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Where There is Hope: Our Plan for a Rural Town - Montana Economic Developers Association Community Resource Team Assessment Program

January 15, 2017View for printing

We knew what we were getting into - that economic development in rural America is and probably always will be a tough row to hoe.

We do not know with certainty how this story will end. Most towns in rural America do not end so much as linger. Some grow. Some shrink. Some die.

Their skeletons are typically found in remote areas, ghost towns, where hope died and the people left. But I believe where there is hope, there are possibilities - that good things can and do happen if concerted action is taken.

We, a team of consultants, were hired by a small rural western town that was facing the prospect of losing its single largest and very dominant employer. In an earlier blog, I called it "A Small Town with a Company on the Hill."

Full Story: ... rural-town/


Hiring a team of analysts can be very expensive. Montana communities have an outstanding alternative. Your community should take advantage of this outstanding resource.

Montana Economic Developers Association Community Resource Team Assessment Program:


"As a result of the Resource Team Assessment the City of Forsyth now has a master plan for making improvements in our community and we are aggressively implementing the plan." Past Mayor Dennis Kopitzke

"The Resource Team has brought such unity and inspiration to our tiny community. It is a great service, and reassuring to know that you are still there to help us with advice, encouragement and funding sources." Ellen Allen, Custer, MT

What is a Resource Team?

Sponsored by Montana Department of Commerce with coordination by Montana Economic Developers Association and your local Certified Regional Development Corporation, Resource Teams are a county and/or community based planning and assessment process involving interviewing a large number of people in the community, recording their suggestions and having a team of experts write - up implementation plans for county/community use. The critical focus is the community. The team of experts suggests ways of accomplishing the goals of the community. ... mary(1).pdf
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