Stronger Economies Together (SET) is an exciting collaboration launched in 2010 by USDA Rural Development along with the nation’s Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs) and their land-grant university partners. SET is designed to enable communities and counties in rural America to work together on a multi-county regional basis to develop an economic development blueprint that strategically builds on the current and emerging economic strengths of their region.

SET Highlights
  • Phase I pilot efforts are in place in 23 multi-county regions located in nine states: Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
  • In Phase II, SET is expanding to 10 new states in 2011: Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire/Vermont, New York, Texas, and Washington.
  • State Partner Teams bring together the talents and resources of key state and federal agencies, land-grant university Extension programs, and other organizations to provide training and technical assistance to each of the regional teams.
  • Thirty-five (35) hours of SET training will be delivered to each region, a process that guides the development of practical and viable regional economic development strategies. Much of this training involves actual hands-on work on the regional plan by team members.
  • Each region receives tailored economic analyses describing the region’s current and emerging clusters and its comparative economic advantages.
  • To supplement the SET training, each region will receive some targeted technical assistance to help them launch their plans.
  • Experiences and insights will be shared among the regions and the State Partner Teams.
  • New states and regions are slated to be added in late 2011 as part of Phase III.

If you want to learn more about this exciting regional effort, contact the following:

Jim Goodwin
Senior Program Officer
Western Rural Development Center
Utah State University