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Extension introduces economic development initiative across Nevada

A collaborative statewide initiative, led by the University of Nevada, Reno Extension, is underway to provide counties with timely economic data and analytical tools to improve county-level planning and policy assessment efforts, organizers announced.

The Nevada Economic Assessment Project (also known as “NEAP”) aims to provide county, state and federal agencies, and their partners, with quantitative and qualitative baseline data and analyses to better understand trends in each county’s demographic, social, economic, fiscal and environmental characteristics.

The project is led by Buddy Borden and Tom Harris, who are both community economic development specialists with Extension. Harris is also director of the University Center for Economic Development.

“Locating reliable quantitative socioeconomic data has long been a challenge for many Nevada rural counties,” Borden said in a Jan. 7 news release. “The overall goal of the Nevada Economic Assessment Project is to develop and maintain a comprehensive database and set of county analytical tools that are useful for Nevadans working on a variety of issues relating to economic development, community planning and impact assessments.”

The project is currently active in Nye, Esmeralda, Elko, Humboldt and counties, and will be launched in the other Nevada counties over the next 18 months. Each county process takes about five months and includes data collection and analysis, economic impact model development, asset mapping and county workshops, all based on local input.

The project’s contributing members include the University’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology &Natural Resources; the University Center for Economic Development; Nevada Bureau of Land Management; U.S. Forest Service; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development; and the Nevada Association of Counties.

For more information about the Nevada Economic Assessment Project, contact Borden at EconDev@unr.edu or 702-257-5505.

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