Economic and Community Development in Dolores County

Western Region



Primary Topic:

Economic and Community Development

Other Topics:

Natural Resources and Sustainability

Lead Mentor:  

Gus Westerman

Extension Faculty

Internship Overview:

Economic and Community Development in Dolores County

Goals, Scope and Objectives:

Gus Westerman, CSU Dolores County Extension Director, Stephan Weiler (as Co-Director of REDI@CSU), and the summer intern will work to develop a comprehensive community resource inventory. This inventory will assist Dolores County with communicating with employers that are interested in locating their business in the 4 Corners Region. The inventory will include the identification of land that is suitable for commercial development by looking at available utilities/infrastructure, current land use, and land value. It will include the current government incentives that are available to businesses that operate in Dolores County. Also, the inventory will be a one stop shop for community demographic and workforce information. Developing this inventory will be the primary focus of the internship. Other components will include collecting and analyzing data to determine the types of employers Dolores County should focus on attracting, and assisting with the operations and Management of the Dolores County Development Corporation (DCDC) which is the economic development organization for Dolores County operated through the Extension Office.

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

The intern will work with many local and regional organizations with an economic development focus. These organizations include the Dolores County Development Corp., Region 9 Economic Development District of SW Colorado, the SW Small Business Development Center, and the Dove Creek Chamber of Commerce. Government entities will include Dolores County, the Town of Dove Creek, and the Town of Rico.

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

The intern will be exposed to real economic development activities that are taking place on the ground. The student will learn how economic development organizations function while interacting with community leaders and the local business community. The student will also learn how to find and collect relevant data that are important to perspective employers, develop information from the data in an easily understandable format, and communicate this information to stakeholders and interested parties. Additionally, the intern will also have the opportunity to participate in other Dolores County Extension activities which focus on agriculture/horticulture, government infrastructure projects, and natural resource concerns. This experience will be extremely valuable for a student who is seeking a career in local government and economic development. SW Colorado is a very unique area that requires a unique approach to community and economic development when compared to other parts of the state.
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