Strengthening Economies in Colorado: 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 Colorado: A Forum for Coal-Reliant Communities on September 19-20th, 2018 in Delta County, Colo.  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 Colorado experiencing economic and other community challenges due to changing conditions of the coal industry. This 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, the creative economy, downtown revitalization, local foods, energy, and workforce development.

Below is the link to the full forum agenda, followed by links to the presentations, other resources and photos.

Full Program:  Strengthening Economies in Colorado: A Forum for Coal-Reliant Communities

Setting the State: An Overview of Economic Diversification

Diversification & Revitalization through the Creative Economy: Lessons Learned from Appalachia & Colorado

Roadmaps to Diversification: Plans in Action Across the West

Strengthening Workforce Development through Philanthropic Partnerships 

Building Stronger Economies in the West: Outlook & Opportunity

Building Stronger Economies in Colorado: Utilizing State Partners

Building Stronger Economies: Utilizing Federal Partners

Roadmaps to Diversification: Efforts Across Colorado


Additional Resources


Photo Gallery 


This forum was the third in a series of four state-based convenings that NACo and NADO Research Foundation will be leading throughout the rest of 2018.  Similar events were held in Richfield, Utah in October of 2017 and Billings, Mont. in April 2018, while an upcoming forum is scheduled for Gillette, Wyo. Oct 8-9 2018.   

A final team-based convening event will also take place in 2019 in Denver, bringing together county and regional teams of stakeholders from across the West.   

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.