Rural Broadband at a Glance, 2009
Per this report from the Economic Research Service (ESR) Internet use is lower for individuals in rural areas (71 percent) than in urban areas. The growth in broadband availability since 2000 has been rapid. In 2000, land-based broadband service provision was clustered in highly urbanized areas with service available only in a limited number of rural areas. The images below, depicting broadband availability and usage, are taken from this report.
America in 2050 - Where and How We'll Live
This article in newgeography.com reports that the presence of 100 million more Americans by 2050 will reshape the nation's geography. Per such projections, scores of new communities will have to be built to accommodate them, creating a massive demand for new housing, as well as industrial and commercial space. The graphs below depict the predicted breakdown of where people will choose to live and how the value of being a homeowner is perceived by different generations.
'Good Neighbor Handbook' Available to Rural Montana Landowners
This handbook encourages stewardship of the land and offers tips and resources for landowners in their efforts to maintain healthy vegetation on their land, enjoy living among wildlife without conflicts, understand the working landscapes of Missoula County, and more.
Montana Transportation and Land Use Resources for Growing Communities
The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is pleased to announce the recent launch of the Resources for Growing Communities web site. This resource can help agency staff, managers, and elected officials in growing communities coordinate transportation and land use decisions.
Montana State of the Arts Newspaper Now Available Online
See what artists are contributing to Montana’s economy. The State of the Arts for March/April is available online in PDF format at the Montana Arts Council's website.
| Upcoming Events
Register Today! - The Wheeler Center - "The 'Next' Economy: A Public Discussion On Jobs And Innovation"
April 5-6, Best Western Grantree, Bozeman. Exactly ten years ago, the Wheeler Center at Montana State University hosted a conference on what was then called the “New Economy,” a reference to a new kind and class of jobs appearing in the state, which relied largely on technology and telecommunications. The New Economy was a wonderful lens with which to view a future of value-added enterprises, high wage jobs, and "lone eagles" working out of their communities as successfully in Scobey as in San Francisco.
Mobilize Your Non-Profit Board To Raise More Money
April 21, 1:30 PM, Missoula, Hilton Garden Inn. Sponsored by the Western Montana Fund Raisers Association and Montana Nonprofit Association, his workshop is presented by Andy Robinson, national trainer and consultant for nonprofits in fundraising, grant seeking, board development, marketing, earned income, planning, leadership development, and facilitation; and author of several fundraising books including: Big Gifts for Small Groups and Great Boards for Small Groups.
Rebuilding Rural Communities Through Innovation In Education, Economic And Work Force Development
May 4-6, 7:00 AM, The Coeur d'Alene , Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The 2010 Rural Conference is focused on rebuilding and reinvesting in rural America. You'll hear nationally recognized and innovative speakers address such critical subjects as job creation, how to create a culture of entrepreneurship, creating opportunities for, and retaining youth, key strategies for economic development, green jobs, educational initiatives to meet the demands of the future and much more.
2010 Innovation In Business Conference
May 17-19, 5:00 PM, Crowne Plaza, Billings. The third annual event for Montana's private sector businesses, and professionals representing workforce development, education, and economic development. Our agenda is planned with our business partners in mind, providing valuable information to owners or leaders in Montana businesses. Opportunities will be provided to learn, network, and share information.
Communication Across Barriers Poverty Coaching Institute
For the first time ever, you can be certified as a Poverty Coach for your organization. Register for Dr. Donna M. Beegle's first ever Poverty Coaching Institutes.
* May 17-18, Portland, OR
* June 3-4, Portland, OR
*July 22nd - 23rd, Portland,OR
IEDC Accepting Entries for the 2010 Excellence in Economic Development Awards
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC)’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships; marketing materials; and the year’s most influential leaders. These prestigious awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Early Bird Deadline: April 16. Final Deadline: May 21.
Six New Grant Opportunities have been added to the MSU Extension Website.
Community Development “In the News”
America is suffering from a glut of underused space- our homes, offices, and shopping centers. How can we get more efficient in our use of space? New York Times; Mar. 28
How the Recession is Downsizing Local Government
Budget cuts are dramatically reshaping many local governments. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Mar. 23
What States and Cities are Doing to Help Small Businesses
While Washington debates how to help the country’s struggling small businesses, states and municipalities have stepped up with an array of initiatives to stanch closings and save jobs. New York Times; Mar. 23
Worker Shortage Coming as Population Ages
With millions of unemployed people across the country struggling to find work, it may seem unbelievable that there could be more jobs than workers to fill them in coming years, but a new report predicts exactly that. Market Watch; Mar 22
USDA Ups Cash, Oversight for Organic Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that its National Organic Program will soon begin spot checks of organic producers and products to ensure they meet organic standards. New York Times; March 20
Splicing Small Farms into Residential Development
Small farms are increasingly being integrated into new housing development proposals. Crosscut; Mar. 19
Mountain West Output, Jobs Trail Nation in Economic Recovery
The Intermountain West is heading into new and unwelcome economic territory, according to a quarterly report by the Brookings Institution. For the first time in 35 years, the region is lagging behind the rest of the nation's recovery from a recession and may need some "soul searching." Salt Lake Tribune; Mar. 16
Culture Not Clear-Cuts are Forests’ Biggest Threat
Entire anti-forestry campaigns have been built around bleak images of clear-cut forests, whereas corn growing on formerly forested land evokes a much less emotional response. But clear-cuts can be part of ecologically minded forest management. Worldwatch Institute; Mar. 16
Green Features Aren't Selling Houses
Green housing features like solar roofs and angled walls add cost to a development, and lenders don't see added value. So as CNN reports, green housing currently faces a stiff market. CNN Money; Mar. 15
Rethinking the Economy - Cultivating Companies Seen as Key to Progress
Successful regions, they found, have invested heavily in technology firms focused on marketplace solutions, from medicine to microchips. 2theadvocate.com; Mar. 9
Broadband Can Close the Education Loop for Rural Communities
Education increases chances for employment. Distance learning increases educational opportunities for rural residents. Daily Yonder; Mar. 8
Engaging Communities, Improving Neighborhoods
Dr. Marc Schlossberg of the University of Oregon developed a series of tools for mobile GIS devices, and set community members loose to use the technology to collect data about their streets and improve their neighborhood livability. Planetizen; Mar. 8
Putting Good Energy with the Bad
Facing resistance when siting green energy projects like wind turbines, energy companies are considering brownfields and Superfund sites. Next100; Mar. 5
Montana Project Would Turn Waste into Fuel
Bioroot Energy and partner Standard Alcohol Company of America want to build a plant in western Montana that incinerates waste, captures the gas created by that process and turn it into liquid fuel. Missoulian; March 29
Another Montana City Applies for Google Network
Butte is joining Missoula and Bozeman in the contingent of Montana cities vying to snag the Google Fiber for Communities project, an ultra-high-speed broadband network that delivers Internet speeds at 1 gigabit per second. Montana Standard; March 26
Wind Deal Could Take Montana Energy to West Coast
Gaelectric, which has offices in Great Falls, is planning to put $2 billion into wind development projects in Montana over the next six years. Ravalli Republic; Mar. 25
Montana Company Closes Doors
Montana Furniture Industries, a Bozeman-based company that manufactured Mission-style furniture at a factory in Four Corners, is closing down--another victim of the economy, ending 70 jobs. Bozeman Daily Chronicle; Mar. 18
National Broadband Plan May Speed Things Up for Idaho, Montana
Making Internet connections in Idaho and Montana speedier is part of the goal behind the much-anticipated National Broadband Plan, officially released recently by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). New West; Mar. 16
Can Green Technology Propel Economic Development in Montana?
In Montana, the abundance of both wind and solar state incentives has drawn investment from renewable energy companies. Governing; Mar. 1