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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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UTSA hosts conference to help rural communities strengthen economies

June, 2012

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute for Economic Development will host the third annual Texas Rural Challenge on June 13-14 in San Marcos, Texas at the Embassy Suites Conference Center, 1001 McCarty Lane, San Marcos, Texas 78666. The statewide, two-day conference will help rural Texas communities build sustainable economies. See a tentative agenda at



The conference is sponsored by the Rural Business Program at the UTSA Institute for Economic Development in partnership with the Office of the Governor and the Texas Economic Development Council.



Many rural communities in Texas are experiencing job and population losses, as well as diminishing industries, hurting local economies. The conference will help rural leaders better understand the tools that are available to help them address these issues and build sustainable economies in their communities. Additionally, attendees can share ideas, insights and solutions.



Brian Dabson, a leading rural development expert, will keynote the conference. Dabson is a research professor and director of the Rural Futures Lab at the University of Missouri. His current interests include the economic drivers that will shape the future of rural America, the strategic necessity of regional collaboration and the vital importance of social inclusion. He is the board chair of the Rural Policy Research Institute’s Center for Rural Entrepreneurship.



Thomas Tunstalldirector of the UTSA Center for Community & Business Research, will discuss the economic impact of the Eagle Ford Shale.



The conference will also feature speakers from throughout the state including political leaders such as Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade, industry representatives, rural development experts, economists, thriving entrepreneurs, business leaders and others.



Attendees may choose from workshops on new market development, resource development and sustainability development. Additionally, the conference will provide an exceptional networking opportunity.



The UTSA Rural Business Program is focused on rural development at the UTSA Institute for Economic Development. The program aims to provide technical assistance, training, advisory services, research, strategic planning, business and resource development to small and medium-sized businesses, economic development corporations, communities and local governments. The program offers client-targeted and customized services designed to meet their needs, drawing from a full spectrum of resources and capabilities from the IED.



To learn more and to register, visit or contact Gilbert Gonzalez at210-458-2877 or


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