Brian Cole of Building Communities Tours American Communities to Discuss Economic Development Strategic Planning

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25-year economic development expert Brian Cole toured communities in four states this fall to discuss economic development strategies to improve local rural economies.

Our process at Building Communities helps community leaders eliminate the guesswork so they can immediately identify their winning strategies and get to work creating jobs and improved community conditions.

Building Communities President Brian Cole traveled this summer and fall to Arkansas, North Dakota, Arizona, and Oklahoma to visit with community leaders about strategies to help rural America rebound from the challenging economic situation.

In July of 2011, the Associated Press reported that the “Rural United States is Disappearing.” In 1910, rural America comprised 72% of the U.S. population. This compares to 20% in the 2000 Census and 16% in the 2010 Census. Today, the percentage of Americans living in rural America is the lowest in history.

According to economic development expert Brian Cole, rural communities and regions in the United States have two options: either accept the sorry condition of continuing decline, or band together to create a more prosperous and sustainable future.

Cole finds that most communities think that their only option is to recruit companies from other parts on the country. Yet, too often, according to Cole, this strategy fails in a national economy where there are far more communities chasing companies than companies that are actually looking to expand or relocate.

“Business recruitment is a high-stakes game for communities that are seeking to improve their economic condition,” says Cole. “Cities are advised that they need to seek other economic development strategies to improve local economies and improve overall quality of life.”

This is why Cole founded Building Communities in 2009. Cole could see that communities needed help, and his experience in advancing 25 different economic development strategies in a rural region was the perspective that other communities needed. An additional method that Brian Cole offers to communities is rural regional sustainability planning.

Cole’s approach advances the selection of up to 25 economic development strategies ranging from business development to tourism development to downtown development to community development and many others.

“Every community is different,” says Cole. “Therefore the strategies that make sense for different communities are different. Our process at Building Communities helps community leaders eliminate the guesswork so they can immediate identify their winning strategies and get to work creating jobs and improved community conditions. In effect, everyone can become a local economic development expert.”

Cole plans on assisting as many as 100 rural communities in America in 2012 and 2013.

About Building Communities: Building Communities is an economic development strategic planning company assisting communities throughout the United States to envision and enact their future through unique, proprietary methods and software that expedites the ability of communities to select strategies that they can succeed with to create jobs and improve their overall quality of life. President, Author, and community and economic development expert Brian Cole, brings 25 years of experience in planning and implementing successful projects, initiatives, and strategies. Find out more at the Building Communities website or read the blog.

About Brian Cole: Brian Cole has 25 years of experience in planning and implementing economic development projects, initiatives, and strategies as a local and state official, county commissioner, and as a private sector consultant and author. More on Brian can be found at http://www.buildingcommunities.us/about.html.

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