UK Economic Development Partnership

The Growing Local Economies Partnership was formed in 2008 for the purpose of coordinating, sharing, and disseminating research within the university relating to economic development, particularly in rural and/ or distressed regions.

On January 18, 2008, at the behest of President Todd, 30 UK faculty and staff convened and began the process of learning more about the university's economic development resources. A directory of university faculty and staff who work in the economic development arena was developed for the meeting.

On March 4, 2008, a second meeting of UK faculty & staff continued the dialogue about how to build a shared vision and collaborative effort for University support of community economic development. The discussion focused on developing a shared definition of local economic development and identifying how teaching, research and service roles can be integrated in support of community efforts in economic development.

On May 23, 2008, the third meeting of the emerging UK economic development network focused on discussion how the university can be integrated in supporting community economic development efforts, including how our research can address questions of importance to the region. The group agreed they needed to know more about each other's research in order to create inter/multidisciplinary projects and decided to put together a campus research conference on community economic development to be held on campus in the fall. A committee was formed to follow-through with this.

Local Economic Development Research Conference

On November 14, 2008, the Appalachian Center and the Growing Local Economies Partnership convened a research mini-conference at the University of Kentucky: The Local Economic Development Research Conference. This event was planned by a committee of the university collaborative which began meeting in spring of 2008. Faculty from disciplines across the university gave presentations on their work and its relevance to economic development in Kentucky. They discussed possibilities for collaboration on research projects that focus on rural economic development.

Outcomes of Econ Dev Collaborative Retreat_January 18, 2008.pdf106.34 KB
Faculty Collaborative Meeting Outcomes 5_23_08.pdf39.42 KB
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Our working definition of Local Economic Development is:
Local economic development (LED) is a participatory process which encourages social dialogue and public-private partnerships in a defined geographical area.

Learn more about Local Economic Development and what it can mean for communities.