POTEAU–Carl Albert State College has announced its Economic Development Partner for 2012 is the City of Poteau.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Economic Development Partner Recognition Program is designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses and/or agencies. The program has previously recognized 125 business and/or agency partnerships. Previous CASC partners have included AES/Shady Point and Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center.
“The College and the city have long had much more of a connection than the typical town and gown relationship,” said Nina Ritchie of CASC. “Since the college’s founding, the city of Poteau has worked longer and harder than any other external stakeholder to sustain and grow the institution.”
The range of economic development projects that CASC and the city have collaborated on includes business and industry recruitment and retention, workforce training, environmental projects, tourism and civic improvement.
The most current collaboration, the creation of the Fort Smith Regional Alliance in April 2011, represents years of effort for the formation of a two-state regional economic development entity. The Regional Alliance is comprised of 14 communities in Arkansas and Oklahoma inside the eight counties that make up a 50-mile radius around Fort Smith.
“As original Oklahoma boosters for this effort, the city and CASC worked through most of the past decade to make this organization a reality,” said Ritchie. “A five-year planning document for the Regional Alliance is currently being completed and a director, based in Fort Smith, has been hired. The outlook for long term economic benefits from the Alliance for the entire region is excellent.”
CASC President Brandon Webb is also pleased with the partnership.
“It is a privilege and honor for Carl Albert State College to recognize the City of Poteau, its mayor, and its town council as our Economic Development Partner 2012,” said Webb.