Branching Out: A New Direction for Our District

Mary H. Karr

The Federal Reserve Bank's operating businesses continue to evolve, yet one thing remains constant: We need information about the local economy from our directors and other community leaders, such as you, to support our monetary policy mission. What is changing is how we reach out to you, our constituents.

As the Eighth District "branches out," we are adding a variety of new informational and technical resources that support:

  • community development,
  • economic and financial education,
  • small business and
  • other areas related to our mission.

You'll be seeing a greater Fed presence at events held in our branch cities. For example, this September, Federal Reserve Gov. Edward M. Gramlich is one of the keynote speakers at the International Urban Planning and Environment Association's sixth international symposium in Louisville. We've also just announced a new speaker series in Little Rock titled "Seizing Opportunities for Improving Local Communities," and we'll be hosting a small-business conference in Memphis during spring 2005.

Our commitment to the entire District remains strong, and our focus will not rest solely on our branch cities. We're also branching out to other communities and regions. Two of our recent publications profiled several areas in the "Kentuckiana" region, and we plan to feature more communities like these.

We've also begun new partnerships with local universities and other Reserve banks. We sponsored an economic education workshop this summer in Starkville, Miss., with the Atlanta Fed, the Mississippi Council on Economic Education, and Mississippi State University's Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy. Since neither the St. Louis Fed nor the Atlanta Fed has a branch in Mississippi, we felt it was time that we reached out to educators in this state. The workshop was very well-attended. We'll be back!

These are just a few of the exciting things we have planned. In the coming months, you'll be hearing more about our Branching Out initiative through announcements on our web site and in our print publications. Our new outreach programs will bring the best results to the most people through your active participation and feedback. Please tell us how we can better serve you by writing me at our new e-mail address, BranchingOut@stls.frb.org.

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