Western Oklahoma I-
Pictured are some of our recent workshops!
Check out the links below to see summaries of the last few meetings.
Building New Economic Opportunities
Stronger Economies Together (SET) enables communities and counties in rural America to work together in developing and implementing an economic development blueprint for their multi-
Creating, attracting and retaining jobs as a single rural county, in isolation from other nearby counties, is becoming increasingly ineffective. In today’s global marketplace, economic development progress is more likely to be realized when rural and metro counties work together as a region to assess, design, and implement plans that build on their assets and comparative economic strengths.
Launched in 2010 by USDA Rural Development and the nation’s four Regional Rural Development Centers and their land-
Phase I includes multi-
In Phase II includes 11 participating states: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire/Vermont, New York, Texas and Washington.
Phase III, which begins this year, will include regional teams in seven additional states: Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Virginia.
“SET is a proven, highly interactive program that helps rural residents and leaders build regional partnerships focused on their particular economic strengths,” said Brian Whitacre, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension rural development specialist and an associate professor in the department of agricultural economics.
Oklahoma was one of seven states selected to participate in Phase Three of the collaborative program. The Kiamichi Regional is comprised of Choctaw, Haskell, Latimer, Leflore, McCurtain and Pushmataha counties. The Western OK I-
“We see a lot of potential for economic development in the counties situated along the interstate, and OK-
The basic format is that community and county residents and leaders in the regional program work together to identify and understand their strengths and weaknesses with the help of OK-
“Our OSU Cooperative Extension county offices have done a marvelous job of getting local residents and community leaders to take part in this important economic development effort, just the type of collaborative partnership promoted by OK-
USDA Rural Development Deputy Undersecretary Doug O’Brien and Ryan McMullen, Oklahoma director of USDA Rural Development, agree with Vasconcellos.
“We hear from across the nation that SET enables rural citizens to work together to determine their region’s future,” O’Brien said.
McMullen added that an increasing number of community leaders and county officials are realizing that a vital element of economic enhancement is in finding some way to reach the needed critical mass of knowledge, talents, skills and resources to effectively develop and enact a successful plan of action.
“Previous SET participants in other states have gone on to develop industry specific training programs and successfully apply for grants and other monetary assistance targeted toward economic enhancement and development,” he said.
Anyone seeking additional information about OK-
Oklahoma counties selected to take part in national economic development opportunity
By Donald Stotts
STILLWATER, Okla. – The Kiamichi Regional and Western OK I-
SET Contact Information
For more information about the SET program in Western Oklahoma, contact:
Larry Wright -
Brian Whitacre -
2015 meetings will be the second Wednesday of the month for each quarter.
The four meetings would be 9:30 am January 14, April 8, July 8, and October 14.
Please add these dates to your calendars. The meetings will provide progress updates and any changes in activities and should be only 1 to 2 hours in length. Locations to be determined.