Strengthening Economies in the West: A Regional Forum for Coal-Reliant Communities

Apr. 19, 2017 – Apr. 21, 2017
Denver, CO

Is your county or region experiencing economic challenges due to the contraction of the coal industry?  Are you seeking effective approaches to support economic diversification, workforce development and improved quality of life in your community?

Join the National Association of Counties and the National Association of Development Organizations(NADO) Research Foundation in Denver, Colorado on April 19 – 21 for Strengthening Economies in the West, a free forum designed for coal-reliant counties and regions in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.  This convening will bring together stakeholders from a variety of public and private sectors for an educational and interactive gathering to share best practices, lessons learned and new opportunities to support economic diversification.  Prepare for a mix of plenary sessions and smaller group discussions covering a variety of topics including infrastructure, manufacturing, entrepreneurship, local foods and arts and tourism.

The forum will also have plenty of opportunities for networking with your peers, federal officials and other practitioners who are promoting economic and community development at the local, regional and state level.  All interested community stakeholders from these four states are welcome to attend, including: county and other local officials, regional development organization staff, workforce development professionals, business owners, and staff from K-12 and higher education institutions, non-profits and philanthropic organizations.    

Note that this opportunity is open to all counties and regions in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming that are economically linked to the coal industry, including those that are coal-producing and those that are home to significant concentrations of coal processing and related facilities, including coal-fired power plants. 

This forum is funded through the support of the U.S. Economic Development Administration -  Denver Regional Office.

The draft agenda is attached and will be updated in the coming weeks.


Please direct any questions to Sanah Baig, NACo Program Director at or Brett Schwartz, NADO Program Manager, at


The Curtis Hotel
1405 Curtis Street
Denver, Colorado

NOTE: We have secured a group rate for this event at The Curtis Hotel. 

These rates will be available until Friday April 7th.  Reservations can be made by calling Reservation Coordinator Lindsay Dvorak at 720-889-4782.