Recently Launched: CREATE BRIDGES Curriculum


CREATE BRIDGES is a pilot project designed for multi-county regions to raise awareness of the role retail, accommodations, tourism, and entertainment businesses play in the local economy; determine challenges, barriers, and opportunities related to those businesses; and develop and implement strategies to strengthen the retail, accommodations, tourism, and entertainment sectors within a region.

CREATE BRIDGES is a collaborative partnership between the Southern Rural Development Center, the University of Arkansas, the University of Illinois, the University of Kentucky, New Mexico State University, North Carolina State University, and Oklahoma State University. It is currently active in eight regions throughout the six partner states.

CREATE BRIDGES was developed and implemented with funding from Walmart and was awarded the NET Excellence in Tourism award in 2021.

The goal of the curriculum is to educate community and economic development practitioners on how to recreate the processes used in CREATE BRIDGES. The curriculum bridges theory into practice, emphasizes the processes used to attain results, and hopes to offer a new perspective on how to engage communities with workforce development.

To view the CREATE BRIDGES curriculum, visit