Strengthening Economies in the West Coal-Reliant Communities Challenge


The National Association of Counties(NACo) and the National Association of Development Organizations(NADO) Research Foundation hosted the Strengthening Economies in the West Coal-Reliant Communities Challenge on May 1-3, 2019 in Denver, Colo. through the support of the U.S. Economic Development Administration-Denver Regional Office.

This team-based challenge workshop convened county and regional leaders from coal-reliant communities across the West. During this interactive, hands-on forum county & regional teams worked through action plans and implementation roadmaps for economic diversification in their community, while networking and learning from their peers in other communities.  Further, this convening offered the opportunity for coal-impacted community leaders to hear from and interact with representatives from the EDA-Denver Regional Office.

County & regional teams will receive post-workshop mentoring and peer-learning assistance to help guide economic diversification planning and implementation.  

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

Full Program/Agenda: Strengthening Economies in the West Coal-Reliant Communities Challenge

County & Regional Team Opening Presentations: Identifying Goals, Assets, Challenges

County & Regional Team Implementation Roadmaps

Photo Gallery

In the News:

Other resources:

This challenge event follows previous educational and peer-learning events supporting coal-reliant communities in the West, including a 2017 Denver forum and four smaller-group forums held in 2017 and 2018 in Richfield, Utah; Billings, Mont.; Delta, Colo.; and Gillette, Wyo.

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.

For more information, please contact
NACo Program Manager Jack Morgan at [email protected] or
NADO RF Associate Director Brett Schwartz at [email protected]