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State of the Region Conference helping local communities prepare for shale gas development

Area businesses, local governments and economic development professionals will convene on Ohio University's Athens campus Wednesday for the inaugural Appalachian "State of the Region Conference: Understanding the Boom-Bust Cycle for Greater Sustainability."
This showcase regional event will examine the economic and other impacts related to the development of shale gas, including the short and long term impacts on businesses and local governments in our region. Highlights of the conference include:

  •  First-hand accounts from leaders in Pennsylvania who have been extensively involved in helping state and local governments and communities understand and manage the impacts of shale gas development in their area
  •  Information about impacts to date of shale gas development in Carroll County, Ohio
  •  Perspectives on the historical experience with boom and bust cycles in Pennsylvania and Ohio
  •  Information on current and developing efforts to understand and track data about community and environmental impacts of shale gas development in Ohio
  •  Guidance from experts in several fields regarding the impacts and opportunities of shale gas development in relation to industry supply chains, workforce development, investment capital, and philanthropy
  •  An introduction to Jobs Ohio and Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG)

"Shale development brings with it potential opportunities for local communities, but those opportunities will not automatically occur," said Rick Hindman, a conference speaker and assistant director of the Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District. "This conference will highlight the deliberative planning and decisive action that will be required of local officials and citizens in order to optimize benefits for communities, minimize adverse impacts, and protect local resources."

Keynote speaker John Quigley, principal of John H Quigley LLC, will focus on the impacts of Marcellus Shale gas development in Pennsylvania in recent years, as well as efforts by himself and others to implement a cross-organizational strategic response to this development during his tenure as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Prior to this position, Quigley's diverse experience in the nonprofit, public and private sectors included eight years as the mayor of Hazleton, Pa., government relations manager with Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future, and management positions with industry-leading companies.

The inaugural Appalachian "State of the Region Conference: Understanding the Boom-Bust Cycle for Greater Sustainability" is presented by Ohio University's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs with support from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration.

The conference will take place May 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Margaret M. Walter Hall, with registration opening at 8:30 a.m. For additional information and to pre-register for the conference, please visit http://www.ohio.edu/voinovichschool/news_info/calendar/.