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Paper seeks to examine how state government in Great Plains states see their role in economic development. Analysis is the result of interviews with governors’ offices, state development agencies and legislative offices in 13 states in the region (including Missouri) in addition to respective analyses of the 13 economic state plans.
Paper notes that while some state offices provided comprehensive economic development plans, others had some combination of very specific program descriptions and broad statements of objectives, strategies and programs. Findings show that states today have a strong awareness of the dynamics encompassed in each of the four themes (adapting to a new economy, changing role for government, growing interdependence of community and economic development, the changing relationship between community and place) and that there is a growing consensus on policies and strategic approaches needed to maintain a vital economy in this dynamic environment. However, findings showed that states were challenged to find ways to implement those policies and strategies that will empower and assist communities to develop their own futures.