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31 - Economic Development and Developers in the News

Econ dev news from 150 economic development executives and organizations in 34 states and Canada.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
27 min read
31 - Economic Development and Developers in the News
Photo by GraceHues Photography / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Welcome to the 31st 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 150 economic development executives and organizations in 34 states and Canada.


The Wiregrass Economic Development Corporation has a new executive director. A little over 7 months after former executive director Jonathan Tullos stepped down, the corporation has hired Jesse Quillen to replace him. Quillen has served in multiple roles involving economic development over the years including with the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Columbia County commission in Florida and Clarke County commission in Alabama.

Two communities, Scottsboro and Hartselle, in north Alabama have been chosen to participate in an Inaugural Economic Development Academy hosted by the Alabama League of Municipalities.


Grant Tennille, who was the head of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission under Beebe's administration, was selected as the chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas.


The BNP Paribas Open is expected to bring an economic resurgence to Coachella Valley. (Joe Wallace, Coachella Valley Economic Partnership)

Ventura's economic development manager has resigned effective Oct. 1. Estelle Bussa, the economic manager since May 2018, said she was going to join an Austin, Texas, technology company. City Safe & Clean manager Meredith Hart will serve as interim economic development manager until the position is filled. Hart is a former deputy director for Downtown Ventura Partners, the area's business association.

Friday was Manufacturing Day, an annual commemoration coordinated by the National Manufacturing Association on the first Friday of October, and many people were appreciating its importance. In Ventura County, this industry supports average manufacturing sector wages of $118,627 per year, compared to an average of just $38,868 per year in the retail sector, according to the Camarillo-based Economic Development Collaborative. “Manufacturing provides over 10.5% of private-sector jobs in Ventura County, significantly more than the statewide share of 9%,” said Bruce Stenslie, collaborative president and CEO.


The Ontario government is investing up to $550,335 to help the Anishinabek Nation establish an Agricultural Economic Blueprint to increase agri-food sector development opportunities for 39 First Nation communities across the province. This three-year investment supports the creation of an agricultural economic development strategic plan to help identify key priorities to encourage Anishinabek Nation member communities’ participation in the agri-food sector, while supporting targeted activities to grow agri-food capacity and strengthen economic development opportunities in First Nation communities.


A new economic development push is working to lure Kiwis to Denver. The city recently launched a Global Landing Pad program to lure New Zealand companies and other international firms to open North American headquarters in Denver. Although recruitment efforts have now gained a momentum of their own, a key accelerator was an active outreach by Denver Economic Development and Opportunity and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, which led a trade mission to New Zealand and Australia two years ago. (Stephanie Garnica, DEDO global business development director; Michelle Hadwiger, Colorado's deputy director of global business development)

Trae Miller, executive director of the Logan County Economic Development Corp. hopes to pave way for young professionals to return home.

Fremont Economic Development Corporation, in collaboration with the Upper Arkansas Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership, recently announced the creation of an online job board and career center to connect local employers with prospective employees, while providing upskilling and reskilling opportunities. (Rob Brown, executive director of Fremont Economic Development Corporation)


Bruce Tuomala, Danbury’s former economic development director, is a Roxbury First Selectman candidate.


Economic development nonprofit organization Prospera has published the results of a 30-year economic impact analysis. To commemorate its anniversary and more accurately and objectively measure the overall impact of its programs and services in Florida and North Carolina, Prospera hired economic development and research consulting firm AngelouEconomics to perform a second analysis after its 25-year report. The results, which showed significant increases in the last five years.

The Port Panama City 2022 budget focuses on economic development projects and more jobs for the area. “The port is a real economic engine for the city, it has been for years,” Mayor Greg Brudnicki said. “They’ve been very aggressive, very successful. There’s not one smidgen of property on that port that’s not utilized.” (Alex King, executive director of the Port Authority)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently announced Terran Orbital’s decision to choose Merritt Island for the construction of its Commercial Spacecraft and Constellation Facility – bringing valuable spacecraft manufacturing opportunities and capabilities to the State of Florida by investing more than $300 million in new construction and equipment. “Florida’s Space Coast offers Terran Orbital the day-one, ready-to-work talent this innovative manufacturer needs to scale up quickly,” said Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.


Kennesaw State University has taken the next steps to build and expand its interdisciplinary collaborations with external partners through the recent addition of Tyler Reinagel as associate vice president for economic development in the Office of Research.

The Peach State has been designated the “top state for doing business” for the eighth year in a row by Area Development, the nation’s leading corporate site selection magazine. Georgia set new economic development records during the last fiscal year in spite of the pandemic. Nearly $11 billion in new investments during Fiscal 2021, which ended June 30, represented a 46% increase over Fiscal 2020, while 33,439 jobs created across the state beat the previous record by 5%. (Pat Wilson, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development)

Georgia Tech organization received a $1.3 million grant for Build to Scale program. The program aims to accelerate technology entrepreneurship by increasing inclusive access to business support and startup capital. (Gina M. Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce; Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development )


The leader of the Metro East's economic development group since 2015 is leaving. Ronda Sauget, executive director of Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, will leave the organization Oct. 29. The chairman of the organization's board, Richard Mark, said recruitment of a new leader will begin immediately, with preference to hire someone with roots and connections in metro St. Louis.

Silvia Garcia, acting director of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity gave the keynote speech during the Northwest Illinois Economic Development meeting. (Emily Legel, executive director NWILED)

Brookfield’s search for a new community development director drew applications from across the nation, but when the dust settled Village Manager Timothy Wiberg went with someone who has firsthand knowledge of the village’s planning and development goals. Emily Egan, who served as Brookfield’s village planner from 2015-18 will return Oct. 4 to head the department she once served in.


Members of Knox County’s leading economic development organization took another step Friday in pursuing the construction of a shell building — arguably the most enticing tool to draw new business and industry. (Kirk Bouchie, chair of Knox County Indiana Economic Development’s Site Development Committee)

Six northwest Indiana counties have been chosen for a first-of-its-kind process developed in the Hoosier State to help rural communities create economic development opportunities for farmers. The grant will fund the launch of the Rural Economic Development Model, which will allow the counties to inspect regional agricultural output to find new market opportunities, applications or facilities to enhance the output. (Edwin Buswell, executive director Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission)

NineTwelve, an Indiana-based nonprofit organization, recently opened a new facility next to Purdue's Discovery Park District. The facility is meant to combine industry and academic opportunities.

The Noblesville Common Council unanimously approved an economic development agreement between the city and Milhaus, a mixed-use developer that specializes in urban, multi-family residential buildings. Milhaus is based in Indianapolis. The agreement is for what Economic Development Director Andrew Murray calls a “transformative project” spanning 46 acres on the northwest corner of 146th Street and River Road.

The Indiana Black-Owned Business Loan Fund, announced this month, has already had nearly 40 entrepreneurs apply for a share of an estimated $1.5 million in seed money. (Betsy Pearson & Rev. Manuel Hunt, Anderson-Madison County Black Chamber of Commerce)

With an emphasis on building vibrant downtowns and attracting workers and entrepreneurs, the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority submitted its “Growing With Vision” plan to win $50 million from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.


The Carroll County Board of Supervisors’ meeting agenda on Monday was very short and included a Carroll County Development Corporation update. Matt Meiners, economic vitality director with the CADC, gave an update on the Partners in Progress initiative. The Partners in Progress magazine goes out to CADC’s economic-development and private-investment partners to give an update on activity over the last year.

West Hill Brewing and Whip It Good Catering of Indianola were the winners of the Warren County Economic Development Corporation's Warren County Small Business Grant Contest. (Rachel Gocken, Executive Director Warren County

The Cascade City Council heard the annual report from the Cascade Economic Development Committee. According to the report, Cascade’s current economic strengths are city services, small-town community care mentality and early childcare and supervision.

Local economic development expert has backed formation of a Cedar Falls EDC. (Randy Pilkington, executive director of the University of Northern Iowa Business School’s economic and community development division)


The Barren County Economic Authority and Scott, Murphy & Daniel broke ground on a 100,000 square foot speculative building in the Highland Glen Industrial Park in Glasgow. (Maureen Carpenter, Executive Director of the BCEA)

Some of the region’s top economic leaders met at the Corbin Center Monday to take part in the Kentucky Association for Economic Development’s (KAED) "KAED Road Show and Listening Tour." (Bruce Carpenter, executive director of the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and local economic development agency)

Year to date, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce has closed 9 economic development projects in South Central Kentucky, totaling $354.7 in capital investment and generating 1,017 new jobs for 2021. (Dewayne McDonald, President and CEO of Warren RECC; Ron Bunch, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO; John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of Economic Development)

Kentucky landed the largest economic development project in its history, a $5.8B investment by Ford Motor Corp. and South Korea-based SK Innovation to build two battery manufacturing plants in Hardin County that are expected to employ 5,000 people.

The Corbin Economic Development Agency and the Southeastern Kentucky Regional Business Park are undergoing name changes in order to help market the regional focus. Chairman Bruce Carpenter noted that the economic development agency would now be known as the Southern Kentucky Economic Development Agency while the business park off of the Corbin bypass that serves as the home to Pepsi, Kowa and CTA, among others, would now be known as the Southern Kentucky Business Park.


Central St. Landry Economic Development District deploys its dedicated funding to improve and increase critical economic infrastructure within its geographic boundaries. Largely because of these investments, there have been more than 50 million dollars in new business investment over the past four years and currently there are more than 50 million dollars in various types of development projects within the district that are in the permitting and/or due diligence process. (Bill Rodier, executive director CSLEDD)

Three sites in Broussard have been certified for economic development under the state’s certified sites program. The sites, each more than 30 acres, will put the total amount to 21 certified sites in Acadiana. (Troy Wayman, president & CEO One Acadiana; Greg Gothreaux, president & CEO Lafayette Economic Development Authority)


Every month, Hampden’s economic development director receives calls from business owners who want to locate on the busy Coldbrook Road that runs between Route 1A and Route 2, spanning Hampden and Hermon. But a lot of work still has to be done before the road can support businesses that can add to the town’s tax base and ease the tax burden on homeowners. (Amy Ryder, Hampden’s economic development director)

The Future Forest Economy Initiative is investing $250,000 to enhance markets for certified wood and to strengthen the supply chain for wood in the Northern Forest region through a grant to the Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands. The Future Forest initiative — a cooperative effort of the U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities, and the Northern Forest Center — grew out of a congressional mandate to support the development of markets for wood products. This is the fourth grant in a three-year program that will invest $2.6 million to expand innovation, create market demand and create conditions that will allow businesses and communities to benefit from these innovations. (Joe Short, vice president of the Northern Forest Center)

Economic development expert Garvan Donegan is building growth in central Maine.


A startling fact is that for the period 2010-2017, virtually all new job growth in Baltimore occurred in businesses and institutions with 500 or more employees,” the BDC’s newly published five-year planning report reads. “It’s clear that Baltimore’s small business development systems need improved coordination, increased accountability and a more thoughtful allocation of resources.” (Colin Tarbert, president & CEO Baltimore Development Corp.; Debra Keller-Greene, chair of the Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce; Andy Cook, executive director of Made in Baltimore)


Huge federal grants have been awarded to programs that fuel innovation. One of the awardees is Techtown, in Midtown Detroit.

The DTE Energy Foundation has awarded grants to Michigan-based organizations to spur economic development and job creation across the state. Grant recipients include the Ann Arbor Spark Foundation, Detroit Economic Growth Association, Detroit Regional Partnership, Michigan Economic Development Foundation, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance, The Right Place Foundation and Venture North Funding and Development. (Paul Krutko, president & CEO Ann Arbor Spark Foundation; Kevin Johnson, president & CEO Detroit Economic Growth Association; Maureen Donohue Krauss, president & CEO Detroit Regional Partnership; Ashley Van Ek - Ten Brink, executive director Michigan Economic Development Foundation; David Emmel, President Northern Lakes Economic Alliance; Randy Thelen, president & CEO The Right Place Foundation; Laura Galbraith, president Venture North Funding and Development)

Sartorius BioAnalytical Instruments, Inc., a global leader in the biopharmaceutical industry, received support from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to construct a Center of Excellence facility in Ann Arbor. Throughout this process, Sartorious will invest $57 million in the Ann Arbor region, which will ultimately create 160 high-wage jobs here. (Paul Krutko, president & CEO Ann Arbor SPARK; Quentin L. Messer, Jr. CEO Michigan Economic Development Corporation; Ryan Hundt, CEO MichiganWorks)

Governor Whitmer announced that the U.S. Secretary of Commerce's Economic Development Administration is awarding a $3.8 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the University of Michigan-Flint, Flint, Michigan, to construct the university's new College of Innovation and Technology. This EDA grant, to be matched with $4.9 million in local funds, is expected to create 126 jobs, retain 175 jobs, and generate $10.4 million in private investment. (Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo; Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo)

Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in announcing Michigan Strategic Fund approval of projects that include crucial support for Ford's continued investment in electric vehicles in Michigan, a biopharmaceutical facility in Ann Arbor creating 160 jobs, and $14.9 million in grants to 11 communities around the state to support infrastructure improvements. (Paul Krutko, president & CEO Ann Arbor SPARK; Quentin L. Messer, Jr. CEO Michigan Economic Development Corporation)

Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to announce the U.S. Economic Development Administration is awarding more than $2 million to three SmartZones in Michigan to support programs that fuel innovation and tech-based economic development. (Susan Corbin, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity director; Tom Kelly, Executive Director and CEO of Automation Alley; Ned Staebler, president and CEO of TechTown Detroit; Joe Thiel, CEO of Innovate Marquette; Fred Molnar, vice president of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the MEDC)

Innovate Marquette SmartZone announced that it has secured a Capital Challenge grant via the U.S. Economic Development Administration through the Build to Scale program. The grant, called Capital Challenge, will infuse $611,911 into local economic development efforts over the next three years. Innovate Marquette worked with the Center on Rural Innovation to apply for the grant as part of CORI’s 2021 Rural Innovation Initiative, a technical assistance program empowering rural communities to create inclusive digital economies that support scalable entrepreneurship and tech job creation. (Joe Thiel, CEO of Innovate Marquette; Leah Taylor, Center on Rural Innovation’s head of digital economy consulting)

The University of Michigan’s Economic Growth Institute received a $111,950 Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy grant to develop a clean energy technology development roadmap.

Michigan "was not actively involved" in a bid to land Ford Motor Co.'s multibillion-dollar electric vehicle manufacturing campuses that the Dearborn automaker has decided to build in Kentucky and Tennessee, the state's economic development chief said Tuesday. "We are always in conversations with Ford, but we were not actively involved," Quentin Messer Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., said in a conference call with reporters.

Plans for a $250 million mixed-use development on Muskegon Lake that incorporates lots of public access, including a new fishing pier and boat launch, have received final approval from the city. (Jake Eckholm, Muskegon Economic Development Services Director)

Gov. Whitmer announced that the U.S. Secretary of Commerce's Economic Development Administration is awarding a $6 million grant to the Midwest Energy Cooperative in Cassopolis, Michigan to construct the needed road, sewer, and water infrastructure to support the 234-acre Southwest Michigan Advanced Research and Technology Park (. This EDA grant, to be matched with $6 million in local funds, is expected to create 248 jobs and generate $14 million in private investment.

An insinuation by Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Farley that Michigan's industrial electric utility rates are uncompetitive with other states sparked some pushback from the state's energy sector last week.


The Economic Development Association of Minnesota hosted a three-day fall conference at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The conference featured a list of nearly 50 business leaders from a variety of industries to speak. (Morgan Hill, President GREATER MSP Regional Economic Development Partnership)


The Mississippi Economic Development Council announced today the list of new officers and board of directors for the 2020-2021 year: The members of the MEDC 2021-2022 Executive Committee are Pablo Diaz with Vicksburg-Warren Economic Development Partnership as President; Hunter Aycock with Community Development Foundation as President-Elect; Lori Watts with Marion County Development Partnership as Secretary/ Treasurer; and Mitch Stringer with Cooperative Energy as Immediate Past-President. The Vice Presidents are Cynthia Buchanan with Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership as Vice President of Chamber Development; Jon Maynard with Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation and Chamber of Commerce as Vice President of Community Development; Clayton Stanley with The Alliance as Vice President of Economic Development; and Brandi Hough with Harrison County Development Commission as Vice President of Emerging Leaders. The 2021-2022 at large Board Members are: Jim Flanagan with DeSoto County Economic Development Council; Chelsea Baulch with Monroe County Chamber of Commerce; Angela Curry with Greenwood Leflore Carroll Economic Development Foundation; Meryl Fisackerly with Golden Triangle Development LINK; Joey Deason with Madison County Economic Development Authority; Jill Busby with Pike County Economic Development District; Todd Jackson with Area Development Partnership; and Janel Carothers with Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission. Brian Useforge with Mississippi Power Company and Ed Gardner with Entergy Mississippi, Inc. are Members-At-Large. Laura Hipp with the Mississippi Development Authority as Ex-Officio Member. The Mississippi Southern Economic Development Council Director is Tim Weston with JESCO, Inc. The SEDC Alternate Director is Allen Kurr with Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation. Chance McDavid with the Mississippi Development Authority will serve as the Chairman for both Scholarship Committee and the Community Economic Development Awards.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s annual economic impact on the state of Mississippi has increased to more than $663 million, representing a 10 percent increase since the previous study in 2016. The study, conducted by subject matter experts from the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship and independently verified by IMPLAN Inc., shows that the University’s annual economic impact has grown—a previous study found the University’s annual impact to be $603 million. (Dr. Chad Miller, Interim Director of the Trent Lott National Center and Professor of Economic Development)


Location, location, location – the phrase is well-known in real estate AND in economic development. Missouri is in a great geographic position with its location in the center of the United States. This should be a huge advantage in economic development. Within 500 miles of the state of Missouri is 43% of the U.S. population, 41% of buying power, and 44% of both wholesale trade and manufacturing plants.

The Van Buren Chamber of Commerce and the city of Van Buren are working with Community Growth Strategies of Columbia, Mo., to help grow the economy in the city and surrounding area. The city and the chamber hosted a communitywide meeting, facilitated by Jim Fram of CGS, to gather input from anyone willing to participate. More than 50 people attended to provide creative ideas and suggestions for future growth. (Julie Murray, president and CEO of the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce.)

Washington Area Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals’ ambassador group raised $15K to woo workers to the area. They are seeking proposals from marketing firms who can help guide the outreach and recruitment program that will place advertising buys on television and social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. (Sal Maniaci, Washington Community and Economic Director; Jennifer Giesike, president & CEO Washington Area Chamber of Commerce)

Corey Mehaffy, Executive Director of the Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council, announced that the Hannibal Industrial Development Corporation is seeking additional shareholders.

New Hampshire

The town of Brentwood is forming an Economic Development Committee to highlight what Brentwood can offer business and industry, while reducing the tax burden on residents. The town's Planning Board recently met with Darren Winham, economic development director for Exeter, to get the ball rolling.

New Jersey

At the Randolph Country Fair, the Economic Development Committee presented two local establishments with awards at its annual Business Achievement Award program. The 2021 award winners were NJ Pest Control and Brightview Senior Living. (Darren Carney, Asst. TWP Manager/Planning Administrator)

New Mexico

Sandoval Economic Alliance President and CEO Fred Shepherd reinforced how economic-base job growth can continue to help bolster Rio Rancho’s economy — and hence keep pace with demands brought on by recent residential growth — during Thursday’s presentation at the SEA office.

The Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University – the campus’ business development center – is set to offer a five-week virtual, cohort-based venture program for startup businesses and entrepreneurs in the Borderplex region. (Carlos Murguia, director of the Foster Innovation Exchange; David Andujo, entrepreneurship and innovation adviser for Chihuahua’s and Sonora’s government)

"What I've realized is that ... in order to attack this poverty problem, I couldn't do economic development the same way I did economic development back in Utah," Ifo Pili said in an interview with the Sun-News. "It's not just about bringing jobs. It's bringing jobs that will help elevate the people of Las Cruces, and specifically that demographic." (Griselda Martinez, former EDD director; Ikani Taumoepeau, interim director)

The City of Albuquerque’s Job Training Albuquerque, a workforce development program, is expanding its course listings for the second time this year, now offering high-demand skills training through the New Mexico Child Care and Education Association and Pivotal New Mexico, a nonprofit that helps organizations find funding to achieve charitable and social missions. (Robert Blanquera Nelson, program manager of Pivotal NM; Chrissy Jeter, executive director NMCCEA; Damian R. Lara, interim director EDD)

New York

Jeff Finkle, CEO and President of the International Economic Development Council, was presented with the Distinguished Service Award at the New York State Economic Development Council Annual Awards Ceremony held in Cooperstown this week. (NYSEDC Executive Director Ryan Silva; Tom Kucharski, IEDC board chair, president and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara, and NYSEDC board member)

Former Council Member Costa Constantinides was sworn into the New York City Economic Development Corporation's Board of Directors. (Rachel Loeb, President and CEO NYCEDC)

Mohawk Valley EDGE was presented with the Project of the Year award for the Cree|Wolfspeed project at the New York State Economic Development Council annual awards ceremony this week. Steven J. DiMeo, president of Mohawk Valley EDGE, accepted the award on behalf of the area economic development organization. (Ryan Silva, NYSEDC executive director)

Governor Kathy Hochul announced PreAct Technologies as the winner of Round 4 of the Luminate NY optics, photonics, and imaging startup accelerator competition. The Portland, Oregon-based PreAct Technologies received the "Company of the Year" award at Luminate Finals 2021, which was held virtually and sponsored by Optica, formerly The Optical Society. The company will receive $1 million in investment from New York State through the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative. As required by the award, all winners of the competition will commit to establishing operations in Rochester for at least the next 18 months. PreAct Technologies plans to establish manufacturing in New York State. (Empire State Development Chief Operating Officer and Executive Deputy Commissioner Kevin Younis)

North Carolina

The Duke Energy Foundation distributed $750,000 in grants to help local businesses across North Carolina – from restaurants to retailers – adapt to the unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic. The total represents a 50% increase over the $500,000 in funding announced in April due to the breadth and quality of the funding applications. As a result, the Hometown Revitalization grant program will now support 30 communities throughout the state rather than the original 20 planned at the program’s inception. (Nicole Thompson, president and CEO of Downtown Durham; Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president)

The Surry County Economic Development Foundation has received a grant for $25,000 from the Duke Energy Foundation to assist local small businesses. Local microgrants will be offered in the amount of $500 to $2,500 for businesses with less than 50 employees. (Todd Tucker of the Surry County Economic Development Foundation)

Nearly $3 million in newly announced funding will support further development of the outdoor-driven community and economy in Western North Carolina. The project aims to generate 325 jobs and generate $18.1 million of new investment in the region’s outdoor economy. (Sophia Paulos, board chair of Mountain BizWorks and Graham County economic development director)

The city of Hendersonville and Henderson County, at loggerheads in the past over who controls utilities, annexation and other development issues, have scored successes for the community when they worked together. Recognizing that, the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development honored the city and county as its Partners of the Year, crediting their work in the "team sport" of industrial recruitment.

Local economic experts in Jacksonville describe the economy as actually not significantly low compared to the norm. (ECU Economist, Dr. Philip Rothman; Executive Director of the Onslow County Economic Development Committee, Mark Sutherland)

Lindsay Whitson, community and economic development program manager with Triangle J Council of Government, gave an updated presentation on EDA funding criteria on Tuesday to the TriCities Work Group. This is an informal discussion and planning group that brings together town leaders and senior staff from Aberdeen, Pinehurst and Southern Pines on a bimonthly basis. (Triangle J Executive Director Lee Worsley)

Economic development will be the focus of a joint effort between the City of Raleigh and Wake County Economic Development, and a executive has been added to help lead the initiative. Part of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Wake County Economic Developemt will co-manage business and jobs recruitment along with the city in a “partnership” known as Raleigh Economic Development. New to the partnership is Kyle Touchstone as director. He joins the team led by Wake County Economic Development Executive Director Michael Haley.

North Dakota

"Just three years ago, when I became the director of Economic Development and Finance (ED&F), Commerce had slightly over $1 billion worth of projects in queue. Today, as commissioner, after a few years of adopting a new strategic approach for development and deployment, our ED&F Division is now working on more than $25 billion in projects. This brings our capital expenditures (CapEx) at a level not seen anywhere in the nation, with a value of nearly half of our state’s entire economy," James Leiman North Dakota's commerce commissioner.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum announced he has appointed Becca Cruger, workforce development manager at the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation (EDC), to the North Dakota Workforce Development Council. The council is the state’s workforce innovation and opportunity board, and Cruger will join it in an effort to advise the governor and the public on workforce development and North Dakota’s economic development needs.

Gov. Doug Burgum unveiled his “Accelerate ND” plan containing his executive recommendations to the state Legislature for strategically investing federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). As part of the plan, the governor also proposed using a portion of the state’s near-record ending fund balance from the 2019-21 budget to provide an estimated $207 million of income tax relief over two years, support economic development and provide long-term cost savings to North Dakota taxpayers, all without raising taxes.


The Scioto County Board of Commissioners, Scioto County Economic Development Office, Southern Ohio Port Authority, JobsOhio and Ohio Southeast Economic Development celebrated the groundbreaking of the first spec building at the Southern Ohio Aeronautical Regional Business Park. “The Scioto County Economic Development Office and the Scioto County Commissioners were very excited to break ground on this project,” said Robert Horton, Executive Director of the Scioto County Economic Development Office. “It has been a privilege to collaborate with OhioSE and JobsOhio on this project and bring it to life in Scioto County — this is exactly what our rural communities need here in Southern Ohio. By leveraging multiple funding programs, we are able to create a site and speculative building that will help us attract business to our region.”

Hamilton County has spent time figuring out how the area economically thrives and struggles, and officials are now ready to start diving in to address some of the targeted issues. Local agencies, residents and government officials weighed in on the findings. (Harry Blanton, senior vice president and manager at HCDC, Inc.; Liz Blume, director of the Community Building Institute at Xavier University)

Rhode Island

Keith Stokes, who oversaw economic development for the state between 2010 and 2012, is returning to government work – this time in Providence. Mayor Jorge Elorza has hired Stokes to be the city’s business and development director beginning Oct. 12, a spokeswoman for the city confirmed. Stokes replaces Michael Solomon, who is leaving the administration to run for mayor.

South Carolina

Elevate Rapid City is known for being the City’s economic development engine by helping to recruit new companies, expand existing businesses, and bringing workers to the area. The population growth of Rapid City has Elevate envisioning what the next ten years will be like. Four years ago Elevate came up with a five year economic plan, that plan is almost over and the goals have been met, so now they are planning the next phase of Rapid City’s economic future. In order to do that, the CEO and President of Elevate, Tom Johnson says they are requesting three million dollars to work on some of the City’s biggest challenges, the worker shortage and the housing crisis.


The Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council is proud to announce the upgrade and re-launch of The ClarksvilleIsHiring website is a partnership of the Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce and Clarksville-Montgomery County Industrial Development Board, provided by the Aspire Clarksville Foundation. (Vice President of Communications and Marketing Michelle Hueffmeier)

Jackson Chamber President Kyle Spurgeon and HTL Advantage Director Mark Herbison grew up together in Henry County, were college roommates and were part of the team that brought Ford Motor Company to the Memphis Regional Megasite.

After serving since 2012 as the president and CEO of the Economic Development Growth Engine, Reid Dulberger says he will retire in December. “I’ll be forever grateful for this amazing opportunity to serve our community. Along with an incredible team at EDGE and our colleagues throughout the community, we have worked to give all people in Memphis and Shelby County better opportunities for economic prosperity,” Dulberger said. EDGE was created in 2011 as an economic development agency for the City of Memphis and Shelby County and Dulberger acted as the first president/CEO.

It’s one of those seminal moments for our economy, and it's historic on a number of levels." That's how Ted Townsend, chief economic development officer for the Greater Memphis Chamber, described Ford Motor Co.’s recent announcement that it will build a 3,600-acre campus at the Memphis Regional Megasite.


The U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development unveiled the 50 organizations that will receive grants totaling $36.5 million as part of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Fall 2021 “Build to Scale” program. One North Texan made the cut: LaunchBio. LaunchBio’s proposal was selected as one of the 2021 Venture Challenge Grant recipients. The startup -- one of only four Texas grantees -- was awarded $750,000. (Becky Beattie, LaunchBio’s CEO)

Aubrey Nettles is Missouri City’s new Executive Director of Economic Development. Nettles comes to Missouri City from College Station, where she was the Economic Development Manager. Nettles will manage a department budget of $2,288,944 and two employees devoted to recruiting, retaining and growing business in Missouri City.

The Plano City Council on Monday approved what is being described as stopgap funding for the Plano Economic Development Corporation. The city will add an additional $7,500 in funding for the corporation.

The City of Kaufman has named Stewart McGregor as the new director of the Kaufman Economic Development Corporation.

Ahead of fiscal year 2021, Sherman Economic Development Corp. announced it would be focusing on women and minority-owned businesses for local economic development, and heading into the new year, the corporation plans to continue focusing on encouraging entrepreneurs and women- and minority-owned businesses. (SEDCO President Kent Sharp)

Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation held a luncheon Thursday with keynote speaker Dr. Ray Perryman, one of the world’s leading economists and he provided his analysis and projections for the region and beyond. (President and CEO of the BVEDC Matt Prochaska)

Gov. Greg Abbott was joined by local leaders and economic development officials on Friday to announce plans for a new 850,000 square foot mozzarella cheese and nutrition manufacturing facility in East Lubbock County. The project is being touted by the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance as the largest single private capital investment in Lubbock's history. (John Osborne, President and CEO of LEDA)


Few businesses are applying for emergency grants, Vermont Economic Development Commissioner Joan Goldstein says. In the latest round, only $1.9 million in economic recovery gap grants have been made. The commissioner cited several reasons for the low numbers of grants. She called the application a difficult one. She said 1,000 applications were started and not submitted. She said some businesses have not yet filed their 2020 taxes, a requirement for applying for the grants. She said other businesses may not have had a loss in 2020. One hundred twenty applications were deemed ineligible or they were eligible but the calculated award amounted to zero.


The Monacan Indian Nation recently purchased more than 1,000 acres on Laurel Cliff Road in Monroe for $5.5 million, a move that ties into the Amherst County-based tribe’s plans for development opportunities its chief said will benefit the Monacans and the county. Jeremy Bryant, Amherst County’s director of community development, said the Laurel Cliff land is largely agricultural in zoning and specifics the county would consider in future development there include utilities like water and sewer and traffic impact.

A familiar face in Bedford County will be the county's next economic development director. Pam Bailey, who has served in the role of marketing and business development coordinator for the county’s economic development office since 2018, will replace longtime former director Traci Blido, who in June was named director of workforce development for the Central Virginia Workforce Development Board.

As Norfolk prepares for some sizable development projects, city officials don’t plan to forget the strong business base that positioned the area for such investments. “We’re really focused on business expansion and our primary employers,” says Jared Chalk, Norfolk’s director of economic development. “That’s been our focus this year and it’s paid off really well for us.” (Doug Smith, president and CEO of the Hampton Roads Alliance)

An agreement between the Navy and Virginia Beach could give the city much-needed breathing room for economic development expansion while lowering the cost of operating the East Coast’s master jet base. Under a concept called Future Base Design, Naval Air Station Oceana would lease about 400 acres of land to private businesses in exchange for up to $3 million worth of in-kind infrastructure projects and maintenance. The base, which is home to 17 F/A-18 fighter jet squadrons, has partnered with the city as the economic development driver for the project.

The Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport Commission will receive a $100,000 grant from the state to finish up infrastructure improvements at its business park. The $100,000 will go toward the build-out of the Weyers Cave-based airport's Shenandoah Valley Aviation Technology Park. Specifically, the money will be spent on finishing the design and engineering of water and sewer services that would support future growth at the park. Last year, the commission received $2.1 million in federal commerce economic-development match grants to build more corporate hangers, office and aviation growth space at the park.

City leaders are calling economic developments a success story for those living and working in the Danville-Pittsylvania County area. Just two years after IKEA closed its facility in the Cane Creek Centre, several new projects have filled its place, bringing thousands of new jobs and millions in capital investments. (Matt Rowe, Pittsylvania County economic development director)

As part of $7.7 million in grants from ‘Growth and Opportunity for Virginia’ (GO Virginia), several local Hampton Roads businesses are set to receive a combined more than $269,000. (GO Virginia State Board Vice-Chair Todd Stottlemyer)

Compare economic development wish lists across Virginia, and you’ll find one item in common. It’s not a specific manufacturer, a large health care system, or even a lucrative brewery. It’s a data center — or two, or three. (Buddy Rizer, Loudoun County’s executive director for economic development)


Lacey MakerSpace will receive a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, thanks, in part, to support from U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. In partnership with the Thurston Economic Development Council Center for Business & Innovation, the City of Lacey, and Saint Martin’s University, LMS operates as an innovation lab for small business owners, artists, and entrepreneurs in Thurston County and the greater Southern Washington region. (Michelle Pope, LMS’s director)

West Virginia

Residents of six West Virginia counties are being asked for input about the future of their economy, including Marion County. The Region VI Planning and Development Council is planning to update its comprehensive economic development strategy, to help formulate a new plan, the council is looking to the public for input. (Sheena Hunt, executive director of the Region VI Council)

20 companies and manufacturing partners from Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties were honored by the West Virginia Department of Economic Development and eastern panhandle development authority agencies on Wednesday during a Manufacturing Day celebration at the Purple Iris in Martinsburg. (West Virginia Department of Economic Development Secretary Mitch Carmichael)

Friends of the Cheat has been awarded $1.1 million by the Appalachian Regional Commission on behalf of the Mountaineer Trail Network Recreation Authority. Friends of the Cheat is a nonprofit watershed group working to restore the Cheat River. Friends of the Cheat and its partners will solidify the newly established Mountaineer Trail Network Recreation Authority, an economic development authority created by the West Virginia Legislature in 2019 to oversee the creation, launch, and operation of the Mountaineer Trail Network.

The WV Community Development Hub announced the inaugural cohort for the advanced-level track of the Community Coaching Fellowship program. Ten people from across the state will participate in this leadership development initiative to catalyze growth and make a positive difference in West Virginia communities. Fellows will incubate a community or economic development-focused project as part of this intensive 10-month fellowship. With support from professional coaches and peers, fellows will develop an action plan to advance project work including identifying funding sources, challenges, and partnerships. (Kelley Burd-Huss, Community Development Coordinator, Preston Trail Towns; Reed Byers, Change Agent and Creator, How to Save a Life program at GiveMore Connections; Candice Helms, Preserve WV AmeriCorps, Hinton Historic Landmarks Commission at the City of Hinton; Sherri L. James, Program Director, Kelly Miller Community Center and Community Engagement Coordinator, Monticello; Ongoing Revitalization Effort; Jamila Jones-Fleet, Founder and President, Innovative Community Solutions; Amy Loomis, MPA, Vice President of Revitalization Services, Morgantown Area Partnership; Olivia Morris, Region 1 Manager, Generation West Virginia; Mackenzie New-Walker, Executive Director, WV Mine Wars Museum; Caroline Smith, Program Director, Stewards Individual Placements; Ray Smith, Executive Director, Lewis County Chamber of Commerce)


The Lander Investment For Tomorrow, a committee of the Lander Economic Development Association as authorized by the City of Lander, is now accepting applications for grant funds. (Andy Gramlich, chair of the LIFT committee)

The Children’s Museum of Cheyenne will break ground downtown in the next year after receiving public funding last week to start development. The project was supported by the Cheyenne-Laramie County Economic Development Joint Powers Board, which unanimously approved a $50,000 grant Tuesday morning. Board members said they were excited to support a plan that aligned so well with their mission statement.

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Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. Also: Sitehunt CEO and economic development consultant in Greater Houston, Texas.

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