Growing Local Economies Network

On January 25, 2008, the UK Appalachian Center & the Growing Local Economies Partnership hosted a one-day retreat at the Regional Enterprise Center in West Liberty, KY: “Supporting Local Economic Development in Eastern Kentucky: Dialogue for Action.”

Responding to an invitation from President Todd, thirty-four economic development professionals attended this meeting and worked together to clarify the values they share regarding local economic development. The group discussed the need for more networking opportunities for economic development professionals in the region, and expressed interest in continuing the conversation.

On September 24, 2008, a second retreat was held in West Liberty with economic development practitioners and service providers to discuss the formation of a regional economic development network.  Thirty-five participants attended and exchanged ideas about how to build a strong local economic development environment in the region. This meeting was a catalyst for what would eventually become the Growing Local Economies Network.

On March 30, 2009, a third day-long retreat of this group provided participants with the opportunity to contribute to the design a new social networking site to help network members share information and resources.  This website,, was launched in spring of 2009.  The group affirmed the official name of the group as the Growing Local Economies Network (GLEN).

In 2011, the GLEN steering committee decided that while the social networking site was a valuable resource, it was also important to continue having face-to-face meetings among network members.  The committee scheduled a GLEN meeting for June 1, 2011, to focus specifically on the issue of local finance.

For more on the Growing Local Economies Network, or to become a member, visit the Glen Network.

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