In 2007, GRADD signed an official Sister Region agreement with the Olomoucký Kraj, Czech Republic. This partnership is an expansion of the Sister City relationship that Olomouc and Owensboro have enjoyed since 1993. The Olomouc region covers an area of 2,033 square miles (5,267 sq. km) in the northeastern Czech Republic and is home to 650,000 residents. Major cities include Olomouc, Přerov, Prostějov, Šumperk, and Jeseník.
A Sister Region partnership is simply an expansion of the Sister City concept, popularized across the United States during the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s. The goal of the GRADD-Olomouc relationship is "to become partner regions, based on the principles of equality, partnership, and mutual profitability." Areas of cooperation and exchange include: local government, business and economic development, social services, education, science and research, visual arts, music, and tourism. Representatives from both regions make regular trips across the Atlantic to learn from one another.
*To learn more about this exciting initiative, please contact Jiten Shah at (270) 926-4433. For a list of upcoming exchange opportunities, please visit the Owensboro Community & Technical College's Sister City/Region Program website.