1. Innovation Counselor Training
Planning of the training program will begin in January, 2017. The training program may be conducted late in the first quarter of the calendar year but more likely in the second quarter of the calendar year (April, May or June). Follow up surveys will be conducted after the program to determine effectiveness of training.
2. Recruitment of Potential Cooperative Clients
The main recruitment effort will be a conference for small and emerging cooperatives. Planning for the conference will start in July 2016 (using funds from a current RCDG) with the conference held in March 2017. Other activities include presentations at industry meetings, work with existing Product Center clients, and Innovation Counselor and staff recruitment activities. We expect these activities to be conducted throughout the grant period. Potential cooperative groups or existing cooperatives recruited late in the grant period will be serviced by subsequent RCDG’s or resources provided by the Product Center.
3. Cooperative Educational Program
An Executive Director and Manager Training Conference will be conducted in late January 2017. A Small/Emerging Cooperative Conference will be held in March 2017.
4. Basic and Advanced Cooperative Business Development
This Task will be conducted throughout the grant period. We expect that some groups or existing cooperatives will be recruited in previous RCDG periods and be ready to start work early in this grant period. Others will be identified early in the grant period and work will start later in the grant period. The Cooperative Development Team will work with potential cooperative groups and existing cooperatives throughout the grant period to assure that funds are expended on projects that have a high potential for economic development.