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Tuolumne County An Economic Model

Sonora, CA – Tuolumne County is considered a model for rural economic development.

The work of the Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority is referenced heavily in a new 100 page guide created by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development and the California Association of Local Economic Development. It is entitled, “Growing Thriving Rural Economic Development Corporations.”


The document is designed to be a roadmap to success for economic development agencies in small communities throughout California. TCEDA Executive Director Larry Cope is quoted multiple times throughout the guide.


In one section that lists effective models, it reads, “Larry Cope has created a five-year work plan that includes priorities for the first, third and fifth years. The priorities are categorized in the areas of business retention, expansion and attraction, infrastructure, administration and partnerships. Each first year priority includes an action item, TCEDA role and measureable outcome. To encourage participation, Larry uses a retreat format to bring key stakeholders together for strategic work plan sessions. The planning session is used to create the action items and identify measureable outcomes at 30, 90 and 180 days with accountability built into the corresponding actions. All priorities are subject to an annual review.”


Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors Chairman John Gray was pleased to hear about the guide at a recent TCEDA Board of Directors meeting, and says it is “significant” that Tuolumne County was referenced.


Towards the end of the document the entire TCEDA strategic plan created in 2009 is listed.


The TCEDA is a joint powers authority that serves both the City of Sonora and Tuolumne County.