Colorado's rural communities are invited to apply for Rural Technical Assistance Program (RTAP) awards, which offer a range of technical initiatives to support economic growth.
Housed in the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), RTAP leverages state partnerships and specialized resources to address the economic development goals of rural Colorado. Originally launched in 2015 as Blueprint 2.0, RTAP has been refocused to meet the evolving economic development needs of Colorado communities.
"The Rural Technical Assistance Program is the continued evolution of our Blueprint 2.0 initiative developed specifically to spur economic growth throughout rural Colorado. It engages rural communities in a participatory planning process while providing the key resources and tools to thrive," said Danielle Lendriet, program manager at OEDIT. "We are excited to help Colorado communities address everything from coworking spaces to entrepreneurship activity through the lens of economic development."
In 2018, 18 communities across the state benefited from 22 RTAP initiatives focused on placemaking, coworking, small business support, film production, outdoor recreation and tourism promotion. Since 2015, 69 initiatives have been deployed throughout rural Colorado, providing technical assistance awards to develop tourism assets, create strategic business growth action plans and identify new industry sectors that offer economic opportunity.
The following seven initiatives will be offered in 2019:
- Colorado Rural Academy for Tourism: CRAFT Studio 201
- Grow Your Outdoor Recreation Industry
- Coworking 101
- Certified Small Business Community
- Film and Major Production Initiative
- Creativity Lab of Colorado
- Community Placemaking
Applicants will be asked to demonstrate collaboration, strong local leadership and solid support for the initiative they chose to pursue.
RTAP applications are due on June 30, 2019 and winning communities will be announced in July.