Community & Economic Development

Community & Economic Development

Community & Economic Development

The Community & Economic Development program helps communities resolve locally determined problems with objective information and educational assistance. The program also develops community leadership potential and assists communities determine long-range programs of action on such issues as economic development, community services, community planning and visioning, land use, and community resource management.

Community & Economic Development Defined

Community Development is a term that can refer to comprehensive strategies or small projects. Because the use of the term community development is used in such a wide range of situations, the idea of community development can be misunderstood. In a similar way, Economic Development is a subject that can be misunderstood and one that people know very little about.

What is Community Development?

From a community perspective, community development includes nearly every type of purposeful community change. Creating purposeful change (development) of aspects of economy, health, physical infrastructure, governance, social needs, or other aspects of living addressed at a collective (community) scale- are expressions of community development.


Who is Involved in Community & Economic Development Locally? 


Community scale changes benefit from representation from the community scale systems. Do you know which people in your community have roles to play in community & economic development (CED)? It is important to understand that CED is a shared effort among several stakeholders, and Extension can play an vital role. Here are just a few who may be in your community:

  • Local government
  • Civic groups
  • Local business or Chamber of Commerce
  • Economic development/banking or foundations   
  • Religious institutions
  • Education systems (from primary and secondary to university/formal and informal)
  • Health (can include public/private)
  • Recreation

Development initiatives that impact everyone in a community are supported more broadly and more sustainably when the members of the community are represented and engaged in the process. While it is nearly impossible to have every person involved in every decision, it is generally true that people like to be involved in decisions that impact them. Thus, development initiatives should utilize processes that promote broad participation and strive for justice, equity, and sustainability.

Marshall County Resiliency Center

The Marshall County Resiliency Center provides free resources, long-term support, and healing to the Marshall County community and anyone impacted by the tragedy at Marshall County High School on January 23, 2018. It is also a place for victims of crime to receive support and free and confidential resources, and for community members to connect with others and build resiliency.

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Marshall County Arts Commission

The mission of the Marshall County Arts Commission is to insure the inclusion of the cultural heritage of the arts in Marshall County, aid in providing venue opportunities for arts presentations by and for the citizens of Marshall County and assist in securing financial support for these provisions. The Commission seeks to serve as a catalyst for the development of an appreciation for the arts as a whole and all the disciplines therein.

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Marshall County Farmers Market

Welcome to the Marshall County Farmers Market in Benton Kentucky. The Market runs on Saturdays from 8am-noon throughout the "growing season." 2020 Start Date is May 16th. Location: Marshall County Extension Office 1933 Mayfield Highway Benton, KY 42025 (270) 527-3285

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Marshall County Chamber of Commerce

The mission of the Kentucky Lake Chamber of Commerce in Marshall County is to strengthen partnerships, promote business, community development and tourism while striving to improve the overall quality of life in our community.

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Kentucky Dam Village State Park

Welcome to Kentucky Dam Village State Park, your Gilbertsville “home away from home.” Kentucky Dam Village State Park aims to make your visit as relaxing and enjoyable as possible, which is why so many guests continue to come back year after year.

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Marshall County Adult Education

Marshall County Adult Education specializes in GED preparation, college entrance preparation, basic skills improvment, and workplace testing. All of our services are completely FREE.

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Benton Partnership

Benton Partnership is a collective group of Citizens, Government Professionals, and Merchants that promote a sense of community pride with an opportunity for everyone to share and participate in the revitalization of Downtown Benton.

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Marshall County Public Library

No matter your need, big or small, the Marshall County Public Library has something for everyone!

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Marshall County Schools

The Marshall County School District has engaged multiple groups of stakeholders in the initial ARP ESSER planning process. A survey was sent to all students, families, faculty, staff, and district leadership which includes our MCEA President and members of this union.

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Marshall County Economic Development

Our mission at Kentucky Lake Economic Development is to retain, expand and attract quality worldwide manufacturing, distribution and service industries to our community.

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Tater Day Festival

The three-day Tater Day Festival had its beginnings in 1843. Farmers from the countryside would bring their products to the town square to sell or trade on county court days. One of the things they would bring is sweet potatoes, which grow well in the Southern climate. "Tater" is a nickname for potato.

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Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge

Established to protect a diminished habitat type, bottomland hardwood forest, and support migratory birds, Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge is one of only two refuges fully located and managed in Kentucky.

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