The 2010 Rural Community Conference takes place Aug. 31-Sept 1. We are excited to announce that one of the keynote speakers will be Joseph Marshall III, author of “The Power of Four: Leadership Lessons from Crazy Horse.” Registration is now open with an early-bird rate of $95 through July 15; the full agenda will be posted soon. We look forward to seeing you at the conference!
US Population Estimates Available
The US Census Bureau recently released population estimates as of July 1, 2009, for the nation, each state and the District of Columbia by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin. The new estimates are not 2010 Census population counts. Rather, they are based on 2000 Census data and updated by using administrative records to estimate components of population change — namely births, deaths, and domestic and international migration. Annual estimates for the 2000 to 2009 period are provided. The images below show data for both the nation and Montana relating to median age rankings.
Job Growth in the Green economy Outpaces Job Growth in the Economy Overall
As reported in New West, the recent Clean Energy-Digest report from Headwaters Economics, looks at the economic results of clean energy and energy efficiency in the five states we call the Rocky Mountain Energy Producers— Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Clean energy and energy efficiency are among the strongest segments of the overall green economy and often performed better than other areas of the broader economy during these challenging economic times. The graphs below from the report show how green jobs compare to others, and how they are broken down by segment.
County Unemployment Rates from 1991 - 2009
Headwaters Economics features a webpage with an animated map that illustrates the changes in unemployment in US counties from 1991 thru 2009. The maps below show the changes from the beginning and the end of this time span.
A Business Plan for America's Energy Future
The American Energy Innovation Council has prepared a complete report on their findings and recommendations. This report is available to download. From the report, the graphs below shows that US spending on R&D for energy lags behind developed Asia and France, as well as it’s decline over the last 30 years.
2009 Montana Incorporated City/Town/Place Population Estimates
The Montana Census and Economic Information Center (CEIC) recently posted the US Census Bureau’s new population estimates for cities and towns in Montana. All 129 incorporated places in Montana now have updated population figures as of July 1, 2009. These new populations are not a result of the recent Census 2010 survey, but a product of the Census Estimates program. The first city and town population data resulting from Census 2010 will be released by April 2011. The map below shows the distribution of incorporated and unincorporated places.
Senator Tester To Host Small Business Workshop
July 9, 8:00 AM, Flathead Valley Community College, Kalispell. In his latest effort to create jobs, boost business, and to bring together small businesses and industry, Senator Jon Tester will host another Small Business Opportunity Workshop. Leaders will come together to discuss entrepreneurship, access to capital (such as loans, grants, and tax credits), and marketing opportunities.
Pride of Montana Street Fair
July 10, 10 AM - 6 PM, Sherman Park, Wolf Point. Promoting Made in Montana products, artwork, crafts, and jewelry during the Wolf Point Stampede. $30 per artist, bring your own table. Contact to reserve your spot or call the Wolf Point Chamber of Commerce at (406) 653-2012.
Renewable Energy Primer and Plugging Wood into the Power Grid
July 14, Missoula.
This Energy Education Workshop includes topic of interest to those in the forest products industry and those interested in the opportunity for renewable power generation in Montana using woody biomass. With the recent release of the co-gen feasibility studies at mill sites across western Montana, this is a good opportunity to get a foundational education on the energy sector and how and where the forest products sector may fit into that. Further details are available at the DNRC website. Registration is free, but space is limited. Call the DEQ at (406)841-5275 or email to pre-register.
The CDC Model of Urban Development: Lessons Learned from the Place-Based Approach
July 28, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM, Online. This Minneapolis Fed Community Development Webinar will focus on the recent economic recession's deepening of challenges for community development corporations (CDC's), and place-based CDC's in particular. Area-wide entities have formed, but have come under critique for their diminished neighborhood advocacy. Join us to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the original, place based CDC model.
Managing your Economic Development (or any other) Organization and Strategic Planning
August 10 – 11, MSU-B Downtown Campus, Billings. In a recent survey, MEDA Members stated their two greatest needs for training: 1.) Managing an Economic Development Organization and 2.) Strategic Planning. Thanks to PPL Montana, the MEDA Professional Development Committee is bringing to Montana LaDene Bowen, Executive Director of the Institute for Decision Making, University of Northern Iowa for workshops on these topics. Register before July 20th to get early-bird rates.
Northwest Economic Development Course
August 22-26, 8:00 AM, Ellensburg, Washington. The nationally accredited 19th annual economic development course brings together some of the best consultants, practitioners, and teachers to give their thoughts on how states and communities can establish a healthy environment that can lead to economic development.
The Rural Community Conference
August 31 – September 1, MSU-Bozeman campus. Neighborhoods, schools, cities and towns are bringing all kinds of people into creative community problem solving and building a future for the rural West. This is your chance to share, learn, connect and mobilize with others dedicated to creating thriving rural communities. Scholarships are available. Join us and find solutions, share success stories, adopt new tools. Leave ready to move from waiting to leading, from talk to action.
Venture Capital In The Rockies 3rd Annual Fall Business Plan Conference
September 15 – 17, 5:00 PM, Eldorado Hotel & Spa, Santa Fe, NM. The VCIR Fall Conference will showcase the region’s most promising emerging growth companies for an audience of hundreds of venture investors, CEOs, entrepreneurs and service professionals. In addition to highlighting the region's most compelling companies, VCIR Fall will have a focus on enlightening speakers who will entice you to keep your blackberry at bay.
Wheeler Center Fall Conference “Montana’s Challenge: Rethinking Education For The 21st Century”
September 20-21, Helena, Montana. The Burton K. Wheeler Center's Fall Conference will focus on the most pressing questions to be faced by educators, legislators, administrators, business interests, parents and students. How can we rethink education in our state? Montana's educators have proposed several strategies and initiatives to improve education. What are they and what problems have they been designed to solve? What role should the private sector play? Please join as we gather to discuss these issues and more.
USDA Rural Development Announces Application Period for Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP)
This new program provides low interest loans and technical assistance grants to intermediaries (including nonprofit development corporations) that will operate a revolving loan fund with the 1% loan funds and provide or improve their technical assistance capabilities with the grant funds. Microentrepreneurs are businesses that need less than $50,000 in loan funds and have less than 10 employees. Please note the application deadline for all 2010 funds is July 16.
Advancing Clean Energy - A Report on the Clean Energy States Grant Program
As a component of the 2007-2008 National Governors Association’s Securing a Clean Energy Future initiative, 12 states (Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Utah) were selected through a competitive process to receive $50,000 grants to help advance a clean energy project of their choosing. See the report for full details.
Ten New Grant Opportunities have been added to the MSU Extension Website.
|Community Development “In the News”
Transmission Routes Topic at Western Governors' Meeting
Monday's session of the Western Governors' Association's annual meeting focused on the need for new energy development and the development of transmission projects to carry the power generated from source to market. Helena Independent Record (AP); June 29
Alternative Energy Booms in Rural Areas
The changing face of America's energy menu includes a variety of alternative sources, many of which are being developed in the country's rural areas. Daily Yonder; June 24
Whose Broadband Did Rural Utilities Service 'Stimulate'?
In phase one of the Rural Utilities Service's funding for improved Internet service, last-mile projects, co-ops and private companies came out on top. Daily Yonder; June 23
Quarterly Report Ties Lack of Job Creation to West's Listless Economic Recovery
The quarterly Mountain Monitor report, produced by Brookings Mountain West, a partnership of the Brookings Institution and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, said a lack of job creation in the Rocky Mountain West's 10 largest metro areas, and 21 smaller cities, is keeping economic recovery at bay. Salt Lake Tribune; June 16
Farms Benefit by Creating Energy
Renewable-fuel machinery costly, but larger operations say it eventually pays off. Like many others these days, Michigan farmers are looking for ways to use less energy, save money and be kinder to the environment. Detroit News; June 15
A Better Solar Panel
When it comes to solar energy, we ain’t seen NOTHIN’ yet. The boys and girls in the labs at Cal Tech and MIT and Cal Berkeley and places like that, being especially bright boys and girls, glanced up at the sun (when they were let out of the labs for Spring Break), and said to themselves, “hello sunshine and hello fortune.” Renewable Energy Wold.com; June 12
Home Foreclosures Set New Record in May
Bank repossessions of homes set a new record in May, the second consecutive month to do so, with one out of every 400 homes in the United States receiving a notice of foreclosure, and every state in the union reporting an increase in foreclosures. Salt Lake Tribune; June 11
Rural Businesses Grow Faster Together - The Power of Clusters
Rural businesses grow bigger and faster when they are closer together. In Vermont, a cluster of food-related businesses is thriving. The state needs to make sure this group of businesses has access to skilled workers. Daily Yonder; June 7
Great Falls Development Authority Details Successful Year
The main goal of the GFDA's strategic plan is to bring better-paying jobs to the region, and the organization made progress toward that goal in the past year. Great Falls Tribune; June 25
Montana PSC Says Wind Project Exceeds Board's Limit on Rate Setting
The Montana Public Service Commission said two 10-megawatt wind farms near Chester are actually one project, the Kenfield Wind Park, putting the wind park beyond the authority of the board to set rates for the power generated. Helena Independent Record; June 23
Montana Cities Invited to Boost Clean Energy
Rhys Roth, a founder of New Energy Cities, told the group he’s on “a scouting mission in Montana’’ to see if cities have the desire and willingness to become a partner with the program. New Energy Cities is meeting with community leaders in Billings, Bozeman and Helena. Billings Gazette; June 23
Non-Residents Keep Helping Montana Economy
The Institute of Tourism and Recreation Research, at the University of Montana, gathered information about nonresidents and posted it online. Researchers say nonresidents contributed to more than 25,000 jobs and $660 million. KAJ18.com; June 22
Great Outdoors Initiative Offers Great Opportunity
On June 2nd, Montana hosted the first in a series of national listening sessions designed to hear from people across the country about how they would like to see public and private lands managed, and how to best ensure that our special places are available for the enjoyment of future generations. New West; June 14