An Assessment of Economic Diversity for Mountain Region Communities

Mountain Region

Clear Creek 


(Chaffee, Gilpin, Grand, Lake, Teller)

Primary Topic:

Economic and Community Development

Other Topics:

Health and Well-Being, Natural Resources and Sustainability

Lead Mentor:  

Willie Wilkins

Mountain Region Specialist Vibrant Communities

Internship Overview:

Willie Wilkins as Mountain Regional Specialist, Stephan Weiler (as Co-Director of REDI), and the summer intern will analyze specific indicators (i.e. Coefficient of Specialization, nonemployer and employer statistics, retail leakage data, commuting, etc.) to determine possibilities for improved economic diversification for mountain communities. Other components may include outdoor recreation and outdoor/indoor industries within these mountain communities and comparison of areas with success and or lack of success within the outdoor recreation field. Other areas may include looking at green industries as possible pivot points for some of these mountain communities. As an example, looking at biochar and/or wind energies for areas within the mountain region where job creation would be the long-term outcome.

Goals, Scope and Objectives:

The goal is to assess current information as well as possibly collect data related to economic diversity with the mountain region. Additionally, we would like to work with shareholders to identify areas for growth and economic sustainability within the mountain communities. The scope will include creating and analyzing data for the identified mountain communities. There may also be the option to collect data that would contribute to the goal of assessing or determining economic diversity. This would hopefully allow us to better assess our ability to achieve the intended outcome of mountain communities’ ability to create economic diversity. The objective is to work in the field and on-campus to create a road map for to improve economic diversity for mountain communities. Further this would be accomplished through the analysis of current economic drivers, comparison of successful communities, and outlining viable options for the communities we work with.

With which stakeholder group(s) will the intern work?

Chambers, county commissioners, local businesses, offices of economic development, and any other entities within the mountain communities with vested interest in collaborating.

What student learning outcomes do you anticipate and what are the opportunities for professional development?

Extrapolating data in order to tell a compelling story.
Creating and fostering community connections with diverse stake holders.
Looking at a complex multi factor issue/problem and creating creative solutions.
Analyzing and collecting data to support proposed outcomes.
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