Snow didn’t stop the ideas from flying as members of the Northern Tier Regional Planning and Development Commission (Northern Tier) and their partners from Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, and Wyoming Counties met in Pennsylvania last month. Northern Tier is leading the regional group that was awarded the opportunity to participate in the Stronger Economies Together (SET) training and technical assistance program, sponsored by USDA Rural Development in conjunction with the Northeast Regional Rural Development Center and Penn State Extension. The SET program is a nationwide effort focused on working with regional groups to encourage and strengthen regional thinking and developing information and strategies to address issues affecting the region. The training will cover nine course modules on “Strategies for Building New Economic Opportunities” which will be completed by next year.
Marcellus Shale was the topic, but the conversation wasn’t about the money and jobs the industry has brought to the area. The conversation was about how to measure the economic impact of Marcellus Shale, keep the dollars in the region, and create a sustainable economy. The Northern Tier realizes the way to achieve sustainable results and best utilize area resources is regional collaboration. The foundation created on that snowy morning will be the building blocks of the region’s future success. This effort is a great example of how Rural Development has brought leaders and stakeholders in several communities together to collaborate on how to improve the quality of their community. Northern Tier was one of two Pennsylvania regional teams selected after a competitive application process.
To learn more about how USDA Rural Development supports local and regional development efforts click here.