How Bluefield, WV and Weirton, WV are using Cool & Connected ideas to help their economic development

Downtown Bluefield, WV. Photo by Joseph via Flickr.

Earlier this year we joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Appalachian Regional Commission to start delivering Cool & Connected technical assistance, a workshop series designed to help rural communities find new economic opportunities by leveraging investments in broadband, or reliable, high-speed internet access.

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Announcing the recipients of our Small-Scale Manufacturing And Place-Based Economic Development technical assistance


The Gates Art Gallery building in Lowell, MA’s Acre neighborhood. Lowell is hoping to support small-scale manufacturing in the neighborhood. Photo by Richard Howe via Flickr.

Four communities are using small-scale manufacturing for downtown revitalization to create economic opportunity, and will receive free technical assistance from Smart Growth America, made possible by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Small-scale manufacturing has emerged as an innovative strategy in today’s urban economic development toolbox. For many cities, this new industry can connect residents to good paying jobs and economic opportunity in the neighborhoods they call home. Smart Growth America’s newest technical assistance program helps cities integrate small-scale manufacturing spaces into their economic development work.

Economic development Technical assistance

Connecting rural economies to the speed of broadband

Rural communities across the country have abundant natural beauty and a heritage of hard work. By bridging the gap in broadband capabilities, these communities are creating a new resource for their current residents and making themselves more competitive in the national economy.

Technical assistance

A second chance to apply for our Complete Streets Consortium free technical assistance

When we opened applications for our free standard technical assistance workshops earlier this fall, one type of assistance we offered was a brand new Complete Streets Consortium Series.

The Consortium Series is an opportunity for three communities from the same state to work closely together to implement Complete Streets—streets that are safe and accessible for people of all ages and abilities.

Complete Streets Technical assistance

The five communities selected for TOD technical assistance

Five communities working to support development around transit projects will get a big boost this year thanks to technical assistance from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), in partnership with Smart Growth America.

The National Public Transportation/Transit-Oriented Development Technical Assistance Initiative is a four-year project of FTA in partnership with Smart Growth America that helps communities across the country build equitable, compact, mixed-use development around transit stations or along transit corridors, with a focus on development in economically disadvantaged areas.

Technical assistance

City by city, side by side: A look back at 2016’s free technical assistance

chattanooga
Participants at our 2016 workshop in Chattanooga, TN.

Last week we announced the six new communities that will receive one of our free standard technical assistance workshops in 2017. This program, now in its sixth year and funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities’ Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program, has helped more than 70 communities across the country use development strategies to meet their goals.

As we look forward to working with next year’s communities, we wanted to take a moment to look back on the diversity of faces and places we’ve visited this year.

Technical assistance

Small-scale manufacturers: creating good jobs, great products, and vibrant neighborhoods

rickshaw

Rickshaw Bagworks makes and sells cycling-inspired bags in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood. Photo by Richard Masoner via Flickr.

Small-scale manufacturers like woodworkers, steel fabricators, hardware prototypers, microbrewers, and coffee roasters with regional distribution have emerged as a significant force in today’s urban economy. For many cities and neighborhoods suffering the loss of skilled-labor employers, this emerging, city-oriented industrial sector offers a powerful revitalization tool that can connect residents to good paying jobs and economic opportunity in the neighborhoods they call home.

Technical assistance