs Initiative

Building More Innovative Economies: Lessons Learned from Appalachian Coal Country

The State of Rural Utah and the Future of Coal Communities  

Roadmaps to Diversification: Regional Plans in Action in Utah

Roadmaps to Diversification: Regional Plans in Action in Arizona & Colorado

Economic Diversification through Entrepreneurship

Natural Resources and Local Assets: Powering Rural Utah Economies

Event Photo Gallery

Additional Resources: 


This forum was the first of four state-based convenings that NACo and NADO Research Foundation will be leading throughout next year.  Similar events will be scheduled in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado beginning in Spring 2018.  

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.