Rural Communities Encouraged to Apply; Applications due June 2
Denver (April 4, 2017) – The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) today announced it is accepting applications for the next round of Blueprint 2.0 initiatives for 2017. Applications are due June 2.
“In our continued effort to identify opportunities for the entire state to share in our overall economic vitality, this program provides support to rural communities who are committed to strengthening their economy,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Blueprint 2.0 leverages state partnerships and specialized resources to address the unique economic development goals of rural Colorado. Blueprint 2.0 is a bottom-up effort to turn regional feedback on local economic needs into a statewide set of initiatives to advance the economies of rural communities.
“The first round of the Blueprint 2.0 initiatives were very successful and provided a framework for local communities to create plans that address their needs,” said OEDIT executive director Stephanie Copeland. “We are excited to launch the next round and look forward to working with communities across the state.”
Based on participant feedback, community successes and economic opportunities the next round of Blueprint 2.0 will offer 10 initiative options, with six new initiatives. The initiatives include:
“We found from the first round of Blueprint 2.0 which initiatives were most successful, and what new opportunities needed to be addressed,” said health and wellness champion and senior regional manager for regional development Meridith Marshall. “We are excited to be helping communities address everything from placemaking and branding to housing and economic development.”
Communities interested in a Blueprint 2.0 initiative are encouraged to apply online, and will be asked to demonstrate collaboration, strong local leadership and solid support for the initiative they chose to pursue. Initiative descriptions and program application are available on the Blueprint page here.
In 2016, OEDIT led 27 initiatives, of 10 different offerings, in 10 of Colorado’s 14 regions. One such community was Delta County who was chosen for the Strengthen Your Local Business Brand Initiative. Colorado’s chief marketing officer, Liz Cahill, along with marketing experts from Development Councilors International (DCI) helped the community develop a clear, unique brand and positioning, initial target audience, key messages and visual identification (logo).
“The bottom-up approach of the Blueprint 2.0 program works well in rural communities like ours where people are passionate and value local decision making,” said Trish Thibodo with Delta County Economic Development (DCED). “The support we received through the Branding Initiative was invaluable and has set us up for success with attracting businesses and families to Delta County.”
Interested communities are encouraged to contact OEDIT to discuss project eligibility prior to applying. The application is available online at choosecolorado.com. Applications and all supporting documents must be submitted to OEDIT by June 2. Award decisions will be made by July 15.