On Thursday, October 24th, the Appalachian Resource Conservation and Development Council (ARC&D) in partnership with Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership (NeTREP) and the First Tennessee Development District (FTDD) will host a group of local government leaders from Ukraine who want to learn from rural communities in the United States about economic and community development at the local level.

During their visit, the group will be taken on a tour to see examples of small business development and community spaces in the region. “It is important to the group to experience local industry and see how creative solutions are applied to challenges at the local level. They hope to gain a deeper understanding of how rural economies function and grow, and then take that information back and apply it to their own communities,” said Susan McKinney, ARC&D Executive Director.

The group, DOBRE, is a part of Global Communities Partners for Good. The mission of Global Communities Partners for Good is to create long-lasting, positive and community-led change that improves the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable people across the globe. DOBRE—Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency—intends to help newly formed local governments to effectively manage these new responsibilities, and to support the development of stronger community cohesion through citizen engagement in these new communities.

By visiting Northeast Tennessee, these leaders hope to gain insight into how small communities function as individual entities while working with state and federal agencies and organizations. While here, they will meet with organizational and community leaders, tour economic hubs, see agricultural areas, visit local businesses, and be exposed to new ideas. Appalachian RC&D is proud to host this group, and is grateful for the opportunity to share a little bit about what makes rural Appalachia resilient and a beautiful place to live, work, and play.