Regions are a critical way for rural America to seize new economic opportunities. Economic experts increasingly agree that rural America's most exciting economic opportunities require some level of critical mass, often built through regional partnerships. Advanced manufacturing, for example, holds great promise for boosting rural economic growth, but seizing this potential depends on building manufacturing clusters through increased cooperation among firms, community colleges, and other public agencies. How can public policy encourage these regional synergies? The New Power of Regions: A Policy Focus for Rural America brought together rural leaders and experts from throughout the nation to examine how new regions are forming in rural America and what policies help forge new partnerships. The conference was hosted by the Center for Study of Rural America, in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, in May, 2002. Conference participants were quite upbeat about rural America's new frontier of opportunity, but they were even more convinced that such opportunities will develop only with new models of partnering - across businesses and governments. We trust that these proceedings will help to inform the renewed dialogue on policies that help rural America build a brighter economic future.