Mississippi State to Lead Exploration of Forest Sector Business Clustering


Study team includes University of Missouri and Dovetail Partners


June 6, 2008 -- Mississippi State University will administratively coordinate the Endowment's newest project, the "state-of-the-issue" report on business clustering within the forest products sector (RFP 2008-003) nationally. They are joined by the University of Missouri and Dovetail Partners as subcontractors. The work commenced last week with a gathering in Minnesota and is targeted for completion no later than November 30st. Diane Snyder, Endowment Vice President-Community Development said, "The team will review business clusters currently active in the United States and will focus on examination of clustering approaches in the forest products sector and closely related natural resource-based sectors, nationally as well as internationally." The research will explore the partnerships, policies, and support mechanisms that make clustering successful and will be supplemented with analysis of socioeconomic indicators associated with these clusters.


Economic clustering approaches in the forest sector (RFP 2008-003) of the United States include diverse timber and non-timber forest products as well as forest-based services such as consumptive and non-consumptive recreation opportunities. The thoughtful design of economic clusters can support the retention and expansion of jobs as well as the protection and enhancement of the natural resource base. Increasing our understanding about clustering will help the Endowment build out the information base in developing the basis for Forest Investment Zones as well as provide the broader sector with important information.


More information about The U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities, Inc.is available at their website.