This year's Appalachian Ohio State of the Region Conference will focus on rural wealth creation.
This year's Appalachian Ohio State of the Region Conference will focus on rural wealth creation.

Annual Appalachian Ohio State of the Region conference to focus on rural wealth creation

Daniel Kington
April 18, 2018

The Seventh Annual Appalachian Ohio State of the Region Conference will gather public officials, regional economic development practitioners, and representatives from businesses and organizations to discuss rural wealth creation in southeast Ohio.  Titled, “Changing the Narrative: Using Rural Wealth Creation to Transform the Region,” the conference will take place between 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Ohio University’s Baker University Center Ballroom in Athens, Ohio.

Conference planning committee member Gilbert Michaud, an assistant professor of practice at OHIO’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, said this year’s theme is of vital importance to the ongoing development of the region. 

“Rural wealth creation is an important and timely subject,” Michaud said. “Strategies such as hiring local labor, purchasing locally and establishing local supply chain relationships are fundamental to developing regional assets, promoting local ownership and building local wealth. Pursuing these strategies can also contribute to improved talent, higher-paying jobs and the enhanced overall well-being of individuals in Appalachian Ohio.” 

At the conference, nearly 20 speakers will discuss the role of creating wealth in attaining economic development, focused on local people, places and firms. Speakers will emphasize that Appalachian Ohio’s resources are not limited to its financial capital, but also include intellectual, social, cultural, natural and political capital. Consequently, regional wealth creation entails leveraging these already existing forms of regional capital in new and innovative ways.

Michaud emphasized that such an approach will inevitably involve cross-sector partnerships.

“Attendees will hear from renowned speakers across the region about wealth creation stories from public, private and nonprofit perspectives,” Michaud said.

Conference registration and parking are free, and a light lunch will be provided. However, space is limited, so participants should register as soon as possible.

The event is sponsored by the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, the Voinovich School and OHIO’s Economic Development Administration University Center. To register, click here. For additional information, visit the conference webpage or contact the event organizers at 740.597.3088 or sotr@ohio.edu.