Rural Opportunity Office

The Rural Opportunity Office (ROO) supports Colorado’s rural communities, economic development offices, business support organizations, and small businesses by connecting them to relevant OEDIT and State Partner programs to work toward a resilient future. The office consists of a director, program manager, data analyst, and three rural opportunity representatives that directly serve Colorado's eastern, western, and southern regions. Each representative lives within the region of the state that they support.

The ROO is responsible for:

Rural Programs and Funding

Rural Technical Assistance Program
This program provides free fundamental educational programs to all rural communities as well as competitive opportunities for mentored project development and strategic implementation.

Rural Data Dashboard
The dashboard is available to all rural communities for current economic data at the county level. Our data analyst also holds biweekly office hours for custom questions.

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy 
The Statewide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) will update Colorado’s economic development strategy, facilitate future applications to federal programs, and specifically address strategies for key industries, as well as disproportionately impacted groups like small and rural businesses, coal transition communities, Tribal Nations and underserved communities.

Existing Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies Implementation Grant
Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) reflect a region’s commitment to a capacity-building plan designed to foster regional economic prosperity. 

Strategic Partnerships
Specialized programs, funding, and network support through nonprofit ecosystem partners like Manufacturer's Edge, Startup Colorado, the Economic Development Council of Colorado, Energize Colorado, and others.

Program Connections
Connections to and navigating support for OEDIT programs like Rural Jump-Start, Enterprise Zones, Just Transition Funding, Skill Advance Colorado Job Training Grant, and industry-specific opportunities.

Colorado Rural Resiliency and Recovery Roadmaps
This program provides technical assistance and implementation support to selected regional teams of rural communities to drive economic relief, recovery, diversification, and long-term resilience.

All Rural Programs and Funding

Rural Opportunity Representative County List

2023 Rural Opportunity Office Colorado Region Map. The map is divided in tones of light purple, red, green, and gray. The Purple is on the left corner and western part of Colorado. The Light red is in the southern part of Colorado. The light green is on the Eastern part of Colorado and the gray is in the middle and northern part of the state. See table column below for additional information on image content

Name of Rural Opportunity RepresentativeColorado Geographical DesignationColorado Counties
Greg Thomason
Eastern Plains Rural Opportunity RepresentativeAdams, Arapahoe, Baca, Bent, Cheyenne, Clear Creek, Crowley, Elbert, Gilpin, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Otero, Phillips, Prowers, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld, and Yuma
Wendy Stewart-MartinezSouthern Colorado Rural Opportunity RepresentativeAlamosa, Archuleta, Chaffee, Conejos, Costilla, Custer, Dolores, El Paso, Fremont, Huerfano, La Plata, Lake, Las Animas, Mineral, Montezuma, Park, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache, San Juan and Teller
Kami CollinsWestern Colorado Rural Opportunity RepresentativeDelta, Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Jackson, Mesa, Moffat, Montrose, Ouray, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt, San Miguel, and Summit


Connect Further

We encourage our regional partners to sign up for email updates about programs, news, and events.

Talk to Your Rural Representative

We have 3 rural representatives who live in the regions that they represent. They work closely with economic development offices in their regions to understand and support the differing needs of each area.