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The workshop

Policy setting for Economic Development
This workshop is part of several steps that the Valley County Economic Development Council has outlined to define strategies and actions to contribute to a stronger regional economy, and include a number of events.

When and where

Date and time:June 21 from 8:30AM to 12:30PM
Where: Super 8 McCall, 303 S 3rd St, McCall, ID 83638
Registration and additional info: there is no charge, but registration is required.

Program details

This hands-on, fast-paced workshop will focus on three important community & economic development aspects:

  • Understanding our local economy. We will have spent much of June 20 on the region’s recreation economy (see Recreation Summit); this session will bring it home in numbers and show how amenities, recreation and other sectors impact spending and how it ripples through the local economy. It will help us understand “the good, the bad and the ugly” of our regional economy and provide food for thought on how to strengthen it.


  • Understanding the economics of a downtown. What is so magical about a business district? What can a downtown do for the local economy? Why do so many downtowns empty out? Is that good or bad? This second part of the workshop will frame all of these questions in reference to a successful amenity and recreation economy and how this relates to community design and retail economics.
  • Understanding policy setting. community & economic development almost always takes place through policy setting, but often focuses on behavior as opposed to outcome. This third section of the workshop will use case studies to illustrate how market-based policy setting can tap into the creative and innovative potential of businesses and community members and thus shape a community’s design and economy




Paul Lewin: Professor Lewin is based at the University of Idaho Moscow campus and assists extension and communities across Idaho through programming and analysis in community economics. Before joining the University of Idaho Paul worked in community & economic development across South America, and subsequently as economist in both government and private sector positions in Europe and the US. Paul has a background in Agricultural Engineering and Agricultural Economics, and received his PhD in Applied Economics from Oregon State University.
Learn more about Paul at


Willem (Vim) Braak is the UI Extension Educator based in Valley County. Willem has done workshops and invited presentations on economic development for communities across Idaho, and for organizations like the Idaho Chapter of the American Planning Association and the Idaho Association of County Commissioners; in Valley County he has worked with elected officials and business representatives to establish a regional economic development program. Prior to joining the University of Idaho (as student and subsequently as educator) Willem first worked as industry executive in Medical Devices and then as co-founder of a chain of retail coffee roasters. He favors the “carrot” in policy setting and firmly believes that proper incentives and conditional settings can solve most planning issues. You can learn more about his background at




 June 11, 2013