Cape playing host to regional economic development forum

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Next Tuesday, a host of regional business movers and shakers will converge on Cape Girardeau to discuss the economic climate of the area and explore ways to promote economic development in the region.

The National Association of Development Organizations anticipates over 100 economic development practitioners and policymakers will attend the forum, planned for Tuesday in the University Center Ballroom on the Southeast Missouri State University campus. The title of the forum is "Competing Globally, Growing Regional Economies, Creating Jobs."

"The forum will promote dialogue between community leaders, local business leaders and economic development representatives," said Matt Crow, director of public affairs for the U.S. Economic Development Administration, which is partnering with NADO to put on the program.

The Cape Girardeau event will be the 13th in a tour of 20 forums held in rural areas throughout the country. Crow said the purpose was to introduce rural areas to a broad range of thinking and innovation that they might not otherwise be exposed to. He said Cape Girardeau was selected because of its ready access to Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee.

"We see the economy as regional in nature," Crow said. "What happens in Paducah, Ky., and Carbondale, Ill., impacts Cape Girardeau."

The day will kick off with a presentation by David Sampson, U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, followed by two panel discussions in the morning. The afternoon consists of a training session by representatives of the Economic Development Administration's Denver regional office. It will cover community economic development strategy, construction and an overview of Economic Development Administration programs.

The panel discussions will allow the public to interact with Economic Development Administration staff and panelists as they discuss business retention and recruitment, job creation and retention, regional economic growth strategies and strategic partnerships

Kelly Novak, a NADO research manager, said the panels will consist of regional business leaders, including Jeff Perry from Nordenia USA in Jackson, Larry Dillon from Dana Corporation in Cape Girardeau and Daniel Overby from the SEMO Port Authority in Scott City.

The forum will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is free, but prior registration is required to attend. Register online at, or call the NADO office at (202) 624-7806.

335-6611, extension 137

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