15 Rural Communities Picked for ‘Blueprint 2.0’ Initiatives
By Liz Cahill
Stephanie Copeland, executive director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) along with local economic development professionals from around the state, gathered in Meeker today to announce the recipients of the second round of the Colorado Blueprint 2.0 initiatives.
“Blueprint 2.0 is a great example of how Colorado is going above and beyond existing resources to support the needs of our rural regions,” said Lt. Governor Donna Lynne. “We congratulate today’s recipients and look forward to seeing how these regions leverage the new services and resources to help strengthen their economies and communities.”
Blueprint 2.0 leverages state partnerships and specialized resources to address the unique economic development goals of rural Colorado. Launched in 2015, Blueprint 2.0 is a bottom-up effort to turn regional feedback on local economic needs into a statewide set of initiatives to advance the economies of rural communities.
“OEDIT is committed to building rural economies through a variety of innovative programs and initiatives,” said Copeland. “We are excited to announce the communities that will benefit from the second round of Blueprint 2.0 initiatives and look forward to working with communities across the state.”
Recipients of the second round of Colorado Blueprint 2.0 include:
- A Data-Driven Approach to Economic Development: Steamboat Springs
- Brand Building for Communities: Logan County, Moffat County and Custer County
- Community Placemaking: Hayden and Kiowa
- Coworking 101: Sterling, Delta, and Rio Blanco County
- Creativity Lab: Grand Junction and Grand Lake
- Film and Major Production: Georgetown and Victor
- Grow Your Outdoor Recreation Industry: Trinidad and Silverton
- Tourism Promotion and Development: Leadville and Rio Blanco County
The second round of Blueprint 2.0 offered six new initiatives based on participant feedback and economic opportunities. Each initiative includes services not previously provided by the State, and leverages state resources and partnerships with organizations outside of the state of Colorado to provide technical assistance to regions who expressed an interest in pursuing the initiatives.
“We are excited to be helping communities address everything from placemaking and branding to housing and economic development,” said health and wellness champion and senior regional manager for regional development Meridith Marshall. “We had great success with the first round of Blueprint 2.0, and we are looking forward to the second round of initiatives and how they will advance rural Colorado.”
Many communities applied for Colorado Blueprint 2.0 initiatives, and during the application process, communities and regions were asked to demonstrate collaboration, strong local leadership and solid support for the initiative they chose to pursue. Initiatives will be deployed between now and March 2018.
In 2016, OEDIT led 27 initiatives, of 10 different offerings, in 10 of Colorado’s 14 regions during the first round of the Blueprint 2.0 initiatives. The original Blueprint, conceived during Governor John Hickenlooper’s first term, was an overarching economic development strategy for the State.