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Governor launches Colorado’s Bottom-Up Economic Development Plan Initiative

Governor John Hickenlooper understands that the number-one priority of the residents of the State of Colorado is to rebuild the economy and create jobs.

To do this, the Governor’s Office and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade has partnered with Colorado State University’s Office of Engagement and Extension to engage Coloradans in a statewide conversation about Economic Development.

Governor Hickenlooper is asking residents across the state, county by county, to share their stories, challenges and strengths by developing a strategic economic development plan for their county. These county plans will then be rolled up into 14 regional economic development plans, which collectively will be rolled up into a statewide economic development plan.

Why the initiative?

• To identify economic development priorities for each county;

• To reach the widest range of interests and assure the greatest amount of input possible;

• To assure that the Statewide Economic Development Strategy is truly representative of all 64 counties;

• To develop a real and sustainable partnership between all 64 counties and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT); and

• To develop Colorado’s statewide economic development strategy, a framework that will show us how we will work together, find new solutions, address our very real challenges and rebuild our economy.

Specific outcomes desired:

• Local ownership of economic development across the state;

• Trust and respect between government and communities;

• Engaged and ongoing conversations with business and industry;

• Retain and create jobs for Colorado residents;

• Identify innovative and/or “best practices” economic development ideas for implementation and replication respectively; and

• Create a more competitive Colorado.

Citizen’s role

• To actively participate in your county’s economic development planning processes. Provide input and ideas and ask friends, family, neighbors and others to participate as well. Attend planning meetings, take the online survey (www.advancecolorado.com), or send an e-mail at input@state.co.us.

The county’s role

• Submit the most recent county and/or regional economic development plan (if the county wants this information posted) to OEDIT via input@state.co.us or the link posted on OEDIT’s website;

• Establish and communicate a process to develop and/or update the county’s economic development plan (incorporating municipal plans as well) and complete the county economic development plan template by April 15, 2011;

• Establish and communicate process to develop a regional economic development plan; and

• Participate in regional meetings during this initiative process and work in a collaborative manner on a regional basis to incorporate county economic development plans into a regional economic development plan.

Regional roles

• Establish and communicate a process where all counties within the 14 designated regions can use the county plans to develop in the 14 regional plans by May 15, 2011.

State role

OEDIT has partnered with many state agencies, Colorado State University’s Office of Engagement and Extension and other partners to provide resources and tools to assist counties and regions in developing their plans. There will be meetings and forums across the state in order to reach and include as many residents as possible. The state will provide multiple points of entry for residents to provide input, including:

• A website to collect comments, www.advancecolorado.com (see tab “Governor’s Bottom-Up County/Regional Economic Development Plans”).

• An online survey, www.surveygizmo.com/s3/462074/County-Economic-Development-Self-Assessment-Survey.

• An e-mail address to send questions/comments and to send county/regional plans, input@state.co.us.

• A mail center — mail comments to: Bottom Up Economic Development Initiative, 1625 Broadway, Suite 2700, Denver, CO 80202.

• A fax number — fax comments to (303) 892-3848.

• Provide tools that citizens and counties can elect to use in their county planning process, including but not limited to:

• Existing county economic development plans (or economic development excerpts from broader plans), notes from regional coordination meetings coordinated by OEDIT, questions and answers, county and regional data, and in the future the completed county economic development summary templates and regional economic development plans.

• Provide each county with a county economic development plan summary template document for use by all counties and to assist in the regional economic development plan roll up.

• Work with counties to schedule regional meetings for communication/update purposes and for county economic development plan roll up purposes.

• Work with the counties to incorporate/roll up county economic development plans into regional economic development plans.

• Create the state’s economic development plan.

Regional meeting

The Governor’s Bottom-Up Economic Development Plan Initiative Regional Meeting will be held 5-7:30 p.m., Monday, March 7, at the Durango Library, 1900 East 3rd Ave.

The Region 9 meeting will include representatives from Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan and Dolores counties.

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