Thursday, October 14, 2010

Growing Green - Sustainable Rural Development for Texas

The Texas Engineering Extension Service's (TEEX) Knowledge Engineering division has always been the “go-to” group in Texas to help spur economic growth. They’ve helped several Texas towns and cities bring new businesses and jobs to their areas. So it was no surprise when Knowledge Engineering was chosen to provide a statewide education program on sustainable and green economic development opportunities for rural and economically distressed areas of Texas.
Named Growing Green, the program’s goal is to increase awareness of green economic development and job creation opportunities among small businesses, entrepreneurs, economic developers and local leaders.

Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), TEEX and Growing Green will conduct a series of informational conferences and training sessions. The funding is part of the EDA’s Global Climate Change Mitigation Incentive Fund, which is intended to foster green development by promoting economic competitiveness while enhancing environmental quality. These events will bring the latest knowledge and technical expertise on sustainable development practices to rural Texas.

In preparation for the conferences, TEEX formed an advisory council of Texas economic advisers and industry leaders to shape the conference’s message. Through the council and other affiliations, Growing Green Communities will partner and collaborate with the business community, universities, state and federal agencies, trade associations, workforce boards, and local government and non-governmental organizations that promote green economic development.

TEEX’s Knowledge Engineering division has also established a website,, to provide information about each conference as well as information about the program, sponsors, exhibitors and our advisory council.
The first conference is planned for the Permian Basin area on Dec. 1-2, 2010, at the MCM Grande Hotel & Fun Dome in Odessa, Texas. Growing Green attendees will hear from federal and state agencies with programs and assistance opportunities for targeted rural communities. The conference agenda, as well as hotel and speaker information, is available at the Growing Green Communities website, where you’ll also find a secure online registration system for your convenience.

Other possible conference locations through 2012 include Aransas Pass, New Braunfels and the Texas Panhandle. We’ll update Growing Green Communities as more information becomes available so that you can make plans to join us.

In addition to the website and conference series, you can keep up with Growing Green Communities through the Growing Green Communities blog. There, we’ll update you on conference details, speakers and exhibitors as the information becomes available. We’re also updating our facebook fan page, and twitter account daily, where we post the latest green economic development, energy and employment news.

Sam White is a communications specialist and blogger for theTexas Engineering Extension Service and welcomes your comments. Know of something interesting happening at TEEX? Please submit blog ideas to