Extension introduces economic development initiative across Nevada

Collaborative University project aims to improve county data for planning efforts

Tom Harris presents on economic development

Tom Harris, with Extension and the University Center for Economic Development, presents on economic development. He and Buddy Borden, also with Extension, are leading an effort to collect data to help strengthen communities throughout Nevada. Photo by David Pritchett, Nevada Bureau of Land Management.

Extension introduces economic development initiative across Nevada

Collaborative University project aims to improve county data for planning efforts

Tom Harris, with Extension and the University Center for Economic Development, presents on economic development. He and Buddy Borden, also with Extension, are leading an effort to collect data to help strengthen communities throughout Nevada. Photo by David Pritchett, Nevada Bureau of Land Management.

Tom Harris presents on economic development

Tom Harris, with Extension and the University Center for Economic Development, presents on economic development. He and Buddy Borden, also with Extension, are leading an effort to collect data to help strengthen communities throughout Nevada. Photo by David Pritchett, Nevada Bureau of Land Management.

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.

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,” said Borden. “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 Elko, Esmeralda, Humboldt, Lincoln and Nye 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 College's Experiment Station; 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.

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