Stronger Economies Together (SET) launching Phase V, hosting informational webinar

Posted: November 13, 2014

Stronger Economies Together (SET) is launching a new Phase (V), and is holding an informational webinar on December 5th at 1:00 p.m. Central/2:00 p.m. Eastern for interested parties to learn more about this opportunity. SET enables communities and counties in rural America to work together in developing and implementing an economic development blueprint for their multi-county region that strategically builds on the current and emerging economic strengths of that region.

Creating, attracting and retaining jobs as a single rural county, in isolation from other nearby counties, is becoming increasingly ineffective. In today’s global marketplace, economic development progress is more likely to be realized when rural and metro counties work together as a region to assess, design, and implement plans that build on their assets and comparative economic strengths.

All states will be eligible to join SET as part of Phase V, including those in previous phases.  Note that applications need to be jointly developed and submitted by USDA Rural Development (working with the State Director) and Extension Service. 

Applications are due January 31, 2015 (and will shared with you as we get closer to the webinar date). The regional applications will be due later. Stronger Economies Together is a partnership between Cooperative Extension Service, USDA RD, the four Regional Rural Development Centers, NIFA and Purdue Center for Regional Development.  The partners all work together to help regions (which are 3 or more counties) to work, learn, plan and implement together the region’s plan.

To join the Webinar (which will be recorded):


  1. Go to
  2. Enter your name and email address.
  3. Enter the session password: SET  and click "Join Now".
  4. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen.
  5. For audio call: 1-800-981-3173 3665#
  6. To view in other time zones or languages, visit:

SET V is taking a brand new approach based on an extensive review of the program over this past summer. For instance, significant improvements to engage participants has been made; a civic engagement module added which will increase stakeholder involvement (and buy-in); and a more streamlined approach which reduces the number of modules to 6, and gives greater flexibility to adapt to the capacity of that region. Most importantly, significant time will be devoted to launching the plan into implementation.

If your state joins SET for Phase V, it will require a commitment of staff time from both Rural Development and Extension. Extension Service will receive a subcontract for the regions it serves in the amount of $26,400 per region for up to two regions.  This funding can cover staff time, travel, and program delivery expenses (printing, supplies, meeting expenses, etc.).

Questions can be directed to Rachel Welborn at or 662.325.5885.