Archive for September, 2008

Beyond High School: RTS in Central Louisiana

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Our ongoing work with the Rapides Foundation continues this month, with RTS making presentations to community leaders in Central Louisiana around the future of Workforce Development.  Chris Beacham, our Director of Economic Development Programs, talked about the current state of Cenla’s economy and what the future holds for the region.  Chris’ presentation can be downloaded here and you can read about the effort in the Alexandria newspaper here.

Rural Clusters and the Triple Bottom Line

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

A group of international experts on cluster-based economic development gathered in Burlington Vermont, September 21-24 in a meeting sponsored by RTS and the Ford Foundation.  The group discussed issues around clusters in rural, disadvantaged communities and how effective strategies can be devised that address not only economic development but social equity and inclusion and enivronmental impact–or what is being called the triple bottom line of development.   RTS is in the midst of a project for the Foundation in which several organizations are tasked with looking at different ways to approach the TBL. While RTS is looking at clusters, other groups are looking at entrepneurship, finance and supply chain development as ways to impact rural development in a triple bottom line manner.  In the coming weeks, we will be posting more materials from the meeting on this web site.  You can see a full participant list here.

Creative Opportunities in the New West

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Sheridan, Wyoming is the latest place where RTS and its partners in the Alliance for Creative Advantage are exploring the impact of the creative economy.  Among our findings are that the creative economy of Sheridan and Johnson Counties includes an estimated 1,123 people who earn their living from the creative content of what they produce, support and/or sell. Based on the number employed or self-employed in the two counties, the creative economy represents more than one in 20 people employed, which is higher than manufacturing, and about one in 14 enterprises.   Our report offers recommendations on how the community can take the next steps to making sure that the region builds on its reputation as a center for Western art.  You can download our report here.

Creative economy meetings in Arkansas

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

We recently brought together  more than 80 community leaders, business owners, artists and non-profits in Bentonville and Little Rock, Arkansas to hear  our preliminary recommendations on the next steps that the state can take to enhance its creative economy  Local press featured the meeting as well.  Click here to read their account.

We plan to hold two more of these meeting later this Fall.

You can read more about RTS work in Arkansas, sponsored by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, with our Year 1 and Year 2 report, plus our series of vignettes on Arkansas’ economy.