Purdue University PURDUE EXTENSION
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 Economic Growth

Noble County Courthouse
Photos by Lee Lewellen
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The most effective and sustainable local economic development strategies are those that build on existing assets by linking and leveraging them in innovative ways. Several new tools assist in helping identify those assets and then create asset-based economic development strategies.

Unlocking Rural Competitiveness
This tool allows economic development planners to identify their strongest regional industry clusters (groups of businesses that share common or complementary markets, suppliers, or workforce skills) so that they can build on these economic assets.

Innovation in American Regions
How can local and regional communities participate in and take advantage of today's knowledge-based innovation economy? This set of tools helps answer the fundamental questions underlying economic development in today's changing economy. The purpose of the tools is to help a community guide strategic discussions about where to invest scarce resources to build prosperity for the next generation. More specifically, the tools enable community leaders to focus on two sets of core assets that create prosperity: brainpower and innovation.