The goal of this two-phase project was to increase investment in the region's recycling industry by promoting the industry to the economic development and financial communities. In the first phase, NERC researched the economic benefits of the Northeast recycling industry. Conducted with technical consulting assistance by Roy F. Weston, Inc., the research was published in 1994 in a report entitled Value Added to Recyclable Material in the Northeast. Key findings were that the recycling industry employs more than 103,000 people and adds over $7 billion in value to the region's economy. NERC presented these findings to an audience of regional economic developers and financiers at a forum held in June 1994. Audience members then developed a list of opportunities and barriers to increasing investment in the recycling industry, and developed a prototype state-specific workshop for promoting recycling to economic developers and other financiers. Funding for Phase One was provided jointly by U.S. EPA, Headquarters and the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration.
In Phase Two of the project, NERC conducted a series of state recycling economic development workshops, based on the model developed in Phase One. The workshops were held in Massachusetts, Maine and New Jersey, with the goal of educating state economic developers and financiers on the state's recycling industry and to explore opportunities for state economic development programs to be applied to recycling businesses. A video on each state's recycling industry was prepared as a final product of the project, as well as the publication Guide to Conducting State Recycling Economic Finance Workshops. Also in Phase Two, NERC worked in partnership with the National Development Council (NDC) to develop a training curriculum for recycling economic development. The curriculum can be offered through arrangement with NDC. Phase Two was funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration
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