From the Ground Up
Having adequate capacity is a critical factor for effective rural community economic development.
Demands placed on economic development practitioners in rural environments can often be even more overwhelming and time consuming. With limited capacity to support their development goals, they can be destined to fail.
Over the past decade or so, the responsibility for fostering rural economic survival, growth, and sustainability has continued to shift towards that of local government. However, they simply cannot, and should not, do it alone. That’s where our organization, Economic Developers Alberta (EDA), can help.
EDA knows first-hand the lack of capacity its rural members face when it comes to carrying out locally based economic development or ‘self-development’ work. Rural practitioners, unlike their metropolitan counterparts, are less likely to have the same level of skill, experience, time, or access to resources required to develop and implement effective economic development programs. In addition, smaller communities usually have more unique challenges specific to their local economy.
EDA has designed a comprehensive support framework for rural communities called, ‘From the Ground Up: Building Economic Development Capacity in Rural Alberta’. This framework aims to increase local capacity in smaller/rural communities by augmenting the level of practitioner and community stakeholder knowledge, skills, and industry networks; while serving as a catalyst to help them set and reach their economic development goals.
This Framework includes the following four ‘elements’:
Under each of these elements, we have developed some specific programming.
This program is supported by the Government of Alberta, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation.