Skip to content

35 - Economic Development and Developers in the News

Econ dev news from 128 economic development executives and organizations in 44 states, and Canada.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
29 min read
35 - Economic Development and Developers in the News
Photo by Daniil Komov / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Welcome to the 35th 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 128 economic development executives and organizations in 44 states, and Canada.


Talladega City Manager Seddrick Hill recently met with national leadership of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity regarding economic development opportunities in the city.


The Arizona Association for Economic Development presented 10 Golden Prospector Awards and five Awards of Merit to recognize excellence, innovation and creativity in economic development at its annual Fall Forum held this week in Flagstaff.

James Smith has been hired as Pinal County’s director of economic and workforce development and will start the new job Nov. 8.

The cities of Mesa, Scottsdale and Surprise and other communities recently received Golden Prospector Awards from the Arizona Association for Economic Development at an annual fall forum held in Flagstaff. (AAED Executive Director Carrie Kelly)


The city of Siloam Springs announced Oct. 18 that it was designated a Bioeconomy Development Opportunity Zone. Siloam Springs' designation makes it the second such zone in the nation, according to Jordan Solomon, CEO of Ecostrat, the company that awarded the city its zone.

Believe In Fort Smith and the River Valley Economic Development Council co-hosted an in-person town hall panel discussion, "Thanking Our Teachers." “Our River Valley teachers have been working even harder than ever to help students succeed during COVID,” said Mosie Boyd, founder of the River Valley Economic Development Council. “We’re looking forward to an opportunity to thank our teachers and show our appreciation.”

Searcy officials have recommended an annual $500,000 for economic development from a 1-cent tax. (Buck Layne, President/CEO Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce; Becca Caldwell, Director Of Rural Services Arkansas Economic Development Commission)

State economic development officials often tout Arkansas as the birthplace of entrepreneurism though a new report makes it clear there is still work to do to sustain that claim. The study released last week -- by a think tank based in the state and backed by the Walton family -- ranks Arkansas near the bottom of the nation in supporting entrepreneurial ecosystems. The state came in 46th overall. The study by Heartland Forward of Bentonville paints a bleak portrait of entrepreneurism in Arkansas and for states across the middle of America as a whole.


Roseville's new economic development director said she's interested in both continuing programs to help small businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic and also tapping into the city's growing population of trained workers. Melissa Anguiano will take that role in Roseville Nov. 8, after 17 years with the city of Sacramento. Anguiano will succeed Laura Matteoli, who retired this year.

Following a nationwide recruitment, UC Santa Cruz Community is excited to announce that Ryan Sharp has accepted an offer to serve as their campus’s first assistant vice chancellor for Innovation and Business Engagement. He starts Nov. 15. He will lead the Innovation and Business Engagement Hub, which will help support the campus community in bringing to market cutting-edge research and ideas from faculty, students and innovators, expanding corporate philanthropy and partnerships, creating more career pathways for students, and supporting a thriving regional economy.

Sonoma County is losing its top economic development official and its incoming health services director, with each citing a pattern of racial bias and microaggressions that makes working for the county untenable for people of color. In an email sent to county department heads on Wednesday, Economic Development Board Executive Director Sheba Person-Whitley announced she had taken a job with the federal Commerce Department, and will be leaving her job with the county after 2½ years in late December.

On November 17th, Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation is hosting a free virtual, educational event, featuring leading industry viewpoints on the future of affordable housing. Founded in 1981 as a radical response to the lack of farmworker housing, Cabrillo celebrates families and homes.  "Cabrillo EDC has been making dreams come true, one home at a time, and we are thrilled to celebrate our Ruby Anniversary this year," said Chief Executive Officer Margarita H. De. Escontrias.

The Ventura County Economic Development Association told key stakeholders this month that it is winding down its operations after 75 years.

In a bid to recapture a spark from the boom years of the 1980s to early 2000 when offices, warehouses and retail stores ballooned from 2 million square feet to 20 million, Milpitas city officials are planning to create an “innovation district” that will give other Silicon Valley cities a run for their business. Though he acknowledged that “commercial market conditions haven’t been favorable” for a long time, Milpitas economic development director Alex Andrade said he believes an innovation district could still thrive and generate anywhere from $6.5 million to $9.9 million in property taxes.


Kingston Economic Development Corporation’s Donna Gillespie has been named the economic development officer of the year in Ontario East. “Ontario East is pleased to recognize Donna for her efforts to promote her community and the region as a premier business location,” Chris King, president, Ontario East Economic Development Commission and CEO, Quinte Economic Development Commission.

The Economic Development Council of Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities, is holding special ceremonies this month, highlighting the outstanding achievements of six individuals. Executive Director Louis Allain says this is the 25th anniversary of CDEM. To celebrate the milestone, the organization decided to hold tree planting ceremonies for what it refers to as "champions of local economic development."

Even though Dan Degazio retired as Welland’s economic development officer in the spring, his work is being recognized by the Economic Developers Council of Ontario.

Economic Development Regina launched the Agriculture and Food Innovation Strategy for Regina, with a vision of becoming the ag and food hub for Canada and the world. "Our vision to be an agriculture and food hub for the world is ambitious – and achievable," said John Lee, President and CEO of Economic Development Regina. "We already have the ingredients to make it happen and now it's time to bring the vision to life."

Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Economic Development Corporation has won the annual Indigenous Business Award of community-owned business of the year for two or more entities, the BC Achievement Foundation announced. GNEDC operates multiple businesses including a garden centre, floral studio, Bob’s on the Rocks, convenience store and has plans to open a cafe and a commercial salmon smokehouse. They employe 32 people. It is a subsidiary of Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society.

At its Council Meeting, the Municipal Council approved of the Municipality of Wawa the recommendation of a Third-Party Consultant’s Report to cease funding the Economic Development Corporation of Wawa. Financial support to the external Corporation will continue until April 30, 2022, when the Municipality of Wawa will assume full responsibilities for delivering economic development services directly. The new structure for delivering combined tourism and economic development services is currently being developed with the support of the EDC and will likely require the hiring of new positions within the Municipality.

The Associate Minister of Rural and Economic Development is beginning a virtual tour across Alberta to meet with business and community leaders. The purpose of the tour is so listen and understand what rural leaders need to promote economic development and prosperity in their communities. Associate Minister Nate Horner said the tour has been a long time coming, though the intention originally was to tour in person. “I’ve been working on this… since I was sworn in. We’ve had to move into a virtual format and we’ve been trying to set that up,” he said. “It was always our intention to have a rural tour, and this is the best way we can do it right now.


Adams County manager Raymond Gonzales, who helped to create a significant number of new jobs for his county, now will be asked to do so for the wider metro area, as he was announced Wednesday as the new president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. Gonzales takes over for J.J. Ament, who was promoted on Sept. 7 to become president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, the parent organization for the Metro Denver EDC.

The Longmont City Council has approved providing about $300,000 in city tax and fee reductions in return for a company’s commitment to expand and locate a mutimillion-dollar development on a property on the Longmont site the company is leasing. According to city staff and the Longmont Economic Development Partnership, LightDeck Diagnostics is looking to invest a total of $37.5 million to house 200 new employees who will be paid an average annual wage of $66,000. (Longmont Economic Development Partnership President and CEO Jessica Erickson)

The Berthoud Board of Trustees heard a presentation from Economic Development Director Walt Elish regarding Berthoud’s support for and participation in the Northern Colorado Regional Economic Development Initiative, which works to pool resources in Larimer and Weld counties to attract and grow business and economic development. Elish was enthusiastic about the town’s partnership with REDI and encouraged about prospects for economic development in Berthoud in the short and long terms.

Jacob Castillo, board member of REDI and Director, Larimer Economic and Workforce Development, stated, the northern Colorado, “labor force is returning to pre-pandemic levels.”


The New Haven City Plan Commission unanimously recommended a proposal that would allow for the construction of up to 500 residential units on Long Wharf. Despite opposition from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Officials about the development’s potential risks to public safety. (Carlos Eyzaguirre, New Haven’s deputy economic development administrator)

The Yale Economic Growth Center in conjunction with Inclusion Economics Yale has kicked off a symposium focusing on race, ethnicity, gender and economic justice. (David Cowell, Yale Economic Growth Center; Gerald Jaynes, professor of economics)


JEA announced a new addition to its extended leadership team with the appointment of Paul Mitchell, of Enterprise Florida, as the utility's new vice president of Economic Development.  In this role, Mitchell will provide strategic direction in executing JEA's economic development efforts, using his more than 15 years of industry expertise to attract, expand and retain jobs and capital investment for Northeast Florida.

Barrette Outdoor Living was granted an estimated $282,750 in new incentives, approved by county commissioners during the regular Board of County Commissioners meeting held on  Oct 12, 2021.   The new incentives, approved in June of this year, called the Economic Development Investment Incentive, requires that the company meet certain criteria with regard to workforce and wages, and be current on county taxes before they are reimbursed the incentive amount. The new incentives will mitigate building permit fees and impact fees. (Economic Development Director Valerie Pianta)

Governor Ron DeSantis announced more than $9 million in awards to the City of Winter Haven for road improvements at the Intermodal Logistics Center. (Dane Eagle, Secretary of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity; Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault; Florida Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell)


Construction of Kubota Manufacturing of America Corp.’s $90 million North America research and development center is nearing completion, with the facility “ready to move into” by early 2022, said Phil Sutton, Kubota vice president. A grand opening ceremony is planned for April, he said. The project got a boost in September, when the Gainesville and Hall County Development Authority voted to issue $90 million in bonds. The bond issue “represents Kubota’s investment in the land, building and equipment” for the development on 300-plus acres. (Tim Evans, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s vice president for economic development)

Governor Kemp announced that SKC Inc. will create more than 400 new jobs and invest $473 million in Covington, Georgia to manufacture glass-based substrates for high-performance semiconductors. (Newton County IDA executive director Serra P. Hall)

A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow UGA Public Service and Outreach units to equip rural Georgia communities with the tools, resources and knowledge to chart a strategy for economic recovery and long-term resiliency. UGA Public Service and Outreach units will use the grant from the USDA’s Rural Community Development Initiative to launch PROPEL (Planning Rural Opportunities for Prosperity and Economic Leadership). Led by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, PROPEL will guide low-income rural cities and counties through a six-step model to develop and implement a plan to advance their rural economies. The work will help communities build resiliency and capacity for long-term success, said Rob Gordon, director of the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government.


The Pullman City Council on Tuesday officially approved the downtown master plan that will be a guide for city officials as they try to revitalize that area of the city.


Gov. J.B. Pritzker will travel to the United Kingdom next week to discuss the state's efforts to neutralize climate change while bolstering economic development.

The Grundy County Industrial Development Corporation, Trenton City Council, Grundy County Commission, and North Central Missouri Development Alliance met. The groups discussed the state of economic development in the city and county. No action was taken at the meeting.

Evanston’s City Council will hold a special meeting Monday at which it is scheduled to review a variety of proposals for spending federal American Rescue Plan Act funds on economic development projects. The Council has previously indicated it plans to spend up to $7 million of the total $43 million in ARPA funding on economic development efforts. The city’s economic development manager, Paul Zalmezak, told the Economic Development Committee Wednesday night that those proposals will include funding to hire a consultant to conduct a downtown and neighborhood business district retail strategy and implementation plan.


Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is getting ready to roll out a new economic development strategy to serve as a guide for what job recruiting efforts look like locally for the next five to ten years. (John Urbahns, the president and CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc.)

Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced 17 regions representing all 92 counties submitted proposals for funding from the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative. Together, these proposals, which aim to accelerate small- and large-scale growth within their communities, total more than $1 billion in requested funding; the READI budget is $500 million.


Dose Steelworks has purchased the former mall in Story City and is in the process of updating the interior of the 100,000-square-foot space for a manufacturing facility. The $4.7 million dollar capital investment project will bring 14 jobs to Story City. The Iowa Economic Development Authority is awarding tax benefits through its High-Quality Jobs program, because six of the positions will offer a wage of $27.67 per hour. (Dan Culhane, president and CEO of the Ames Economic Development Commission)

East Central Intergovernmental Association, based in Dubuque, has received a 2021 Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Award from the National Association of Development Organizations for the Bear River Cottages’ Pocket Neighborhood in Maquoketa. (Kelley Deutmeyer, ECIA executive director)

Buchanan County Economic Development, Independence Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Independence along with the Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments and the Independence downtown building owners are pleased to announce that Independence is one of only 6 Iowa communities that has been selected for the Community Development Block Grant facade program. (BCEDC Director Lisa Kremer)

Jewell, a town of 1,216 in Hamilton County, might seem an unlikely place for a business boom. But the small town has a nearly full Main Street, which has become a destination shopping location.“Jewell is truly a bright spot,” Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, told the Ames Tribune this week. “I’m very impressed with what they’ve done as a community there.


Bourbon County Regional Economic Development Director Rob Harrington responded to comments he has heard regarding whether the county has the authority to release a property from overdue taxes.


While most Kentuckians were working from home, the Lexington Economic Partnership team was established. Commerce Lexington formed an alliance comprised of representatives from a variety of sectors, including the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Mayor’s Office, University of Kentucky, Bluegrass Community Technical College, and Bluegrass Workforce Innovation Board. The partnership continued to meet with existing businesses, using virtual meeting platforms to ensure Fayette County’s businesses had the support they needed to retain and expand, especially during the pandemic. (Kevin R. Atkins, Chief Development Officer Lexington Economic Partnership; Robert L. Quick, President & CEO Commerce Lexington; Gina Greathouse, Executive Vice President Economic Development Commerce Lexington; Larry Hayes, Interim Secretary Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development; David Duttlinger, Executive Director Bluegrass Area Development District)

After being selected for funding through the Kentucky Product Development Initiative, the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority is moving forward with the construction of a pad-ready site at the Southwest One Industrial Park. (Matthew Tackett, President & CEO Kentucky Product Development Initiative; Justin Hall, Executive Director Marshall County Industrial Development Authority; Josh Tubbs, director Kentucky Lake Economic Development)

Three new economic development announcements from Gov. Andy Beshear this week translate into 1,700 new jobs coming to Kentucky. ARGI Financial Group LLC, which will create 245 quality job opportunities in the years ahead with a $2.7 million investment. Tyson Foods is moving forward with plans for a $355 million manufacturing operation in south central Kentucky, which will create 450 full-time jobs. GE Appliances will add over 1,000 full-time jobs and invest $450 million over the next two years, as the company continues its commitment to Kentucky with upgrades at Appliance Park in Louisville, which currently has around 7,000 workers.

Allison Murcia, Research Manager at Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, was recently named to the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber “Next Gen” leadership class. The 24 young professionals in the cohort will serve a two-year term and provide guidance on the future of the Cincinnati region’s transportation system.


Developers of the proposed casino in eastern St. Tammany Parish have for months touted its potential to draw tourists, events and other attractions to the Lake Pontchartrain waterfront near Slidell.  A new study for the parish's economic development agency paints a more muted picture, saying it could have a "moderately positive" impact. But researchers also said their work revealed few of the negative impacts some opponents fear. The Convergence Strategy Group, a New Orleans-based research firm that has studied the leisure and gaming industry for more than 40 years, found that a casino in the Slidell area would likely have a "moderately positive to negligible impact on surrounding businesses." (Chris Masingill, CEO of St. Tammany Corporation)

Louisiana Economic Development has preserved its status as an Accredited Economic Development Organization. The International Economic Development Council has conferred accreditation to the statewide economic development agency following a yearlong documentation process. LED remains the only state agency in the U.S. to earn this status. (Secretary Don Pierson)

Digital Media Institute at InterTech, a division of BRF, has been granted $500,000 over two years by Louisiana Economic Development, via the LED Entertainment Development Fund, to provide workforce development programs in digital media for the state. (NSU Vice President for Technology, Innovation and Economic Development Dr. Darlene Williams)


Eastern Maine Development Corporation, based in Bangor, has received a 2021 Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Award from the National Association of Development Organizations for the 2021-2025 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. (EMDC President and CEO Lee Umphrey)


“Economic Development Week is a chance to highlight the importance of a healthy and attractive business climate,” said Larry Twele, CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority. “The Authority is honored to serve the community to help create opportunities for individuals and grow the business base.”  In recognition of Economic Development Week, the HCEDA highlighted businesses that have recently relocated or expanded in Howard County.

The City of Laurel celebrated 2021 Economic Development Week in Maryland. Each day an important part of the City of Laurel's economic development initiatives were highlighted to show the ways in which it contributes to the growth and success of the City of Laurel. (Robert Love, Director of Economic and Community Development City of Laurel)

Caroline County Economic Development observes Economic Development Week. (Economic Development Director Debbie Bowden)


Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy were joined by state and local officials from Lowell to announce $66.5 million in 2021 MassWorks awards to 50 communities. The Administration also kicked off the first series of grant awards made through the Community One Stop for Growth program, which total a combined $88 million for projects in 122 communities across the Commonwealth, including MassWorks awards. (Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox)

Auburn Town Meeting members passed a number of zoning bylaw amendments at a recent Town Meeting. The zoning bylaw amendments aim to ensure Auburn remains competitive for commercial development.

Alfred, "A.J." Enchill Jr, president of the Berkshire Black Economic Council: "There's unique" needs in the Black business community, and we felt that we have the aptitude and understanding, based on lived experiences, to speak, aid and advocate for economic development for the Berkshire Black business community."

The Frank & Maureen Wilkens Science and Engineering Center, currently under construction at Cape Cod Community College’s West Barnstable campus, will serve all of Cape Cod — its economy, its local businesses, and the people who live here. (Kristy Senatori, Executive Director Cape Cod Commission)


State officials met today with local business, workforce development and community leaders in Flint to discuss the ways Michigan can achieve the goals laid out in Gov. Whitmer's MI New Economy Plan. The event is part of a statewide tour designed to bring stakeholders together to discuss a comprehensive strategy to utilize American Rescue Plan funds to support small businesses, grow the middle class and invest in our communities. (Susan Corbin, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity; Glenn Wilson, President and CEO of Communities First, Inc.)

Jeff Donofrio: Let MEDC be more nimble. Tens of thousands of Michigan jobs are at stake.

The City of Farmington Hills recently welcomed a new director of economic development. Christia Brockway previously worked as business development coordinator for the City of Taylor. She also held positions as administrator for Taylor’s Tax Increment Finance Authority, Downtown Development Authority and Brownfield Redevelopment Authority during her six years working in the downriver community.

The state set a goal that electric vehicles will account for 50 percent of new car purchases by 2030. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation recently hosted a webcast to highlight women at the forefront of reaching that goal and advancing the future of mobility. (Kate Gasparro, director of the office of urban strategy and innovation at Bedrock Detroit; Kathryn Snorrason, OFME Managing Director; Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO, President and Chair - Michigan Strategic Fund)


The state's economic development agency is rolling out a new campaign promoting what Minnesota has to offer beyond its famous lakes, hoping to lure more businesses and workers to relocate here. The effort comes at a time when Minnesota, like many other states, is facing a workforce shortage. In addition, there's a lot of competition to lure companies and workers, the latter of which increasingly have more flexibility to live anywhere as more employers have embraced remote or hybrid work. "Welcome to Minnesota, the problem-solving capital of America," says on its homepage, which was launched Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. "From newborn startups to Fortune 500s, we build what matters in Minnesota." (DEED Commissioner Steve Grove)

The City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency will receive $3.12 million from the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development, with a "prioritization of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color."  The grant dollars -- part of DEED's newly created Main Street Economic Revitalization Program--will be used to help central business districts rebuild and reposition themselves in the face of a substantially changing downtown economy.  (Patrick Seeb, Executive Director of Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency)

Development is underway on two sprawling warehouses with a combined nearly 1 million square feet in Rosemount, one of several outer-ring suburbs that have become  destinations for developers that are catering to the growing e-commerce industry. (Economic development coordinator Eric Van Oss)

Governor Tim Walz and Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove joined Minnesota business leaders to launch “Build What Matters”, a first of its kind campaign with businesses and economic development partners from across the state to highlight why Minnesota is an exceptional state to build a business or advance a career. "Minnesota's strength lies in the ingenuity, hard work, and determination of our workers and entrepreneurs. We aren't afraid to pursue big ideas and build things that change the world," Walz said. "Our legacy is solving the world's toughest challenges. From startups to Fortune 500s, businesses flourish here. Now is a great time to highlight that fact to the world."


At the annual Hobnob event in Jackson, hosted by the Mississippi Economic Council, lawmakers are discussing their plans for the upcoming 2022 legislative session. Speakers focused on topics that would directly affect economic development within the state, ranging from education programs to tax cuts. Some officials also discussed their concerns with a potential medical marijuana program, and federal mandates for coronavirus vaccinations.


As Missouri climbs out of the economic turmoil spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, education, workforce development, and economic progress remain priorities for Gov. Mike Parson and community partners. At the University of Missouri Extension Workforce Summit on Tuesday morning, Parson joined various industry representatives, educators and Ashland community leaders to talk about workforce development in Mid-Missouri.

ALPLA Inc. announced it will break ground on a new manufacturing plant in Kansas City, Missouri, creating 75 new jobs. The new facility will be the company’s fourth site in Missouri and the first dedicated to injection molding. (Jon Stephens, President and CEO of Port KC;  Tim Cowden, President and CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council)

Metal component manufacturer KAK Industry, LLC announced today it will expand its operations in Missouri by opening a manufacturing facility in Albany, investing more than $7 million and creating 30 new jobs. The new facility will help KAK Industry meet increasing demand for custom-made firearms parts by doubling the volume of production and eliminating several raw material suppliers. (Mackenzie Manring, Economic Development Director for the City of Albany)

In one of the most substantial economic development intiatives for the region in years, the Osage Nation announces plans to develop a new entertainment district at the Lake of the Ozarks. The plans include a new hotel complex that will feature a casino, restaurants, entertainment, and more. The project is expected to be completed in multiple phases with an estimated $60 million investment in the region, bringing new jobs, tourism and revenue for the Lake of the Ozarks community. Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Heather Brown said: "We are excited to welcome any new development to Lake of the Ozarks that can help grow our tourism community. We are looking forward to developing a partnership with the Osage Nation's new entertainment district at the Lake of the Ozarks. As a CVB, we have been supporting and advocating for economic development and tourism in the tri-country region since 1932."


The City of Sidney took the first step towards becoming a "Certified Creative District." A creative district, which is more than an art gallery district, is meant to retain and recruit 20- to 30-year-olds to the community. The goal would be to house innovation of all kinds from makers spaces to tech businesses. (Kim Matthews, director Sidney Economic Development; McKailie Carnahan-Kuhns, president, Cheyenne County Chamber)


Nevada has been awarded a $1 million grant through the American Rescue Plan to diversify the state economy and protect against future economic problems.

France-based flavor manufacturer Monin Americas held a grand opening ribbon cutting for its new 115,000 square foot production facility in Sparks. (Mike Kazmierski, Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada)

New Jersey

The six candidates for Borough Council took a moment to sound off on Fort Monmouth's 289-acre Mega Parcel, which is now on the market. (Tim Sullivan, CEO New Jersey Economic Development Authority; Bruce Steadman, Executive Director Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority)

New Mexico

New Mexico would bolster job training, better align its higher educational programs with the needs of employers and dedicate more money for business development efforts under a new 20-year economic plan unveiled Tuesday. (Mark Roper, Division Director New Mexico Economic Development Department)

During the Nov. 2 election, residents of the city of Clovis will have the choice on whether or not the city can use its funds from gross receipts taxes to provide funding to both new and existing retail establishments.

The state of New Mexico and a local economic development fund have pledged more than $2 million in economic assistance to Wind Turbine & Energy Cables Corp. to redevelop an empty facility in Chamberino, about 25 miles south of Las Cruces, and create 315 manufacturing jobs in New Mexico. (Davin Lopez, President & CEO Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance)

New York

The New York State Economic Development Council has recognized the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, along with all of its council members, with the “Robert T. Dormer Economic Developer of the Year Award.” (Ryan Silva, Executive Director New York State Economic Development Council; Mark Geise, CEO Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency)

The Orange County official who has informally overseen the county's Industrial Development Agency since a corruption scandal began there this year has been hired as its new CEO. The agency's oversight board chose Bill Fioravanti this month to lead an operation that now has only one other employee after a string of recent departures.  Fioravanti, who has served as the county's economic development director since 2018, is expected to move to his new position with the IDA within the next two weeks. The hiring marks a new chapter for an independent agency that approves tax breaks for new or expanding businesses to promote economic growth. A criminal investigation this year exposed lax oversight and self-dealing and led to three guilty pleas, the repayment of nearly $1.3 million and the appointment of an entirely new board.

The Finger Lakes Economic Development Center has had a busy few months approving eight different projects with more than $21,000,000 in anticipated construction costs and 20+ new jobs.

Tom Kucharski, CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara says the office has just completed a “knock-out crazy” summer, with more companies than ever expressing interest in moving to Western New York or expanding here. Better still, he thinks interest will expand further once the U.S. border reopens to Canada next month.

North Carolina

On the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 11.30 to 12:00, LEAD will present some aspect of Labor Market Information. (Jeffrey Rosenthal, Senior Workforce Analyst at North Carolina Department of Commerce)

McKinley Perkinson will take over as director of the Henderson-Vance Economic Development Commission on Nov. 15. Perkinson replaces Christian Lockamy, who began his role as director of the Henderson-Vance EDC this January before leaving the post just eight months later in August.

Yancey County's Planning & Economic Development Director, Jamie McMahan, was elected by the executive committee of the Southern Economic Development Council to serve as North Carolina's State Director on the board of directors of the 17-state regional economic development council for a term running from January 2022 through December 2023.

North Dakota

The Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp. announced donations from:  Northridge Construction ($100,000), Construction Engineers ($100,000), Crary Real Estate ($50,000), The Lunn family ($50,000), Dakota Commercial ($50,000), Development Homes ($50,000), and Retrax ($25,000). It brings the total of committed dollars to $5.8 million, the EDC reports, with an additional $3 million in pending requests. The committee tasked with raising the funds needs to secure $10 million by December to gain access to $10 million in state matching funds.

Western Region Economic Development is seeking candidates interested in serving on the board of directors.  One seat will become available in the month of December.  A high priority will be given to candidates from the oil and gas and manufacturing industries to fill the seat, but all interested parties are encouraged to apply. (Ann Kvande)


The Stark Economic Development Board will continue to be the economic development arm of the county for another three years.

The city of Hillsboro has recently unveiled a new economic development website that hopes to digitally showcase what Hillsboro “has to offer” to current and prospective residents, developers, site selectors, corporate executives and businesses. The website, accessible at, was created by the city in conjunction with the creation of the city’s economic development department. (Lauren Walker, City of Hillsboro economic development assistant)

Despite a chill in the air and overcast skies that threatened rain, there were smiles by the mile Saturday as Main Street Ravenna unveiled the downtown area's latest attraction: The Main Street Mile. (Todd Peetz, president of Main Street Ravenna; Chelsea Gregor, secretary of Main Street Ravenna; Dennis West, the city's economic development director)

Residents are looking at ways to make Lima better over the next two decades. The City of Lima and the Lima/Allen Co. Regional Planning Commission held another community engagement event to get some ideas on what to focus on in the future. Citizens voiced their support for the economic progress in the downtown. They also shared their concerns on crime in the city and the number of blighted homes and lack of housing.“I think you are already seeing some work related to housing,” says Shane Coleman, Exective Director Lima/Allen Co. Regional Planning Commission.

The International Economic Development Council today presented the City of Dublin Division of Economic Development with the distinction of accreditation. This highly-coveted honor makes the City of Dublin one of only 69 Accredited Economic Development Organizations in the world, the only accredited organization in the state of Ohio and the first city to receive the accreditation in the state. (City of Dublin Economic Development Director Colleen Gilger)

The Piketon Community Improvement Corporation has begun purchasing dilapidated properties for redevelopment and resale as part of a beautification process for the area to enhance the economic development of the area. Fluor-BWXT recently donated $25,000 to the CIC to support the improvements and development within the Village. (Piketon Mayor and CIC Board President Billy Spencer)

The Ohio Economic Development Association named Sara O’Malley, Economic Development Administrator for the City of Dublin, the Rookie of the Year at the organization’s Annual Excellence Awards ceremony held today during the organization’s summit in Dublin. O’Malley received this honor for her accomplishments and contributions to the Economic Development profession in the two years that she has been a part of the city’s economic development team.


Brad Cooksey, President of the Lawton-Fort Sill Economic Development Corporation, was in studio with KSWO to talk about an upcoming Economic Development Forum and Forecast luncheon.

Oklahoma Farm Bureau recently named Megan Fanning as the organization’s economic development coordinator. Fanning will connect new agricultural enterprises across the state with funding sources to further develop rural Oklahoma.


Klamath Youth Baseball and Softball, the operations and managing nonprofit at historic Kiger Stadium, was awarded a $28,836 Economic Development Grant through Klamath County. The grant funds, along with monies from the Autzen Foundation and the City of Klamath Falls, will fund painting the outside of the stadium, the press box, and the ticket booth along with the replacement of the exterior catwalk that leads up to the press box on the roof of the stadium.


The Executive Director of DRIVE, Jennifer Wakeman, has earned here CEcD.

Nowhere nationally has more effort been put into integrating workforce and economic development needs at the local level than in the Lehigh Valley, according to an executive leading a regional talent market study. Jim Damicis, senior vice president with the economic development and business lead generation firm, Camoin310, made the remarks this past Friday at the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation’s Education and Talent Supply Council meeting.

For the past several months, Bruce Katz, director of Drexel University’s Metro Finance Lab and co-author of "New Localism", and his associates have been on the ground in Erie working on efforts spearheaded by local economic development agencies, including the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority, the Erie County Redevelopment Authority, the Erie Downtown Development Corp., and the local chambers of commerce, as the county transforms and reinvents itself. (Perry Wood, executive director of the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority)

The Lawrence County Board of Assessment Appeals in a 2-0 vote at a public session Monday denied the Lawrence County Economic Development Corp's request for a lower assessed value — and ultimately, lowered taxes — on two tracts of land of more than 300 acres, known as Millennium Park in Neshannock Township. The attorney representing the EDC said he will encourage the agency to appeal a decision of the county board of appeals to the court of common pleas. (Economic development executive director Linda Nitch)

The Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania sold a 40,200-square-foot building to Selectrode Industries Inc. (Lew Villotti, president of the Beaver County Corporation for Economic Development; Timothy White, RIDC senior vice president of development)

South Carolina

Danny Lucas has been named Jasper County's new director of development services. Lucas will be responsible for planning, economic development, parks and recreation, and Ridgeland-Claude Dean Airport.


Thom Lambert, longtime executive director of Decatur Economic Development Corp., has died. (Roy Eaton, past president of Decatur EDC; Former EDC board member Jay Davidson; Current EDC Executive Director Kevin Holzbog; EDC President Jason Wren)

Taylor County commissioners approved an economic capital investment agreement for "Project Artemis," the county working with the Development Corporation of Abilene to bring the as-yet unidentified business here. In exchange for a $2.4 million capital investment, construction of a new facility and creation of 57 full-time jobs, commissioners approved a payment in lieu of taxes agreement for Artemis, as authorized by Chapter 381 of the state's Local Government Code. Under the agreement approved Tuesday, the company, if it comes here, will pay the county $508,437 each year for 20 years.

The Dallas City Council approved a 10-year, $2 million tax break for Kroger on Wednesday to build a new grocery store with apartments above it, including 75 affordable units.

The Dallas City Council approved a 10-year, $2 million tax break for Kroger on Wednesday to build a new grocery store with apartments above it, including 75 affordable units. (Robin Bentley, director of the office of economic development; Dallas’ chief of economic development, Eric Anthony Johnson)

The University of Houston-Victoria College of Business has secured $915,000 with the support of local leaders, government entities and entrepreneurs. UHV plans to use the funds towards a partnership with a company to help increase entrepreneurship and economic development in the Victoria area. UHV has entered into an agreement with Innovation Collective, a company based in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. The agreement will help the Victoria region create and develop a new ecosystem of business. (Ken Colwell, dean of the college of business; Bill Blanchard, president of the Victoria Sales Tax Development Corp.)

The Development Corporation of Abilene is being honored with the 2021 “Community Economic Development Award for Innovativeness” by the Texas Economic Development Council for its work in attracting Great Lakes Cheese to Abilene. (Misty Mayo, President and Chief Executive Officer of the DCOA)

During the Greater San Marcos Partnership’s annual board meeting on Oct. 20, the GSMP Board approved a new financial commitment to Vision 2025, our region’s community built and consensus-driven economic development strategy. This commitment provides funds for the first phase of a support data mapping tool, which is critical to fulfilling one of Vision 2025’s key strategic actions: the development of a regional conservation development growth plan. (Jason Giulietti)

The City of Mansfield has hired Jason Moore as the new executive director of the Mansfield Economic Development Corporation.

The Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation hosted an evening of public meetings Oct. 26 to inform the public of the downtown sidewalk project and answer concerns. (Shane Pace, JEDCO President)

The Conroe Economic Development Council, City of Conroe, Trammell Crow Company, and The Home Depot received a pair of Community Economic Development Awards from the Texas Economic Development Council for their recent Conroe project. (Danielle Scheiner, CEDC Executive Director)

Laura Lea Palmer, Conroe Economic Development Council Deputy Director, celebrates ten years as an economic development professional this year. The only Certified Economic Developer in Montgomery County, Palmer joined the CEDC in 2019 and has successfully helped grow Conroe’s economic status utilizing her talent and industry experience


After almost a decade of record-setting growth and the pressures that come with it, leaders in Utah are revising and dialing back on a series of long-trusted economic development tools used to draw new employers. Otherwise business-friendly conservative Republicans on Capitol Hill and elsewhere have been urging Gov. Spencer Cox to enact campaign vows for a more restrictive and targeted approach toward tax breaks and other incentives for private companies. The Cox administration has been crafting a series of new economic development strategies and overhauls to existing ones since July. When lawmakers convene in January, they will debate moves to exclude retail firms from the state’s economic enticements as well as new limits on cities to lessen competition among them as they try to lure large businesses. (Ari Bruening, CEO of Envision Utah; Dan Hemmert, CEO of Go Utah; Ben Hart, deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity)


Workers are placing a higher importance on quality of life, and it’s having an impact on the labor market, according to economic development leaders. Gathered at the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce’s 4th Annual Economic Development Breakfast at The Yellow Barn in Quicksburg on Tuesday morning, four economic development leaders spoke to chamber members about the issues impacting the current labor market. “We’re a rural region that’s growing. Most rural regions cannot say that,” said Dr. Jay Langston, CEO of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership. “We’re growing in population, we’re growing in economic prosperity. But what do we do to make sure we keep doing that?” (Jenna French, Shenandoah County’s director of tourism and economic Development)

A workforce development partnership between James Madison University, Blue Ridge Community College and Merck received the Judge’s Choice Award recently from the University Economic Development Association. Since the partnership started in 2019, Merck has hired 40 JMU graduates and 35 BRCC graduates to either full-time or contract positions. In addition, the partners have created an internship program to provide a pipeline of future workers, hired a regional manufacturing liaison and developed curriculum to train students for biotechnology and manufacturing jobs. (Melissa Lubin, dean of JMU’s School of Professional and Continuing Education and the university’s chief economic engagement officer)


Every year, the Spokane Valley City Council helps fund a range of nonprofits, covering services including economic development and food banks. On Tuesday, the City Council voted to give out $182,000 to 15 organizations, after 18 groups asked for $582,000 in September. On top of the $182,000, the city is giving $43,000 to Greater Spokane Incorporated and $19,000 to the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce. Spokane Valley has been using the same “outside agency” funding distribution system since 2013.

Washington DC

The International Economic Development Council today named Nathan Ohle, a recognized expert in economic development and a leader of public, private and nonprofit organizations, as its new President & CEO beginning early next year. Ohle, who currently serves as CEO of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, was unanimously selected by the IEDC board of directors from a diverse field of more than 100 candidates after a national search that began in June. He will take the helm on Feb. 7, 2022.

West Virginia

Harrison County commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved acceptance of a $2.6 million U.S. Economic Development Administration grant award for a development project at Harrison Regional Industrial Park. The grant award was first announced earlier this month.“This is one of the biggest grants for a single project that this area has received. ... They typically do not go over $2 million. We ended up getting $2.6 (million) for a single project. It’s because it’s a good project; it has 200 jobs linked to it,” said Harrison County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Amy Haberbosch Wilson.

During his two decades in the West Virginia Legislature, Mitch Carmichael rose to become one of the most influential players in West Virginia politics. The former Senate president, who represented Jackson County from 2012 to 2020, recently began a new role that puts him in charge of some of the state’s most visible policies and initiatives. While Carmichael may no longer hold elected office, in his new position as the first Cabinet-level secretary of Economic Development, he will continue to play an important role in setting the state’s political tone, trajectory and goals.


The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is looking to strategically invest a portion of the state’s share of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds in communities that have traditionally been underserved. Rural communities were one of three areas WEDC hopes to invest in through various grants and programs, according to WEDC Regional Economic Development Director Jonathan Bartz. Bartz, who’s region includes Fond du Lac and Green Lake counties

The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Wisconsin's largest business group is urging Gov. Tony Evers to spend $3 million to renew a marketing campaign aimed at luring workers to the state and help address significant labor shortages. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. says it's working to invest $100 million in community infrastructure in hopes of attracting more workers. (WEDC Deputy Secretary Sam Rikkers)


Construction on a large-scale facility that will be home to technology developers in coal-to-products research is well underway in Campbell County. The entire center is dedicated to developing advanced carbon products using coal and coal byproducts as the primary raw material, and is a “research-to-commercialization facility intended to accelerate research from lab level to pre-commercialization,” according to Energy Capital Economic Development, the economic development group for Campbell County and Gillette.

Thanks for reading. Be sure to send errors, corrections, and news updates to [email protected].

If this is your first time reading, or you received this in an email from a colleague: Hello!

The Econ Dev Show is a podcast, weekday email newsletter, and blog of actionable strategies, fresh news, insights, and ideas from the economic development community and your host, Dane Carlson.

Listen now in your favorite podcast player, or subscribe.

In the NewsNewsletter

Dane Carlson Twitter

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

Related Posts

Members Public

Podcast Episode #130: Talking Economic Development in Alabama with Greg Canfield

A discussion with Alabama's economic maestro

Podcast Episode #130: Talking Economic Development in Alabama with Greg Canfield
Members Public

18 New Econ Dev Jobs This Week

From $56k to $185k.

18 New Econ Dev Jobs This Week
Members Public

20 Things Economic Developers Need to Know This Week

The stories Dane thinks you need to see. May 23, 2024 edition.

20 Things Economic Developers Need to Know This Week