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28 - Economic Development and Developers in the News

Econ dev news from 72 economic development executives and organizations in 40 states, and Canada.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
22 min read
28 - Economic Development and Developers in the News
Photo by Joe Pizzio / Unsplash

Welcome to the 28th weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.  (Here are all of the past issues.)

Today's issue contains economic development news from 72 economic development executives and organizations in 40 states, and Canada.

Please share this with your friends and colleagues in economic development. -Dane


Alabama

Auburn University is one of 17 institutions selected to participate in the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Appalachian Teaching Project. ATP is an applied research training program during which students work with communities to address needs affecting long-term economic development. Participating students spend a semester developing projects to meet those needs, which they present at ARC’s annual ATP Symposium.

Abby Peters, the Pike County Extension Coordinator, recently completed week one of the Intensive Economic Development Training Course, presented by Auburn University’s Government and Economic Development Institute. Completion of this program underscores Peters’ commitment to economic development and her community.

In honor of Labor Day, leaders in Limestone County are praising the area’s booming workforce and economy! The Limestone County Economic Development Association’s President, Bethany Shockney, is crediting the county’s success to the community. There’s been a reported 25% growth in the county just in the last decade, and that’s expected to be even stronger in the coming years. “We’re just very blessed to have people that want to work and that have good work ethics,” said Shockney.

Tuskegee University will host the 25th Booker T. Washington Economic Development Summit Sept. 15 - 16, 2021, virtually. This year's theme, "Tools of the Titans: Envisioning the Future of Black Economics," will focus on Post-COVID: Road to Recovery, Access to Capital, Sustainability, and Branding. The summit will take place from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. each day.

Alaska

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson announced the selection of the Anchorage Economic Revitalization and Diversification Advisory Committee and applauded the efforts being made in the economic recovery of the city. (Mike Robbins, ACDA executive director; Bill Popp, President and CEO, Alaska Economic Development Council; Julie Anderson, Commissioner, Alaska Department of Commerce and Economic Development)

Arkansas and Oklahoma

Cherokee Nation is a founding partner in the Heartland Advanced Medical Manufacturing Regional Cluster, a campaign to attract and keep high-quality health care manufacturing jobs in northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. The goal of HAMMRC is to grow a medical manufacturing cluster, spearheaded by the communities along the U.S. Highway 62 corridor. (Steve Clark, President and CEO Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce; Nathan Reed, President/CEO Tahlequah Regional Development Authority)

California

San Bernardino Community College District will speak about available resources for local manufacturers through community colleges. SBCCD team members Deanna Krehbiel, Interim Executive Director for Economic Development & Corporate Training and Wendy Lester, Interim Manager of Workforce Development for Economic Development & Corporate Training will present on the Contract Education program and other opportunities.

In a one-of-its-kind collaboration, Humboldt State University’s Northern California Small Business Development Center has partnered with the University of California, Davis to open a tech center that will support business owners and innovators in bringing new ideas, inventions, products, and services to market. (NorCal SBDC executive director Kristin Johnson)

Thousand Oaks is buying the former site of the Hillcrest Christian School for $10 million to convert into affordable housing. (Haider Alawami, Thousand Oaks economic development manager)

Canada

A major property acquisition near the Lickman Road interchange could spur further economic growth in fast-growing Chilliwack. Denciti Development aims to develop a “top-tier site” with highway-oriented commercial space, including light-industrial strata.

Dan Landry, Orillia's economic development manager, is retiring.

Carly Procyshyn wants to see Sicamous businesses succeed. Hired in August 2020, she’s the tourism and economic development coordinator for the District of Sicamous Development Corporation. Procyshyn is it’s sole employee, and she reports to its board of seven members.

Colorado

Multiple initiatives are considering the potential opportunities for nonfuel uses of coal to aid local economies in the region that are facing transitions due to the pending shutdown of coal-fired power plants. (Bonnie Petersen, executive director AGNC; Nathan Perry, associate professor of economics Colorado Mesa University)

Vail is making changes to their events funding model.  The idea is to spread out events during periods of need.  (Vail Economic Development Director Mia Vlaar)

Florida

After 9/11, when Central Florida’s tourism-dominated economy crumbled because horrified and worried Americans canceled theme-park vacations, Orange County leaders poured both thought and money into creating a business ecosystem that would be more diverse and less dependent on Magic Kingdom visitors. But labor statistics, economists suggest, show those efforts have not yet significantly diversified the economy, which still leans on tourists. (Sean Snaith, economist at the University of Central Florida; Hank Fishkind, an Orlando economic consultant; Casandra Matej, Visit Orlando CEO; Eric Ushkowitz, economic development administrator Orange County)

Osceola County’s technology park is back in business after more than a year of setbacks following the University of Central Florida’s departure. But it will take years to gauge whether the $200 million investment of public funds in NeoCity is successful. The goal is to bring higher-paying jobs to Osceola County, where low-wage agriculture and tourism jobs have dominated the economy.

Pinellas County has named Cynthia Johnson as its new Director of Economic Development. Johnson assumed her new responsibilities Tuesday, filling a position that became available when the former director, Mike Meidel, retired earlier this year.

Becca Hardin, president of the Bay County Economic Development Alliance, says she believes the local community will experience "a level of growth" during the next three to five years "that we've never seen before." In a monthly meeting Wednesday, Hardin updated investors and the public on which of the EDA's ongoing projects are gaining the most momentum. The organization works to diversify the local economy by bringing outside industries to Bay County to create more high-paying jobs for residents.

Georgia

The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission had a meeting this week to update private investors and partners on economic growth within the community. It's important for us to engage with our investors and make sure they're aware of the programs that we have in place and what we're doing to advocate for our community. How we are touching our existing businesses," says Jana Dyke, President and CEO of EDC.

Governor Brian P. Kemp announced that bioplastics company NANTRenewables, a subsidiary of NantWorks, will invest up to $29 million to build a manufacturing facility at SeaPoint Industrial Terminal Complex in Savannah. This venture will create 134 manufacturing jobs in Chatham County. (Trip Tollison, Savannah Economic Development Authority President and CEO)

Hawaii

Maui arrivals are near pre-pandemic levels, but concerns are rising over cancellations. Maui Hotel & Lodging Association Executive Director Rod Antone said, “Since the press conference on Aug. 23, the visitor industry in Maui County has been tracking room stay cancellations at a number of member properties. So far we have had a confirmed 52,004 room night cancellations resulting in $25.2 million in lost revenue.”

Illinois

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced a new $50 million capital program designed to bring forward investments to revitalize commercial corridors and main street areas statewide. (Alyson Grady, Central Region Office of Regional Economic Development; Jonathan Weyer, Hillsboro Community and Economic Planner)

In an effort to help local businesses take advantage of Back to Business grants, State Senator Scott Bennett has teamed up with the Small Business Development Center at Champaign County Economic Development Corporation to hold open office hours for those needing assistance with their applications. (Carly McCrory-McKay, Executive Director Champaign County Economic Development Corporation; Don Elmore, Director Illinois Small Business Development Center)

Intersect Illinois, the statewide economic development organization focused on bringing businesses to Illinois, announced it has named Dan Seals as its new CEO. Seals will guide the organization in its mission to bring jobs and investment to Illinois by collaborating with the State of Illinois, industry, academic, civic, and government partners to enhance Illinois’ profile as a top destination for global business and to attract investment throughout the state.

Chicago is betting that it can lure in some Texas businesses and residents dissatisfied with the politicians running the state. The city’s economic development arm—a public-private agency of the sort that Dallas is itself trying to create—took out a full-page ad in Sunday’s Dallas Morning News.  The ad goes to the usual economic development talking points: tech startups, a highly trained workforce, logistics hub. Then, echoing those social justice yard signs I see all over the place here, the ad tells you what “we believe in” in Chicago: “Every person’s right to vote,” “Protecting reproductive rights,” and “Science to fight COVID-19.”

Indiana

The Fort Wayne City Council considers approval for a $4 million grant sought for Do it Best HQ move. With the expansion, Do it Best is expected to retain 413 employees and hire an additional 90 with an average salary of $75,000 a year. (Nancy Townsend, Community Development director)

Gov. Eric Holcomb said Wayne County is well-placed for economic success, needing to "sell, sell, sell" itself.  “You already have the location, location, location,” Holcomb said while answering questions for about 175 people who attended Thursday's Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce Governor's Luncheon at Forest Hills Country Club.

Lack of housing is among the top issues facing the city in the six to 18 months, according to Economic Development Corp. Michigan City Executive Director Clarence Hulse.  Hulse gave the City Council a six-month update last week on his agency’s economic development progress.

The DeKalb County Economic Development Partnership will soon have a new home. The partnership’s Executive Director Anton King announced on Tuesday that the non-profit would be moving its offices to The Straw Building in Auburn.

Iowa

The City of Cedar Rapids and the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance is celebrating a week of immigrants' economic impact on the area. (Jamie Toledo, relationship manager for economic development for the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance)

Kansas

Dodge City Business Park has become the latest developed site to be certified through Kansas’ Certified Sites program.

Lea Ann Seiler is Hodgeman County economic development director. She describes herself as CRO – Chief Remover of Obstacles. Lea Ann realized that a key part of her role as economic development director is removing obstacles so that her businesses and ruralpreneurs could move forward.

Sales tax and revenue bonds are a strange financial instrument. Only two other states — Illinois and Nevada — have allowed their creation, and even they haven’t made use of this fiscal slight of hand for over a decade. In Kansas, however, urban governments have regularly sought permission to sacrifice the sales tax revenue that ought to go to Kansas’s state and municipal programs in order to raise funds for construction which they imagine will bring major corporate attractions to Kansas.

Kentucky

A new degree program in the College of Engineering at the University of Kentucky will span air, sea and space travel — giving students the opportunity to make new discoveries. UK Engineering has been to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in aerospace engineering. (Michael Renfro, Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Kentucky)

Legislation establishing an incentive fund to be used only for large economic development projects won easy passage in the Senate on Thursday during day three of a special session of the Kentucky General Assembly.

Louisiana

April Hawthorne has been selected as the new executive director of the Baton Rouge North Economic Development District. In her new role, Hawthorne is expected to lead the group in forging a path towards increased economic growth in North Baton Rouge.

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. announced that the Economic Development Administration is awarding a $1 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Kisatchie-Delta Regional Planning and Development District in Alexandria, Louisiana. The grant will provide funding to purchase and renovate an existing building to create a new Resiliency Center that will support economic development in the region. This project is expected to protect 891 jobs.

Coastal Plains Meat Company announced a $3.5 million capital investment in the acquisition and expansion of a meat processing facility in Eunice. According to St. Landry Economic Development and Louisiana Economic Development, the project will result in an estimated 21 indirect jobs, for a total of 34 new jobs in the Acadiana Region.

An infusion of sales tax revenue from the construction of the $215 million Amazon fulfillment center is projected to generate for city-parish coffers will also fund the construction of a new community center within the Cortana Corridor Economic Development District.

Maine

Departing Mechanic Falls interim manager pushed for economic development: In his final report to the council, Mitch Berkowitz encouraged officials to develop the town's 'corridor of opportunity.'

The grand opening of a new community park in Greenville took place Friday afternoon. The Crafts Landing Park is now home to a public dock on the lake and will be able to hold various community events in the future. It was made possible by the Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corporation, partners, and donors. (Steve Levesque, President)

Massachusetts

The South Eastern Economic Development Corp. has been awarded a $1.14 million state grant aimed at lowering the barriers small businesses face in accessing essential start-up, expansion, and general working capital. The grant is through the Mass Growth Capital Corp. which is awarding $14.7 million in matching funds to 15 non-profits that will administer the loan programs to reach small businesses in their communities. (SEED Executive Director Susan Murray)

Next week, the newly formed Berkshire Black Economic Council is holding a kickoff event. The nonprofit’s stated goal is to serve as an advocacy group for the economic development of Berkshire County’s Black community. “Right now, there's a lot going on in our community, and there's good momentum. And still, there's ways that businesses that are here can further themselves, if they have the right support networks to get them up and running. And so, what we're trying to do is be that anchor institution that creates that foundation for businesses to thrive," said Berkshire Black Economic Council President AJ Enchill.

Michigan

Emmet County commissioners will likely not extend the life of a committee on economic development when its term sunsets at the end of this year.

Michigan has once again received the top award in the nation from the U.S. Small Business Administration State Trade Expansion Program for the upcoming fiscal year. Michigan received $2 million in federal grant funds – the maximum amount awarded by the SBA and a $650,000 increase from 2021 – to help Michigan small businesses grow in the state through increased access to global markets. (Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chair of the MSF Board)

Grand Rapids is contracting with Spartan Innovations and Start Garden to support entrepreneurs and start-up companies in the city. On Wednesday, the city’s Local Development Finance Authority signed off on a three-year, $5.5 million investment with the two organizations to run the city’s SmartZone Incubator and support services. (Jeremiah Gracia, Grand Rapid's economic development director)

The City of Farmington has once again been recognized for its economic development and community revitalization efforts in their historic downtown, having been named as one of 12 Oakland County communities to receive national accreditation from Main Street America in 2021.  Additional Oakland County communities receiving national accreditation in 2021 include Berkley, Clawson, Ferndale, Highland, Holly, Lake Orion, Ortonville, Oxford, Pontiac, Rochester, and Royal Oak.

Minnesota

At Wednesday's Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board meeting, over $2.9 million in loans and more than $4.1 million in grants were approved to advance projects in northeastern Minnesota. Total combined project investment is approximately $34 million. The loans are anticipated to create 25 new jobs and retain 73 jobs. The community and development infrastructure projects are projected to impact 345 jobs and create 104 construction jobs.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced the Small Cities Development Program would be awarding grants totaling $19,054,650 for infrastructure and rehabilitation projects in 32 Minnesota cities. These will pay for rehabilitating housing and commercial buildings as well as updating public infrastructure in small cities and counties. (Nick Murdock economic development director Perham)

Mississippi

Chickasaw County supervisors debated stopping splitting their economic development mill tax revenue between the Chickasaw Development Foundation and the Okolona Chamber of Commerce, and giving it all to a new Chickasaw Development Authority.

Missouri

If St. Louis can deliver on the promise of racial equity in its development, it can decrease concentrated poverty, increase citywide opportunity, and add an estimated $14 billion to its regional economic output.

Montana

Members of the Missoula City Council tightened their grip around the Missoula Redevelopment Agency, introducing a resolution that would limit the amount of tax increment available within the city’s urban renewal districts. (Ellen Buchanan, Director Missoula Redevelopment Agency)

Thanks to a grant given by Montana Libraries SPARK, the Whitehall Community Library opened a business resource center to help new and established owners find the information they need as quickly as possible.

The Great Falls Development Authority is holding a Strategic Planning Community meeting and is inviting the public to not only attend, but participate. GFDA wants to hear from community members to gather information about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the local economy as the department begins the process of creating a regional economic development strategy. (GFDA President and CEO Brett Doney)

Nebraska

Aurora was honored as a "model community" for small town growth. (Kelsey Bergen, Development Director)

Nevada

Northern Nevada Business Weekly hosted a Q&A with Northern Nevada Development Authority's executive director Phil Cowee.

New Hampshire

Manchester wants to hire a new Director of Economic Development.

New Jersey

Fair Lawn has been named a Main Street New Jersey district, giving it access to financial resources and counseling to develop its business districts.   The program will provide Fair Lawn with a template for redevelopment that considers the historic nature of the town.  The application was done through Fair Lawn's Economic Development Corporation. During the pandemic, Fair Lawn brought in Economic Director Isaac Kremer to focus on downtowns, and he helped the EDC with the application process.

New Mexico

Two high-ranking officials from the administration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham were in the Mexican state of Chihuahua for the swearing-in ceremony and inauguration of Gov. Maria Eugenia Campos Galván and to attend events to improve cross-border trade relations.  New Mexico Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes and Joseph De La Rosa, New Mexico Department of Transportation Director of Public Service, said the visit to Chihuahua, Mexico will further relations between the communities, help recruit new businesses to the Border Region, and create jobs that benefit New Mexicans.

After nearly four years leading Albuquerque’s economic development efforts, Synthia Jaramillo has accepted a national position with the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as the senior vice president of corporate relations.

New York

Mark Geise, deputy Chautauqua County executive for economic development and director of the Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, presented the 41 projects Chautauqua County will spend its American Rescue Plan funds on: they were divided up in six categories: public health, infrastructure, economic and workforce development, clean water, public safety, and miscellaneous items.

Glens Falls city officials are reassessing their options after learning the cost to construct a year-round community center under the Downtown Revitalization Initiative would exceed the allotted budget by more than $2 million. The city has a budget of around $4 million to complete the project, which will double as the home of the Glens Falls Farmers Market and a year-round event center.

During last week's Village of Cazenovia Board of Trustees meeting, Lauren Lines, executive director of the Cazenovia Area Community Development Association, provided an overview of the village’s latest Downtown Revitalization Initiative proposal. A cornerstone of New York’s comprehensive economic development strategy, the DRI is intended to transform downtown neighborhoods into vibrant centers that offer a high quality of life and are magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, and economic and housing diversity.

In the first half of 2021, the Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties distributed more than $2.5 million in community investments to organizations and initiatives focused on equity, economic development, education, pandemic relief and more. “At a time when our community and nonprofit organizations face continuing challenges, our six-month ‘inquiry-to-investment’ process has made it easier for our partners in need to quickly receive funding and other support,” said Alicia Dicks, President/CEO.

North Carolina

North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders unveiled the State’s new economic development strategic plan, First in Talent. The plan offers strategies to advance the skills needed of the existing workforce, like increasing attainment of high-quality credentials and participation in work-based learning. Talent, as defined in the plan, is not exclusive to workers receiving a paycheck. Two thirds of the plan aim to empower businesses, entrepreneurs, and communities to grow and attract the talent needed to be competitive and successful.

A Sanford woman endorsed a proposed economic development project at a public hearing Wednesday, doing so with an unusual request. “We want them here because Lee County is committed to making life better for everyone, so I would respectfully request that Project Frame company be asked to set aside a certain number of jobs for the homeless, the unemployed and the underemployed people,” Mary Harris said, speaking at the Lee County Board of Commissioners meeting.

Wilkesboro was one of two finalists for a project with an investment of several hundred million dollars and hundreds of new jobs until they lost). The five-month economic development effort, called Project Flow locally, involved the Wilkes Economic Development Corp., Economic Development Partnership of N.C. and Governments of Wilkesboro and Wilkes County. (Wilkes EDC President LeeAnn Nixon)

Alamance Community College just got a big boost to its biotechnology programs with a $1.1 million grant from the federal Economic Development Administration. The money will be used to help buy high-tech equipment to provide training for students and workers in biotechnology-related programs, the college said.

This fall, several Western North Carolina cities will set the landscape for Amazon Prime Video's new series, “The Peripheral.” Yancey County’s Economic Development Commission welcomed Amazon Studios to the area as it begins filming the sci-fi thriller drama series. (Yancey EDC Executive Director Jamie McMahan)

The Avery County Economic Development Advisory Committee held its latest meeting discussing how local businesses continue to operate through the pandemic. Making its way into seemingly into all aspects of daily living, Covid-19 and the newer Delta variant has been taken into account by the committee members when planning for future endeavors.

North Dakota

The former Grand Forks Holiday Inn, which sits on a key location on the city's north end, has been included in various development discussions in recent months. (Keith Lund, president and CEO of the Grand Forks Economic Development Corporation)

Ohio

JobsOhio welcomes Lori Gillett as its newest board member. (J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio President and CEO)

The Champaign Economic Partnership has appointed Richard Ebert to serve as the next executive director. That follows news that his predecessor Marcia Bailey will be retiring from that role at the end of this year.

A new $4.16 million sewer line will connect the Dow Chemical site being developed by the Lawrence Economic Development Corporationmaking some 3,000 acres available for industrial development in Lawrence and Scioto counties. (Robert Horton, Scioto County economic development director)

Oklahoma

The City of Tulsa scheduled three public meetings to get input on four Evans-Fintube development proposals. (Kian Kamas, executive director of Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity)

Pennsylvania

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse named his former political opponent, Otto Banks, as the economic development director. During his tenure, Papenfuse has had several directors of economic development, most recently Nona Watson, who resigned after the primary election.

A $3 million gift from Erie businessman Samuel P. “Pat” Black III and his daughter, Sumi James-Black, will amplify the role of Penn State Behrend’s Knowledge Park as an engine for economic growth in northwestern Pennsylvania.  A one-to-one University match will double the gift, generating a $6 million investment in Knowledge Park. The match was provided through Penn State’s Economic Development Matching Program, which leverages University funds for select initiatives that will drive job and business creation in Pennsylvania.

South Carolina

They aren’t just ‘jobs’ to Spartanburg’s David Britt. They’re hope and opportunity. In his 30 years on Spartanburg County Council, Britt estimates Spartanburg County has seen close to $20 billion in investments and the creation of nearly 85,000 jobs.

OneSpartanburg Inc. is working on its next major initiative and is seeking public input as part of the process. OneSpartanburg President and CEO Allen Smith said the new plan will chart community and economic development through 2026. “Vision Plan 2.0” will be driven by data and community feedback and focus on economic prosperity, quality of life, job opportunities, talent and investment within Spartanburg County.

South Dakota

Forward Sioux Falls began its latest fundraising effort in November 2020. Less than a year later, it’s raised a record breaking $16.8 million. The money will fund economic development initiatives in the greater Sioux Falls region through 2026.  Forward Sioux Falls is a public-private partnership between the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. It's raised $68 million since 1987. (Dave Rozenboom, co-chair of Forward Sioux Falls)

Texas

The Denison Development Alliance received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for planning of the remediation and redevelopment of the former Johns Manville asbestos pipe production brownfield site. (Tony Kaai, DDA President)

The City of El Paso’s planning teams are looking to rezone over 1,000 acres of undeveloped land in the Northeast to make way for a large manufacturing and warehousing complex on the state line.

Site Selection Group announced that Austen Kim has joined the company as an Associate.

Williamson County Commissioners approved a development plan  and tax incentives for a Samsung semiconductor plant. The agreement states Samsung must build a minimum of 6-million-square-feet of facilities, meet incremental construction deadlines, and create 1,800 full-time jobs. If met, Williamson County will grant Samsung a payment equal to 90% of ad valorem taxes it paid for the first 10 years of the agreement and 85% for the second 10 years.

Odessa’s top economic development leader, Wesley Burnett, announced on Thursday that he will leave his job with the Odessa Chamber of Commerce at the end of September to become the new director for project strategies for Nacero, Inc. Burnett was instrumental in recruiting Nacero to construct a $6.5-$7 billion natural gas processing and production facility in Ector County.

SAF, a global metals distributor, fabricator, and finisher, is expanding its capacity and capabilities with the opening of a new manufacturing location in Temple, TX. The 60,000-square-foot facility will specialize in metal fabrication and distribution. (Adrian Cannady, president and CEO of Temple Economic Development Corporation)

Outgoing Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation CEO, Floyd Batiste, will act as a consultant for the organization for 15 hours each week as the board goes through the process of selecting a new executive officer.

The US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration is awarding a $700,000 grant to the city of Brownsville, Texas, to renovate a former warehouse to create the Cannery Public Market, a multi-purpose community building in the Mitte Cultural District. This EDA grant will be matched with $1.1 million in local investment.

A $17 billion Samsung semiconductor plant is a step closer to possibly landing in Taylor, after city and county leaders approved incentives for the tech company Wednesday evening. The city and Williamson County held a joint meeting at the Taylor Independent School District events center to discuss whether they would support the new plant coming to the area.

SpaceX is planning a $150 million expansion of its McGregor test facility into a powerhouse churning out enough rockets to make humanity interplanetary. Waco and McLennan County plan to chip in $6 million for the effort, assuming work wraps up by 2025, the company’s McGregor payroll of 578 employees grows by 400, and SpaceX partners with the Mayborn Museum and a revamped city of Waco Bledsoe-Miller center to promote science programs. (Kris Collins, Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce vice president)

Lance LaCour, president of the Katy Area Economic Development Council, will become the new economic development president of Partnership Lake Houston.  LaCour will join Partnership Lake Houston Nov. 1.

This week Hopkins County Commissioners Court was asked to consider a number of proposed contracts and agreements, including a reinvestment zone and economic development agreement for Stampede Solar. The agenda also included proposals for 381 economic development agreements with JBW Holdings LLC and the two Pine Forest solar projects, Pine Forest Solar I, LLC, and Pine Forest Hybrid I, LLC.

United States

To deliver on a commitment by President Biden and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in March, today Vice President Kamala Harris relaunched the annual cabinet-level U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue. The HLED provides a strategic, measurable, and goal-oriented platform for the United States and Mexico to advance economic and social priorities central to fostering regional prosperity, expanding job creation, promoting investment in our people, and reducing inequality and poverty in all of its dimensions.

Utah

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity is pleased to announce that Cytiva will expand its facility in Logan, Utah, adding up to 396 new high-paying Utah jobs in the next 10 years. (Dan Hemmert, Executive Director Go Utah)

Vermont

US Department of Agriculture is investing $464 million to build or improve renewable energy infrastructure and to help rural communities, agricultural producers and businesses lower energy costs in 48 states and Puerto Rico. Five Vermont solar projects will get a total of $70,000.

Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, has opened applications to compete for the 2021 Windham County Business Plan Competition. The multi-year competition is funded by the Windham County Economic Development Program and will create an opportunity for scalable, and growth-focused businesses in the region to refine their business plans, hone their pitch, and receive an award that will assist their startup operations or growth plans.

Governor Phil Scott, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the City of Newport and the Northern Vermont Development Authority today announced the availability of Newport Development Fund grant opportunities for projects, businesses, and organizations within the City of Newport. The NDF was established with the proceeds from the 2018 settlement agreement with Ariel Quiros, Sr. to the State of Vermont.  The settlement awarded Quiros’ properties in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom to the State and directed the State to use monies from the sale of the properties to promote economic development, particularly for the City of Newport. (David Snedeker, executive Director of Northeastern Vermont Development Association)

During the most recent quarter ending June 30, The Vermont Economic Development Authority approved over $26.6 million in new financing to support 408 farms and businesses throughout Vermont. VEDA approved $5.2 million in its Commercial and Small Business Loan Programs, $1.7 million in its Agricultural Loan Program, and $596,000 in its Renewable Energy Loan Programs.

Virginia

Eight new projects will receive funding from Virginia’s Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization grant program. The program is administered by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and is designed to boost the local economies of Virginia’s coalfield region. The agency received $10 million in 2020 to develop Abandoned Mine Land sites. (John Warren, Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy Director)

The Nature Conservancy and Dominion Energy Virginia today announced an innovative collaboration to develop one of the first utility-scale solar projects on former surface mines in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia. The Highlands Solar project will repurpose roughly 1,200 acres of the former Red Onion surface mine. and surrounding properties in Wise and Dickenson Counties. The project will generate approximately 50 megawatts of solar energy, enough to power 12,500 homes at peak output.

The Town of Middleburg has named Alexandra “Ali” MacIntyre its new director of Business Development and Community Partnerships. She has served the past three years at the member relations manager at the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce.

Washington

A draft COVID-19 economic recovery plan was met with skepticism by the Skagit County Board of Commissioners. While the commissioners were seeking immediate action items to support struggling businesses, the plan presented by Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County CEO John Sternlicht focused more on long-term economic development.

Chelan Valley Housing Trust has hired new executive director. Mike Cooney, who helped found and has led the Chelan Valley Housing Trust since its inception in 2018, is turning over the reins of the nonprofit to a new executive director. Steven Wilkinson, who was a commercial banker in Whatcom County for years and most recently served as the executive director of the South Central Kansas Economic Development District, will take over the post in October.

Greater Spokane Incorporated and community leaders are launching a new economic development strategy for the region. THRIVE Spokane will identify a long-term vision for the area and create opportunities for economic growth through programs for small businesses, entrepreneurship resources, workforce and talent recruitment and boosting innovation and technology that allows area startups to flourish. It will also address local workforce needs so companies have access to the best talent to meet business goals. (Gary Ballew, GSI’s vice president of economic development)

Wisconsin

Tricia Rathermel is the new president and CEO of the Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corp. Rathermel, who served as interim CEO, succeeds Jason White, who left the position earlier this year to take a job closer to his family in Iowa.

Kenosha County officials are looking at the future of the Kenosha County Job Center. Officials will discuss whether to maintain/enhance its current location or relocate the center.

The Village of Richfield has recently engaged again in discussions with the Village of Germantown for the extension of sewer and water utilities to the northwest corridor. This limited area for light industrial development has the potential, if developed appropriately, to contribute significantly to the tax base. (Jim Healy, Planning & Zoning Department)

Eric Vanden Heuvel, vice president of talent and education at the Greater Green Bay Chamber, has been on the job just 15 months, but he must be doing something right. Vanden Heuvel was recently selected as one of 21 chamber executives for the 2021 Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Inclusive Economic Growth Fellowship.

Economic Development Washington County is offering easy-access financing to help businesses and farmers in Washington County. Loans are available and EDWC will take applications until funds are exhausted on a first come, first serve basis. (Christian Tscheschlok, Executive Director)

Roughly 80 leaders from the nonprofit, business, collegiate and local towns and villages of Outagamie County have identified high-speed internet as a top priority for spending $36.8 million in federal COVID-19 recovery funds by the end of 2024.  However, among a segment of the population classified as low-to medium-income earners, workforce development, economic development, child care concerns topped the need for better internet access.


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Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. By day: Director of Economic Development for Galveston County, Texas.