CREATE BRIDGES program hosting two public forums
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
CREATE BRIDGES, a multicounty program in two regions of Oklahoma, will be hosting two public forums to provide valuable opportunities in those communities to help build up rural economies.
The first forum will take place Jan. 24 in the Sandstone Hills Region from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Roam Chief Arena, 810 Beck Drive, Pawnee, Oklahoma. The second forum, slated Jan. 31 for the Crossing Borders Region, will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Indian Capital Technology Center, 240 Vo-Tech Dr., Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
The Sandstone Hills region includes Creek, Osage and Pawnee counties, while the Crossing Borders region is made up of Adair, Cherokee, Delaware, Mayes and Sequoyah counties. CREATE BRIDGES was established with the help of a $2.7 million grant from Walmart to the Southern Rural Development Center, and launched in August 2018 in Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arkansas.
Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension assistant specialist Sara Siems, said researchers from OSU, the University of Kentucky and the University of Arkansas System are collaborating on this effort to bring jobs and business opportunities to rural Oklahoma.
“Each of the forums will provide a valuable opportunity for community members and additional stakeholders to convene, provide input and engage in guided discussion as it pertains to the CREATE BRIDGES initiative,” Siems said. “Retail, tourism and entertainment sectors provide jobs and business opportunities in less populated parts of the state, and these jobs often drive rural economies."
It is important to help rural communities build their capacity for strengthening these sectors, said David Shideler, OSU Cooperative Extension community development specialist.
“New jobs and business opportunities can play a key role in enticing people to live in these rural areas,” Shideler said. “Make plans to attend one of these forums and help get your community on the right path.”
For more information about CREATE BRIDGES, visit www.createbridges.okstate.edu.
Story by Trisha Gedon