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33 - Economic Development and Developers in the News

Econ dev news from 142 economic development executives and organizations in 35 states, Canada, Cayman Islands and US Virgin Islands

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
23 min read
33 - Economic Development and Developers in the News
Photo by Jakob Owens / Unsplash

Welcome to the 33rd 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 142 economic development executives and organizations in 35 states, Canada, Cayman Islands and US Virgin Islands.


Alabama

Shelton State Community College announced that Jonathan Koh has been hired as the school's new Dean of Workforce and Economic Development.

The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama announced the appointment of five members to its board of directors, bringing the number of the agency’s board members to 37. (Greg Barker, president EDPA)

California

Members of the Needles City Council tableted an agenda item regarding Economic Development Program Funds from tax revenues received from local cannabis businesses after they asking questions and giving input.

Canada

Small business owners can look forward to next month’s Leeds Grenville Economic Development Summit. The Summit will feature Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MP Michael Barrett, MPP Steve Clark, as well as representatives from local businesses and members of the Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office. (Ann Weir, Economic Development Manager; Deanna Clark, Economic Development Officer; Jim Hutton, Business Development Officer; Shelbi McFarlane, Business Development Officer)

The St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation  has received high recognition for their work over the past year by the International Economic Development Council. They received a Silver Rank in the category of Economic Development Office of the Year and a Bronze Rank for its Railway City Recovery Plan, a project in the category of Resiliency, Recovery and Mitigation. (Sean Dyke, CEO St. Thomas EDC)

Niagara businesses and community stakeholders are being asked to share their feedback to guide the region in its creation of Niagra's new 10-year economic development strategy. The strategy is being developed by Niagara Economic Development in collaboration with local municipal economic development professionals. (George Spezza, Director, Niagara Economic Development)

After being hired as Manager of Special Projects in January, Steve Antunes has been named Manager of Economic Development. That position was recently left vacant with the departure of Ashten Vlahovich.

Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corporation has changed its name to Harvest Sky Region.  The focus of the economic development group remains the same as it is there to foster economic development in the Town of Hanna, and Village of Youngstown. (Mark Nikota, Economic Development Officer Harvest Sky Region)

Cayman Islands

Cayman Finance is releasing “Cayman: Engine of Growth and Good Governance,” a new report that documents how the jurisdiction’s unique combination of tax neutrality, high-quality legal and regulatory system, and professional expertise attract Collective Investment Vehicles and Multinational Enterprises, providing economic benefits to other jurisdictions without posing tax harm. (Jude Scott, CEO of Cayman Finance; Julian Morris, economist)

Colorado

Colorado's new econ-dev director, Patrick Meyers, sees the need for regional workforce plans — but only where they are wanted.

A new branding campaign aims to lure skilled talent to Denver. As the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce unrolls its Elevation Effect campaign, children aren’t shown as part of the city’s future. What about kids? (J.J. Ament, CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce)

“Game On! Esports Colorado,” a documentary about the burgeoning eSports movement and Colorado’s role in the future of the industry, will premiere on PBS12 Thursday, October 21 at 9:30 pm. The film was produced by the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, with Rob Simon of BurstMarketing as the Executive Producer and Citizen Pictures as the film’s production company. Pat Meyers, Chief Economic Recovery Officer and Executive Director; Michelle Hadwiger, Director of Global Business Development Office of Economic Development and International Trade)

The Colorado Creative Industries office announced today the latest six recipients of the Community Revitalization Grant program. (Margaret Hunt, Director of Colorado Creative Industries)

Connecticut

Governor Ned Lamont announced that his administration is launching two new competitive grant programs that will create jobs, strengthen the livability and vibrancy of Connecticut towns and cities, and promote new public-private partnerships to accelerate economic growth. The Innovation Corridor program and the Connecticut Communities Challenge program, both of which will be administered by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, will spur place-based development in municipalities with up to $200 million in funding over five years. (David Lehman, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development)

Florida

Optimism abounds as Bradenton Area EDC reports on results. Despite the pandemic, since 2009 the EDC and its partners have assisted more than 183 businesses with expansions and relocations. Those companies are projected to deliver more than 8,300 jobs and over $2 billion in wages from direct and indirect jobs through 2026. (Sharon Hillstrom, president and CEO of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp.)

Cynthia Johnson comes to her new role at Pinellas County Economic Development with significant experience — and some bold ideas to keep the region’s hot streak rolling.

The Clay County Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors has accepted the resignation of President, JJ Harris, who is leaving to manage family responsibilities and commitments. Vice President Laura Pavlus, will assume the role of Interim-President while the Board of Directors formulate the best course of action for the organization during this time of transition.

Sharon Hillstrom, president and CEO of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp., recently announced the staff promotions as: Max Stewart, vice president of economic development; Lauren Kratsch, senior director of business relations; Elizabeth Cordes, director of investor relations; Kirsten Lovett, event and social media manager.

Georgia

The Georgia Institute of Technology has named J. Mark Nolan as associate vice president of corporate engagement. As associate vice president, Nolan will lead a newly created office that will serve as the nexus for the Institute’s entire partner relationship and activity portfolios. The office is also tasked with facilitating collaboration efforts across various partner units within Georgia Tech, including the Enterprise Innovation Institute, Technology Licensing, Economic Development, Institute Relations, and Corporate Contracting, among others.

Idaho

The executive director for Southern Idaho Economic Development is headed to California for new employment. The College of Southern Idaho, which employs the SIED director, announced Connie Stopher stepped down to take a new position in Temecula, California in a similar position.

Illinois

The city of Aurora and Invest Aurora, a not-for-profit redevelopment arm of the city, are looking at a new agreement. City officials said they hope to have a new deal in place by March 2022. The new deal would “hone” the relationship between Invest Aurora and the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, according to at least one city official. Aldermen on the City Council Finance Committee recently recommended a five-month extension of the current agreement between the two entities so that a longer new agreement can be done by next year. (Invest Aurora CEO Bryan Gay)

The Riverside Economic Development Commission and Riverside TV have launched a new initiative to market the village and they are looking to enlist residents to help by sharing photos and videos. Called “This is Riverside” the commissions are looking to regularly edit together photos and videos that represent “everyday” Riverside – from family firsts, to youth sports and activities, wildlife, and local events.

Nicor Gas announced Northern Illinois Community Initiatives, a foundation created to spearhead bold economic development strategies and to stimulate investment in real estate development, workforce development and entrepreneurship in severely under-resourced communities it serves in Northern Illinois. (Tovah McCord, executive director of NICI)

Indiana

Economists Michael Hicks and David Terrell spoke at a gathering of Goshen City Council and Goshen Redevelopment Commission members on the topic of how economic development policies nationwide are increasingly shifting emphasis from recruiting industry to recruiting talent. (Mark Brinson, Community Development Director)

Israel-based Doral Renewables LLC will Thursday break ground on the first phase of a massive solar project in Starke and Pulaski counties. When complete, Doral says the Mammoth Solar will ultimately cover 13,000 acres of land. Mammoth Solar will be able to produce 1.3 gigawatts of clean energy once operational. (Brad Chambers, Indiana Secretary of Commerce)

Manufacturing Week, coordinated by the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council’s Workforce Coalition, increased awareness of manufacturing careers in Bedford area schools. (Joe Timbrook, Director of Career Development LCEGC; Jennifer Jones, Marketing Manager LCEGC)

Economic Development Corp. Michigan City Executive Director Clarence Hulse has been honored with Fellow Member status by the International Economic Development Council. The status is given to IEDC members who have displayed stature in the field of economic development. Hulse is credited with creating more than 30,000 jobs over his 20 year-career in Florida, North Carolina and Michigan City.

The Hoosier Uplands Economic Development Corporation was awarded a Community Services Block Grant for their help during the COVID-19 Pandemic. (David Miller, executive director Hoosier Uplands EDC)

The Point Drive In won the second annual North Judson Business Pitch competition Saturday night in a Starke Tank-themed event. (Lisa Dan, executive director Starke County Economic Development Foundation)

Iowa

Successes were celebrated by the Perry Economic Development Inc. at their annual meeting. (Dr. Tom Berkgren, president PEDI; Bill Menner, executive director Iowa Rural Development Council)

Denise Boyer and Mike Norris have been named to the Mid-America Port Commission, a 26-county, three-state port commission representing the upper Mississippi River.

Kentucky

Boyle County Fiscal Court appointed the first members to the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Authority. In collaboration with the city of Danville, former Centre College President John Roush was named Chairman and President of the EDA.

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce will host it's annual dinner on December 16 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. The event will celebrate the accomplishments of individuals and the business community. (Brent Cooper, president and CEO Northern Kentucky Chamber)

The South Western Kentucky Economic Development Council has a new Associate Director of Business Retention and Expansion, as Tony Prim steps into that position. (Carter Hendricks, executive director EDC)

Louisiana

Ascension Economic Development Corporation won a Gold Rank for its Impact of Industry, a project in the category of Multimedia/Video Promotion of the International Economic Development Council. (Kate MacArthur, president & CEO Ascension Parish Economic Development Corporation; Tom Kucharski, president & CEO Invest Buffalo Niagara)

The Office of Economic Development will offer a series of virtual business information sessions regarding a variety of topics, including an Open NOLA Grant live entertainment venues, economic mobility collaboration and InvestNOLA. (Norman E. Barnum IV, Interim President and CEO InvestNOLA; Linda Jacques, Program Director Open NOLA)

Maryland

The Cumberland Economic Development Corp. is requesting $2.1M in grant awards for six recommended uses within the city limits. (Matt Miller, director CEDC)

The College of Southern Maryland’s new Velocity Center and the revitalization of Indian Head had garnered an IEDC silver rank award in the category of real estate development and reuse. The award was officially presented to the Charles County Economic Development Department for facilitating the changes that are taking place in and around the town. (Deborah Hall, acting director; Marcia Keeth, deputy director, Charles County Economic Development)

Massachusetts

A major policy debate is taking shape on Beacon Hill between those who see offshore wind as the key to meeting the state’s climate change goals, and those who see the industry as needing to do more than that – specifically, spurring significant economic development in the state.

At a debate held by Charles River Regional Chamber, Newton mayoral candidates spent much of the hour debating proposed additional positions in Newton City Hall, including a small business liaison position and a diversity, equity, and inclusion officer. (Devra Bailin, Newton economic development director; Greg Reibman, president Charles River Regional Chamber)

Michigan

UM-Flint's EDA University Center for Community & Economic Development was granted $400,000 over a five-year period as part of the U.S. Economic Development Administration's 2021 University Center Economic Development Program Competition. The grant is intended to support regional economic development ecosystems by providing expertise, applied research, and technical assistance. (David Merot, director UM-Flint EDA University Center; Paula Nas, director UM-Flint's Office of Economic Development)

When Ford announced its decision last month to invest $11 billion to expand in Tennessee and Kentucky over its home state, economic developers across the state felt the “sting.” (Randy Thelen, president & CEO The Right Place)

Infrastructure improvements will be made along a stretch of road in Menominee County thanks to a state Transportation Economic Development Fund grant, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced.

Southwest Michigan First has announced it has secured an anonymous gift of land along with a $100 million commitment for the construction of a new career and technical education center.(Carla Sones, president and interim CEO of Southwest Michigan First)

The Grand Rapids Chamber partnered with Global Detroit to advance immigrant economic development and inclusion policies in Grand Rapids, Kent County and West Michigan. (Rick Baker, president & CEO Grand Rapids Chamber; Omar Cuevas, vice president of sales and marketing Grand Rapids Chamber; Steve Tobocman, executive director of Global Detroit)

Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to announce four projects that will bring growth and much-needed housing to three communities around Michigan that received support from the Michigan Strategic Fund. The projects are expected to generate a total capital investment of $2.3 million, bringing new vitality and economic activity to the communities of Cheboygan, Coldwater and Sault Ste. Marie. (Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC; Katie Duczkowski, interim director Main Street Downtown Development Authority)

The Michigan Department of Transportation has awarded two state Transportation Economic Development Fund grants that will support a total of 332 new and existing jobs in Menominee and Genesee Counties. The grants will help fund infrastructure improvements related to Performance Corporation's expansion in the Village of Carney in Menominee County and Fessler & Bowman, Inc.'s new and expanded national headquarters in Grand Blanc Township, Genesee County. (Eric Janofski, Village of Carney village president; Dennis Liimatta, township superintendent of Grand Blanc Township)

Mexican and Michigan innovators were able to come together in a big way during this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month. Fifteen leaders in business, technology, academia and government from the state of Chihuahua, Mexico were hosted by the William Davidson Institute for a week long visit in Ann Arbor and Detroit that centered around automotive and workforce innovation (Fernando Alba, executive director of economic development for the city of Juárez; Diana Páez, senior director for Grants and Partnerships at WDI)

Minnesota

A $2.2 million DEED award could help downtown Litchfield revitalization efforts. The Main Street Economic Revitalization Program could give owners of buildings in downtown Litchfield financial assistance to improve the structures and create second-floor housing opportunities. (Steve Grove, DEED Commissioner; Vince Robinson and Lisa Graphenteen, consultants Meeker County Economic Development Authority; Warren Hanson, president & CEO Greater Minnesota Housing Fund; Darlene Kotelnicki, president Litchfield Downtown Council)

The Itasca Economic Development Corporation recently unveiled plans to renovate a facility in Grand Rapids to provide space for entrepreneurs to learn new skills and develop their businesses.(Tamara Lowney, president Itasca EDC)

New Ulm’s Economic Development Corporation has been without a director for a couple of years now, and it it asking the city again for help to hire one. NUEDC at one time had Brian Tohal as its director, funded by subsidies from the City of New Ulm and the Public Utilities Commission. But three years ago the city council decided it would be better off if it hired its own ED director. The city ended its subsidies for the NUEDC position and hired an assistant city manager/ED director. Audra Shaneman took the job two years ago, but this year her position was cut.

Over the years, the staffs of Community Development and the local cities in Morrison County have worked to establish loan funds for economic development purposes such as manufacturing, retail and non-profits. Local economic development agencies have provided over $15 million of funding to county businesses. (Carol Anderson, Executive Director Community Development of Morrison County)

Missouri

Maggie Kost will take over as acting director of Missouri's Department of Economic Development, as its current head, Rob Dixon exits.

Directors for the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City fired the organization's top executive last month for allegedly misusing agency funds and changing its policy manual without board permission. A press release from the EDC thanked its interim president and chief executive T’Risa McCord for her service and announced Heather Brown would take over as the agency’s new interim chief executive. Bob Langenkamp was the last permanent EDC chief executive. He left the organization in July 2019. Greg Flisram was the interim chief executive until he left for a job in Pittsburgh in December 2019.

Montana

The Missoula Economic Partnership looks to build “inclusive and resilient” economy. (Grant Kier, CEO of MEP)

Nebraska

Members of the Hastings Utility Board want more detail about how a proposed $50,000 for workforce development marketing would be spent, but also more discussion about funding economic development going forward.

A new statewide initiative known as Energizing Entrepreneurial Ecosystems plans on strengthening six Greater Nebraska hometowns. The three-year community-building experience will work to support entrepreneurial ecosystems in Valley County, Holt County, Keith County, Sidney, Red Cloud and McCook through extensive training, education and peer learning opportunities. (Steve Radley, president & CEO NetWork Kansas; Kristina Foth, interim executive director, Valley County Economic Development; Don Macke, a consultant to the E3 program; KC Belitz, COO Nebraska Community Foundation  )

The Phelps County Development Corporation will host the 2021 Business Hall of Fame Banquet in downtown Holdrege. (Ron Tillery, executive director PCDC; Dave Rippe, a former director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development; Jen McKeone, executive director Cozad Development Corporation)

Nevada

The Second Annual Rural Pitch Day, overseen by the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, is scheduled for Nov. 5. The event will feature Nevada’s leading experts in entrepreneurship who will share their ideas on how to take a product or service from the idea stage to launching the next rural Nevada company. (Patty Herzog, GOED’s Director of Rural Economic and Community Development; Jeffrey Saling, Founder & Executive Director StartUpNV; Kelly Northridge and Danielle Rees, Managing Partners Audacity Institute; Sheldon Mudd, Executive Director Northeastern Nevada Regional Development Authority; Sam Males, state director Nevada Small Business Development Center; Terry Reynolds, Director Nevada Division of Business and Industry)

Ensuring diversification while strengthening economic development has changed for Lyon County throughout the years, but ultimately, business officials know what they’re looking for to encourage success. (Helaine Morres, executive director Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce; Andrew Haskin, Community Development Director; Philip Cowee, executive director Northern Nevada Development Authority)

New Mexico

If approved, the agreement between the City of Albuquerque’s Aviation Department and Amazon would allow Amazon to develop an air cargo facility at the Albuquerque International Sunport. (Nyika Allen, Director of Aviation for the City of Albuquerque)

WTEC Energy Corp., a manufacturer in the renewable energy industry is setting up shop near New Mexico’s southern border. State and local leaders expect the project to create 315 manufacturing jobs and have an economic impact of more than $400 million over the next decade. (Davin Lopez, president and CEO Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance; Alicia Keyes, Economic Development Cabinet Secretary; Terra V. Winter, president and CEO Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico; Kevin Bate, executive vice president WTEC)

The City of Las Cruces Economic Development Department and the New Mexico Workforce Connection will partner to promote a free Job Fair. The event will held Nov. 4, 2021 at the Las Cruces Convention Center. (Francisco Pallares, Deputy Economic Development Director for the City of Las Cruces)

New York

Empire State Development, the public authority responsible for administering many of New York state’s economic development programs, has failed to fully evaluate most of its programs to determine if they are boosting the state’s economy and promoting promised job and business growth, according to an audit released by the State Comptroller.

Riverhead Town is a Long Island Region finalist in the New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant competition. The town has applied for a $20 million grant from the DRI program, in its fifth round of funding this year. Launched in 2016 — but sidelined by COVID in 2020 — the DRI program has provided $10 million grants to one community in each of the state’s 10 regions. This year, the program accepted applications for $10 million and $20 million awards. (Riverhead Community Development Director Dawn Thomas and Community Development staff members Joe Maiorana and Frank Messina)

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced construction has begun on a $2.5 million resiliency project awarded to the Town of Yates, Orleans County, as part of New York State's Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative. The Yates Town Park serves as the only public recreation space with direct access to Lake Ontario, with over one acre of open space for recreation, including a pavilion and picnic area.

The New York State Economic Development Council recognized its entire membership, including the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, with the Robert T. Dormer Economic Developer of the Year award at its annual meeting in Cooperstown, N.Y. (Mark Geise, Chief Executive Officer; Ryan Silva, Executive Director of NYSEDC)

The Queens Chamber of Commerce released its 2021 Economic Development Guide, a resource highlighting the latest trends, data and success stories from businesses resounding from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn that followed. (President and CEO Tom Grech, NYCEDC President and CEO Rachel Loeb)

North Carolina

The Yancey Economic Development Commission announced its fourth 2021 grant award made under the Burnsville Downtown Entrepreneurship Assistance Program. This grant program was designed by the Yancey EDC Board of Directors to promote new businesses and expansions of existing successful local business. (Yancey EDC Director Jamie McMahan)

Future road improvements on the north side of the city and county could be a springboard for future economic development. But first residents will have the opportunity to voice their opinions on these road improvements. The improvements were developed by North Carolina Department of Transportation to expand Tramway Road and U.S. 1/ U.S. 15-501. (Bob Joyce, senior director of Business Retention and Expansion for Sanford Area Growth Alliance)

Earlier this month, leaders of the Chatham County business community announced an ambitious goal – attracting 2,000 jobs and $500 million of capital investment by 2026. The effort, called Accelerate 2026, is a public-private partnership that aims to raise $900,000 from the private sector, $751,250 of which had already been raised as of Oct. 6. That money will be used for marketing, improvements to the Chatham Economic Development Corporation website and to make sure Chatham County is part of national site selection events. (Michael Smith, president of the Chatham EDC; Chris Johnson, Johnston County's economic development director)

The Transylvania Economic Alliance is looking for a new executive director after announcing that Josh Hallingse is taking a new job in Wilmington. Sam Powers, recently retired after 15 years as the community and economic development director at the city of Asheville, was named the Alliance’s interim director.

On Tuesday, Oct. 12 and Wednesday, Oct. 13, the North Carolina Economic Development Association held its fall conference at the Grandover Resort.  Participants had their choice of showing up in person or participating online.  About 250 attendees were physically present at Grandover, while another 30 or so took part virtually. The Carolina Core/Piedmont Triad Partnership was the presenting sponsor for the event that featured several local speakers and panelists, including Piedmont Triad International Airport Executive Director Kevin Baker, Greensboro Attorney Mike Fox, who’s the chairman of the NC Board of Transportation and the president of the Piedmont Triad Partnership, and High Point University President Nido Qubein, who’s co-chair of the Piedmont Triad Partnership board. (Former High Point Economic Development Corp. President Loren Hill)

The Carteret County Economic Development Department has a new leader at its helm, one who is no stranger to the worlds of workforce and financial development and who hopes to guide the region through a period of growth. Michele Querry took over as economic development director last month after being officially named to the position by the Carteret County Board of Commissioners Sept. 20. With Ms. Querry’s new role, office assistant Heather Harris was promoted to her old position and is now the department’s administrative officer.

North Dakota

Governor Burgum awarded Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation’s workforce development manager, Becca Cruger, and contributing team members the 21st Century Workforce Award at the Main Street Summit.  Cruger was recognized for the “What’s Cooler Today?” blog, and InternGF—the program designed to increase the number of local internships, aiding employers’ workforce recruitment and retention efforts.

Gov. Doug Burgum presented the Governor’s Choice Economic Development Awards during the Economic Development Association of North Dakota Fall Conference on Oct. 13 in West Fargo.  Economic Developer of the Year Award: Danielle Mickelson with Rolla Jobs Development Authority (Rural), and Brandon Baumbachof the Grand Forks Region EDC (Urban). Project of the Year Award: Traill County Economic Development Commission (Rural), and Grand Forks Region EDC (Urban). Community Development Award: Adams County Development Corp., and City of West Fargo. Program or Promotion of the Year Award: McKenzie County JDA. The Governor’s Choice Economic Development Awards are given annually through a collaboration between the North Dakota Governor’s Office, the North Dakota Department of Commerce and EDND. (EDND Executive Director Jennifer Greuel)

The Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. will have resources of about $10.7 million to utilize for economic development projects from now through the end of 2030. The report was prepared by the JSDC Finance Subcommittee and presented to its board of directors on Monday. (Connie Ova, CEO of the JSDC)

Ohio

Mayor Kapszukiewicz and City of Toledo Economic Development Commissioners Brandon Selhorst and Sandy Spang announced the launch of the Vibrancy Initiative on Monday. The Vibrancy Initiative aims to improve the City of Toledo’s vitality by providing strategic investments for the improvement of commercial buildings that have fallen out of use or into disrepair. The Vibrancy Initiative consists of the Facade Improvement Grant, First Floor Whitebox Grant and Community Reinvestment Area Program. Taken together, these programs improve the exterior appearance as well as the interior functionality of buildings.

The City of Dublin, Ohio's Division of Economic Development received the Gold award in the Public-Private Partnerships category for their work with Crawford Hoying on the Bridge Park mixed-use community. The announcement was made at the 2021 International Economic Development Council Excellence and Leadership in Economic Development Awards ceremony held during the organization's national conference in Nashville, Tenn. (City of Dublin Economic Development Director Colleen Gilger)

Pennsylvania

The Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation’s executive director said that pre-existing problems with developing the Millennium Park property were discovered after it purchased the land in the 2000s. Part of the still-undeveloped tract of more than 300 acres in Neshannock Township lies in a flood zone, there are wetlands, an area of archaeological significance and lead contamination at a former sportsman’s association property from skeet shooting. There is no natural gas line to one section of the property, and the site has limited accessibility to Interstate 376. Those are all reasons why marketing the land has been unsuccessful, Linda Nitch told members of Lawrence County’s Board of Assessment Appeals last week.

Canonsburg Borough will host its second economic development workshop Oct. 20 in the Canon-McMillan High School auditorium. The workshop, led by Lisa Scarmazzi, Director of Economic Development, begins at 6 pm and provides residents the opportunity to meet local and regional representatives, learn about the community’s economic growth and share ideas and feedback. “We will be providing follow-up on the workshop that was held in 2020, sharing what has been done and what (residents) can expect in the near future,” said Scarmazzi, who worked closely with council and the Greater Canonsburg Chamber of Commerce before formally joining the borough in July.

Bette Slayton, president and CEO of the Bedford County Development Association has been named Economic Developer of the Year for 2021 by the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association. PEDA announced the honor at its annual conference, held Oct. 7 at the Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, Montgomery County. (James Becker, executive director of the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County and chair of the PEDA Awards Committee.)

South Carolina

In the recruitment and advancement of business and industry, South Carolina is on the move and picking up speed quickly, said Harry Lightsey during a visit to Aiken on Wednesday. The state’s secretary of commerce spoke during the annual meeting of the Economic Development Partnership of Aiken, Edgefield, McCormick and Saluda counties. (Will Williams, president and CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of Aiken, Edgefield, McCormick and Saluda counties)

The town of Mount Pleasant’s economic development committee is considering plans for a new public gathering space that would feature small businesses and different places to eat. Economic Development Chair Kathy Landing says this project is still in the early phases, but it would be modeled after a concept in Greenville called Gather Greenville.

Texas

Economic development success only happens because of regional support, collaboration," said Jason Giulietti, President, Greater San Marcos Partnership.

Ray Watson was announced as the town of Flower Mound’s new director of economic development in July and started in his new role in late August. He has worked in economic development for 20 years, both with other cities and towns as well as with companies as a consultant.

Gloria Salinas, the Dallas Regional Chamber’s vice president of economic development, is relocating. Salinas is joining Frisco Economic Development Corp. as its vice president. She’ll lead its business development team and oversee efforts to attract more headquarters relocations to the fast-growing Collin County community. Salinas replaces Jason Ford, who became the Frisco Economic Development president in June.

Utah

The Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce partnered with Colliers International once again to host the annual Utah County Commercial Real Estate Symposium earlier this month. Local community and business leaders from across the county gathered at the Utah Valley Convention Center to discuss the most pressing issues impacting commercial growth and economic development throughout the Wasatch Front. (Dan Hemmert, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development)

Big-D Construction has hired Holin Wilbanks as the firm’s new national accounts manager. Wilbanks is a graduate of Texas Tech University in marketing and business. She spent the past four years as Weber County’s director of economic development

Vermont

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development announced applications are now being accepted for the Brownfield Revitalization Fund. This program was previously announced by Governor Phil Scott as part of Act 74, which appropriated $25 million in General Fund dollars to ACCD and the Agency of Natural Resources to provide organizations with assistance in characterizing and cleaning-up brownfields across the state.

The annual submissions process has opened for projects to be included in the Southern Vermont Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. The plans are due Nov. 30. The CEDS is a federally-approved action plan for growing the Southern Vermont economy with a regional public process. (Jonathan Cooper, Bennington County Regional Commission; Sarah Lang, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation)

Virgin Islands

The governing board of the V.I. Economic Development Bank voted to charge off two loans worth $908,000 at a meeting last week. (Economic Development Authority of the virgin islands CEO Wayne Biggs Jr.)

Virginia

The “Loudoun Fall Farm Tour” encourages people of all ages to engage with the farmers and explore the bounties of Loudoun County, Virginia’s harvest season. (Buddy Rizer, Executive Director Loudoun Economic Development)

Heavenly Hands opened a new childcare facility in downtown Moneta on Monday morning. This opening comes at a time when childcare is in desperate need, especially in Bedford County. The Bedford County Economic Development Office has reported a severe shortage of childcare providers. They are offering two surveys to see what families’ needs are. One is for parents and guardians of children aged 0-13 and the other is one for employers whose workforce may be impacted by lack of available childcare. (Pam Bailey, ED Director)

Danville officials hope to redraw the geographic boundaries of an enterprise zone in the city in order to attract more industry. Danville’s Office of Economic Development wants to change the geographic boundaries in the 1,900-acre enterprise zone throughout the city.

Roanoke County Economic Development is two hosting meetings to receive citizen feedback on the draft ELEVATE Roanoke County 2026 Strategic Plan. Citizens are encouraged to attend either session below to provide feedback for the draft plan. (Jill Loope, Department of Economic Development director)

Washington

Steven MacDonald is new to the city of Spokane, but has a career’s worth of experience in community and economic development. MacDonald, who took the reins of the new Community and Economic Development division last month, is settling into a role that features familiar challenges in a new setting. MacDonald was hired by Mayor Nadine Woodward after more than a decade managing a Los Angeles-based firm’s investments in economically challenged areas.

Tenino is a charming, quaint town in rural Thurston County with many wonderful qualities. Tenino Mayor Wayne Fournier has been passionate about finding ways to capture these elements in the eyes of the world and support his hometown through innovative projects and ideas. Through his creativity and partnership with the Thurston Economic Development Council, Wayne has been able to attract business and intrigue to his hometown.

The Puget Sound Regional Council is seeking public comment on a draft regional economic strategy for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties. The Regional Economic Strategy is designed to establish a strategic blueprint for regional collaboration as well as enabling local jurisdictions and eligible organizations to qualify for funding under U.S. Economic Development Administration programs, including funding programs created in response to the pandemic. (Jason Thibedeau, Program Manager – Economic Development)

Experience Olympia and the Thurston Economic Development Council have partnered to support and build a tourism industry in Thurston County. (Experience Olympia & Beyond CEO Annette Pitts; Thurston EDC Executive Director Michael Cade)

Wisconsin

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. (Executive director Christian Tscheschlok)

Gov. Tony Evers recently announced a grant opportunity in the millions of dollars for economic development, and the City of Racine has decided to pursue such a grant. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Workforce Innovation grant is using funds, allocated to the state through the federal American Rescue Plan Act, to offer grants from $250,000 to $10 million to address workforce challenges in the state’s various regions. The city’s Finance and Personnel Committee voted to recommend the City Council approve the application process.

The Greater Green Bay Chamber's Economic Development Board has appointed Manny Vasquez, vice president of business development for NAI Pfefferle, as its new chair. (Kelly Armstrong, vice president of economic development at the Greater Green Bay Chamber)

Vernon Economic Development Association recently announced five new volunteer board members. (Susan Noble, Executive Director)

A handful of La Crosse County supervisors spoke out against funding for economic development that has been reduced in next year’s budget, some calling the move “punitive” against certain organizations. The funds in question are membership fees the county pays as part of its Economic Develop Fund, an agency that oversees a longstanding revolving loan program and work that supports development in the region. (La Crosse Area Development Corporation president Tim Kabat)

Wyoming

The city of Rawlins has announced the hiring of Nate Davidson as its new director of economic development. He’ll be on the job full-time Dec. 6.

Following University of Wyoming Vice President for Research and Economic Development Ed Synakowski’s move to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, a search committee has posted the position opening and is accepting applications. In the meantime, Diana Hulme is the interim leader of the Office of Research and Economic Development, taking the role after serving as associate vice president for research. Her previous positions at UW include work as associate director of research for the School of Energy Resources and as assistant director of the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources.


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