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37 - Economic Development and Developers in the News

Econ dev news from 150 economic development executives and organizations in 37 states, and Canada.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
23 min read
37 - Economic Development and Developers in the News
Photo by Meritt Thomas / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Welcome to the 37th 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 158 economic development executives and organizations in 37 states, and Canada.


The Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona was honored with two Golden Prospector Awards during the Arizona Association for Economic Development Fall Forum.  (Gail Jackson, president & CEO ECoNA)

Despite more than a year of crises in big headlines ranging from Covid-19 to manipulated elections to drought that won't go away, officials of local economic development agencies still have plenty of optimism with which to view Arizona's future. (Joan Koerber-Walker, president and CEO, Arizona Bioindustry Association; Tenille Hiller, economic development coordinator, City of Buckeye Economic Development Department; Jeanine Jerkovic, director, City of Surprise Economic Development Department)

Coconino County was recently awarded a grant to develop an Equitable Economic Recovery Plan, sharing the distinction with eight other counties nationwide. As part of the grant, the county received $100,000 in funding. The funding also comes with the opportunity to work closely with the world-renowned Brookings Institution and Aspen Institute. (Chis Vasquez Pasterz,  Manager Coconino County Economic Development)

Utilities and transportation drive Arizona economic development. (Karla Moran, senior project manager in economic development for the Salt River Project; Kelly Patton, economic development manager at Arizona Public Service)


Pasadena’s Economic Development Manager, Eric Duyshart, is leaving City Hall. Duyshart has been with the city for more than 31 years.

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation will be hosting an in-person event, "Future Forum: The Future of Esports." The event will focus on timely research to provide regional insights that will inform esports decision-makers about the state of the industry and where the opportunities are, not just for technology and innovation but also for workforce development. (William C. “Bill” Allen, CEO & President LAEDC)

In Monterey County, supervisors made room in this year’s budget for a new economic development manager – a position that had been vacant for years – and in August brought on Richard Vaughn, formerly San Bernardino County’s economic development manager, to lead the effort.

The city of Menifee congratulated Gina Gonzalez, director of the city’s economic development department, as a recent recipient of the Connect Commercial Real Estate’s 2021 Women in Real Estate Awards.

The Sacramento Prosperity Partnership seeks input on $100 million inclusive economic development grant proposal.

The County of Los Angeles appointed Kelly LoBianco as executive director of economic and workforce development for the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services.


Funding of $1.35 million through Prairies Economic Development Canada will help modernize an Edmonton facility for Alberta firms to test their products and processes to demonstrate the value of Canadian-made technologies for the global hydrogen industry. (Dylan Jones, Interim President Prairies Economic Development Canada; Doug Schweitzer, Alberta Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation; Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates)

The Manitoba government partnered with Economic Development Winnipeg and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce on the program called Retrain Manitoba. Billed as a $12.5 million skills development grant program, the province said it will move Manitoba to the next stage of economic recovery. (Jon Reyes, Manitoba Economic Development and Jobs Minister; Dayna Spiring, President and CEO Economic Development Winnipeg)

The County of Huron has hired Vicki Lass as the new director of economic development. She replaces Cody Joudry who was the economic development director for four years before leaving to take a position in Dufferin County.

The Town of Tecumseh is seeking public input for an economic development strategy aimed at boosting businesses in the area. The Tecumseh-Lakeshore Area Specific Economic Development Strategy is a joint effort with the Municipality of Lakeshore. (Chad Jeffery, the Town’s manager planning services and local economic development)


2021 DBJ Most Admired CEO, Eric Hiraga, transformed the way Denver does economic development.


Additive Manufacturing Adoption Program, a manufacturing grant program, drives shop floor innovation. "Connecticut is the Silicon Valley of advanced manufacturing, plain and simple," Gov. Ned Lamont said in announcing the grants, which required the companies to match or exceed the state's investment.


In the hopes of improving meeting attendance, the Deltona City Commission in July approved changes to the Economic Development Advisory Board's bylaws. This month, the commission unanimously voted to sunset the board after meeting attendance failed to improve. (Jerry Mayes, Deltona Department of Economic Development & Ecological Tourism manager)

The Miami-Dade Beacon Council is launching the successor to its longstanding One Community One Goal economic development initiative, placing a renewed focus on securing Miami’s long-term economic trajectory. The new initiative, called Opportunity Miami, will serve as “a platform to help catalyze a vision for Greater Miami’s economic future — and rally the community to create it.” (Matt Haggman, Executive Vice President; Michael A. Finney)

The entrepreneurs behind the South-Dade Logistics & Technology District promise to create more than 17,000 permanent new jobs, which will be the foundation for growth for years to come.

Community Redevelopment hired Lara L. Fritts as executive Vice President.


Governor Brian P. Kemp announced Remington Firearms, America’s oldest firearms manufacturer, will locate its global headquarters and open a new advanced manufacturing operation as well as a world-class research and development center in LaGrange, Georgia. Through these projects, RemArms will invest $100 million and create 856 jobs over a five-year period in Troup County. (Pat Wilson, Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner; Taylor Kielty, Senior Project Manager Georgia Department of Economic Development)

The Redevelopment Agency and Development Authority of Warner Robins were both dissolved and rolled into Engage Warner Robins. (Kate Hogan, Director of Community and Economic Development for Warner Robins; Angie Gheesling, Executive Director Houston County Development Authority; BJ Walker, Executive Director Peach County Development Authority)

Governor Brian P. Kemp today announced that Aurubis, one of the leading recyclers of copper, precious metals, and non-ferrous materials worldwide, will invest $340 million in a state-of-the-art recycling and secondary smelting facility for multi-metal recycling in Augusta. This new facility will be the very first of its kind in the U.S. and will create 125 jobs in the Augusta area. (Steven Kendrick, Chairman of the Development Authority of Augusta; Griff Lynch, Executive Director Georgia Port Authority; Pat Wilson, GDEcD Commissioner)

Celadon Development Corporation will invest more than $155 million in opening a North American headquarters and a state-of-the-art recycling and advanced manufacturing facility in Chatham County, creating 117 jobs in the Savannah area. This represents Phase 1 of Celadon’s major investment project in Georgia. (Ashley Varnum, Director Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Global Commerce; Hugh "Trip" Tollison, President and CEO Savannah Economic Development Authority)


Fewer visitors to Oahu in 2020 did not cause significant drop in electricity, water and sewer consumption. Eugene Tian, of the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, said he was surprised to find that “the impact of tourism on Oahu’s natural resource is minimal.”


The Kootenai Tribe of Idaho has announced the first phase of an economic development project on the 3-mile portion of the Kootenai Indian Reservation.


List Biotherapeutics, Inc. announced a $125 million investment in the city of Fishers to establish a new 110,000 square foot contract manufacturing organization facility on 15 acres in the Fishers Life Science & Innovation Park. The company plans to hire 210 employees in Fishers in the areas of biologics manufacturing and quality and regulatory compliance. (Brian Stemme, senior vice president of engagement for BioCrossroads; Brad Chambers, Indiana Secretary of Commerce)

The Boone County Economic Development Corp. has partnered with Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership to offer a 10-week Manufacturing Skills for Success program. The class prepares participants for a career in manufacturing by teaching communication, teamwork, critical thinking and technical skills. (Amy Hammerle, Boone EDC Workforce Development Manager; L. David Snow, Executive Director Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership; Molly Whithead, Executive Director Boone EDC)

COSMOS, partnering with the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council, is pleased to announce it received a $10,000 grant from General Motors Foundation to increase capacity at 3 digital fabrication labs and accessibility to over 750 students. (Joe Timbrook, Director of Career Development at the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council; Apryl Kidd, Director of Initiatives at COSMOS)

The 67th Class of the Academy for Community Leadership recognized 21 new graduates at a breakfast event. The Academy for Community Leadership is a program of the Chamber and Ball State University and began in 1976 to broaden the participants understanding of the Muncie-Delaware County communities and to provide valuable networking opportunities. (Jay Julian
President/CEO at Muncie/Delaware County Chamber of Commerce)


Washington County residents are invited to learn about the results of a childcare-workforce study that was conducted this fall in part by the Washington Economic Development Group. (Mary Audia, Director WEDG)

Iowa will use a $5.27 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to promote tourism to the state and improve technology at four state-owned rest stops.

Last week applications were submitted for the Duane Arnold Solar projects. According to an economic impact study conducted by Strategic Economic Research, the projects will have a combined positive economic impact of up to $260 million on the state of Iowa. That includes the cumulative ripple effects of new jobs, wages, tax revenue and other economic activity during construction and over the estimated 30-year life of the projects. (Ron Corbett, vice president of economic development, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance)


Alliance for Positive Growth keynote speaker Joe Max Higgins, CEO of the Golden Triangle Development, details his success with economic development. (Faith Hooks, executive director, APG)

Military-related spending in Louisiana creates $9.64 billion in annual economic impact across all regions of the state, according to a study commissioned by the State of Louisiana. Economic activity associated with that spending results in more than 77,000 jobs and pays $348.7 million in state and local taxes, the study showed.  The economic impact of military spending in Louisiana makes up 2.4 percent of the state’s gross domestic product. ( Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson)


There is probably no single reason why people are leaving the workforce at a time when jobs are available, but the “State of Working Maine” report offers some likely possibilities. (Garrett Martin, President & CEO Maine Center for Economic Policy)


The Waterfowl Festival was not just a celebration of both the community and world class art, but also of Maryland’s commitment to promoting outdoor recreation, which accounts for $14 billion across the state, as well as 109,000 jobs. (Cassandra Vanhooser, Director of Talbot County Economic Development and Tourism)


Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy announced the Rural and Small Town Development Fund grants at the Turners Falls Industrial Park that will benefit Montague as well as several other western Massachusetts communities.


Ford blindsided state leaders when it recently chose Kentucky and Tennessee for new manufacturing plants. As a result, politicians are feeling pressure to restart the failed “Good Jobs for Michigan” program and offer up even more taxpayer dollars to corporate interests. However, the facts have long shown that “economic development” subsidies are ineffective, expensive and unfair, even though they make for good politics. (Michael Farren, research fellow at George Mason University)

Montiel Birmingham is Alpena’s new director of planning, development, and zoning. (Adam Poll, President and CEO Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce; Anne Gentry, Executive Director Alpena Downtown Development Authority; Mary Beth Stutzman, President & CEO Alpena Convention and Visitors Bureau)

Ollie Howie has been hired as the first managing director of the New Community Transformation Fund, a Grand Rapids-based investment fund focusing on businesses owned by people of color and women.


Farmington residents who want to engage in city government can apply for one of eight openings on city board and commission seats, but not the Farmington Economic Development Authority, whose composition was changed in September to include only the five City Council members.

Governor Tim Walz Saturday headed to the United Kingdom on a trade mission he is leading to the U.K. and Finland. The mission will focus on increasing state exports, promoting Minnesota as a premier destination for business investment, developing new business opportunities, and strengthening existing ties. He will be joined by business leaders from across the state to build relationships and encourage business leaders in Europe to explore Minnesota to grow their operations as part of the state’s Build What Matters campaign. (Steve Grove, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development)

The Jackson City Council has agreed to extend its contract with Chatfield-based Community Economic Development Associates for economic development services as the search for a new coordinator continues.

The New Ulm Economic Development Authority will help fund the New Ulm Economic Development Corporation Executive Director position for at least one year. The EDA board on Tuesday approved a request from NUEDC to fund a portion of the executive director position up to $50,000.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced recipients of the Small Business Partnership Grant Program. (Aaron Backman, Executive Director Kadiyohi County & City of Wilmar Economic Development Commission; Alfredo Martel, CEO & President Metropolitan Economic Development Association; Allison Sharkey, Executive Director Lake Street Council; Asad Aliweyd, CEO New American Development Center; Barry Kirchoff, Director St Cloud State University Small Business Development Center; Bill Jaffa, Executive Director Scott County CDA-CFE; Bill Schalow, Regional Interim Director Concordia College Small Business Development Center; Casey Shultz, Executive Director BETA Group; Christopher Romano, Executive Director Seward Redesign Inc.; Danielle Steer, Managing Director Lunar Startups; Dave Hengel, Executive Director Greater Bemidji; Elena Gaarder, CEO Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers; Gene Gelgelu, President and CEO African Economic Development Solutions; Henry Jiménez, Executive Director Latino Economic Development Center MN; Jeff Tollefson, President & CEO MNSBIR; Joanne Whiterabbit, Executive Director Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce; Laura Zabel, Executive Director Springboard for the Arts; Lee Hall, CEO NextStage; LeeAnn Rasachak, Chief Executive Officer WomenVenture; Liz Struve, Southwest Regional Director Southwest State University Small Business Development Center; Matt Varilek, President Initiative Foundation; May yer Thao, President & CEO Hmong American Partnerships; Michael ColClough, Director Northland Foundation Small Business Development Center; Mike Hahn, Regional Director South Central Small Business Development Center Mankato State University; Nasibu Sareva, Executive Director African Development Center of Minnesota; Nelima Sitati Munene, Executive Director African Career, Education & Resource; Rebecca Rowe, Director North Central Small Business Development Central Lakes College; Robert Aitken III, Executive Director Leech Lake Financial Services; Ruby Azurdia-Lee, President Clues; Sharon James, Executive Director 4-Directions Development; Shawn Wellnitz, President & CEO Entrepreneur Fund; Stacy Nimmo, Executive Director Redwing Ignite; Tim Penny, President and CEO Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation; Va-Megn Thoj, Executive Director Asian Economic Development Association; Warren McLean, President Northside Economic Opportunity Network)


Construction is underway on a $150 million music studio campus that could attract major recording acts to practice and record in St. Louis. The Gateway Studios & Production Services facility will be the largest production services and rehearsal facility of its kind in the United States.

Two nonprofits are among 66 who received $12.6 million, which the Missouri Department of Economic Development awarded for community development projects. Healing Horses Therapeutic Riding Program in Linn received $308,735. Food for Morgan County Inc. will use $114,450. (Maggie Kost, Acting Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development)


The Montana Department of Commerce has awarded a total of $240,000 through the Tribal Business Planning Grant to assist Montana tribes with planning for business development and economic growth. (Scott Osterman, Commerce Director; K. Denise Edwards, Acting Director of IED and Division Chief of DED)


Successful efforts to expand employee amenities and economic development in the city of Franklin, population 1,000, have earned accolades from the state of Nebraska. The state Nebraska Department of Economic Development recognized Franklin as the newest member of Nebraska’s Leadership Certified Community program. (Kelly Gewecke, DED’s Central Nebraska Business Development consultant)


The inaugural Nevada US 95 I-80 Futures conference held in late October highlighted Pershing and Humboldt counties’ future economic outlook, which includes a high demand for housing and workers for growing industries, according to several industry leaders. (Jan Morrison, Economic Development Officer, Humboldt Development Authority; Heidi Lusby-Angvick, Executive Director Pershing County Economic Development Authority)

New Jersey

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority officially approved regulations for the Aspire Program. The goal of the Aspire Program, one part of the larger New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020, is to encourage the development of commercial, mixed use, and residential real estate projects in New Jersey. (Tim Sullivan, CEO New Jersey Economic Development Authority)

A New Jersey program that partners nonprofit organizations with restaurants is helping people and small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic. (Tara Colton, Executive Vice President for Economic Security at New Jersey Economic Development Authority)

New Mexico

Armed with a new 20-year strategic plan, the New Mexico Economic Development Department is asking legislators for a substantial investment that its leaders believe will help the state diversify and bolster its economy. (Rob Black, President & CEO New Mexico Chamber of Commerce; Alicia Keyes, Economic Development Secretary; Jon Clark, Deputy Cabinet Secretary)

New York

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that work has been completed on a transformative, $9.3 million project that reconstructed and modernized the main travel route - State Route 970L - through the picturesque Village of Clayton in Jefferson County, enhancing safety and easing travel for residents and visitors alike. (Kevin Younis, Empire State Development Chief Operating Officer and Executive Deputy Commissioner)

Westchester County was well represented during the 4th Annual Symposium for Life Science Real Estate Development hosted by NYC Builds Bio. The event, which focused on the robust, fast-growing life sciences economy in the Greater New York Metropolitan area, featured two presenters from the Westchester County Office of Economic Development, as well as speakers from four of Westchester’s biosciences ecosystem. (Bridget Gibbons, Westchester County Economic Development Director; Deborah Novick, Westchester County’s Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation)

The former Lyons Falls Pulp and Paper Mill site on Center Street in the heart of the village has been worked over, cleaned up, beautified, and will soon be marketed to prospective developers, but not before the vision for the site is clear, based on community input and what will work best for village residents. (Brittany Davis, Executive Director, Lewis County Industrial Development)

North Carolina

During the November meeting, the Mebane City Council approved the annexation and conditional rezoning of roughly 129 acres near the intersection of Buckhorn and West Ten Roads, allowing developer Al Neyer to, in three phases, construct six buildings, which will total nearly 1,000,000 square feet. (Mebane Development Director Cy Stober)

The Board of Commissioners on Monday will consider a tax incentive request for what could be Rowan County’s next major economic development project. The company behind “Project Bishop” is an online retailer that “offers thousands of products to its customers and serves them from warehouses and fulfillment centers located throughout the United States.” The company is planning to establish an e-commerce fulfillment center in the Southeast, with Rowan County being a potential destination. (Scott Shelton, vice president of the Rowan Economic Development Council)

North Carolina is the top state in the U.S. for business climate, according to a new rankings report from Site Selection Magazine. North Carolina beat out Georgia, who had previously ranked in or shared the top spot for the prior eight years, for first overall in the 2021 rankings. The states tied for first place in last year’s report. (Michael Haley of Wake County Economic Development)

United Country Real Estate / Big6 Properties is now open for business in Alexander County. Owner and broker Sharon Roseman and her agents specialize in farms and land for sale, country homes, hunting and recreational properties, lakefront homes, and other lifestyle and rural properties. The Alexander County Economic Development Corporation invites the public to a ribbon cutting on Friday, Nov. 19. (David Icenhour, Executive Director; Connie Kincaid, Business Development Manager)

The City of Lexington has a whopping new addition which has the promise of bringing in hundreds of new jobs, expand the city’s tax base and increase economic development in the area. Following a public hearing on Wednesday, the Lexington City Council approved the voluntary satellite annexation of 763 acres of property in Linwood area, just south of the I-85 Corporate Center where EGGER is located.

North Dakota

Eleven new monetary commitments came in over the past week for a proposed technical academy in Grand Forks, bringing the total raised for the project past $7 million. The Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp. on Friday announced the latest donations, including three of more than $100,000. (President & CEO, Keith Lund; Director of Business Development, Brandon Baumbach; Workforce Development Manager, Becca Cruger; Marketing & Communications Manager, Stephanie Flyger)

The Williston City Commission approved another round of grant applications for the STAR Fund. Economic Development Director Shawn Wenko presented the items before the Tuesday, Nov 9 meeting of the Commission.


Barrett Thomas told Richland County commissioners on Tuesday that economic development activity is surging in Richland County during 2021. Thomas, the director of economic development for Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development, was joined in a presentation by Jodie Perry, the chamber president and CEO. The news was welcomed by commissioners, who in May awarded a one-year, $100,000 economic development contract to the chamber and its Richland Community Development Group arm as the region continues to come back from the 2020 shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month, the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership announced a new job opening in its office — the Development Manager position. Audrey Flood, who has occupied that spot for nearly three years, will move on to a new career. (Nick Dutro, TSEP’s Economic Development Manager)

The Paulding County Economic Development Board hosted its Business and Industry Appreciation Banquet this week here at Grant’s Catering. The event has been hosted annually for more than 20 years to recognize business and commercial growth, and prosperity within the county. (Director Tim Copsey)

As companies across the United States struggle to find workers, the Medina County Economic Development Corp. has worked to create new ways in increasing the number of workers in the county and lowering the unemployment rate. The organization has most recently created the County Forward Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization that works to create opportunities for the workforce and education to come together. (MCEDC Executive Director Bethany Dentler)

The Sandusky County Economic Development Corp. is launching the program SizeUp Sandusky County on its website, making powerful market research and business intelligence available to local businesses to help them succeed. (Beth Hannam, executive director)

Ohio was once a national leader in brownfield redevelopment, but with the sunsetting of the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund in 2014, the state's communities were left without much of the crucial funding used to redevelop swaths of abandoned, blighted properties.
But in the most recent state operating budget, $500 million is dedicated for the redevelopment of brownfield sites and the demolition of blighted commercial and residential properties, putting Ohio back on the forefront of remediation efforts.


A city of Roseburg program that provides grants to businesses that promote tourism is back on track, after being suspended due to the fallout from COVID-19. The city’s tourism grant program is funded through the Roseburg transient lodging tax collected within city limits. The city, which offers a spring and fall grant cycle, suspended the program last fall after a significant decrease in those revenues. However, with lodging tax revenues appearing to rebound, the fall/winter round of grants is once again open for business. The Roseburg Oregon Economic Development Commission, which oversees the program, began accepting grant applications again this week. (Stuart Cowie, Community Development Director)


The McKean County Economic Development Office and the McKean County Industrial Development Authority are hosting a free Understanding Tax Exempt Financing Workshop. The workshop is designed for non-profits, manufacturing firms and local governments that are planning capital improvement projects and want to explore financing options.

Kenneth Keitt, founder and CEO of ParaPer4mance, joined Penn State President Eric Barron and a panel of local and industry leaders and fellow entrepreneurs in Harrisburg on Nov. 9 for a hearing of the Pennsylvania Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee. Titled “Improving Pennsylvania's Innovation Economy: Invent Penn State,” the hearing focused on Penn State’s efforts to drive economic development, job creation, entrepreneurship and innovation, and student career success through the Invent Penn State initiative. By leveraging the University’s size, expertise and world-class research enterprise, Invent Penn State is helping to accelerate the transfer of new ideas and innovation into products and services that span a range of fields, including energy, food security, environmental protection, health care, manufacturing, educational technologies, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. This is translating into new businesses and economic activity across Pennsylvania. (Rob Wonderling, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia)

Pottstown Area Economic Development, Inc., formerly known as Pottstown Area Industrial Development is proud to announce a rebrand and introduce a new website. As the lead economic development organization for Pottstown since 1965, PAED is poised to continue its mission to develop, coordinate, and implement an overall economic development strategy for the Borough of Pottstown, as it emerges with its potential for the future. This rebrand is just the beginning of a robust outreach initiative. (Danette Wilson, Public Relations & Marketing Manager; Peggy Lee-Clark, Executive Director)

Major redevelopment projects in Bethlehem and Easton have been awarded $1.7 million in state tax credits. State Sen. Lisa Boscola, announced Friday afternoon that eight projects have been awarded funding through Pennsylvania’s Neighborhood Assistance Program. (Bethlehem’s Director of Community and Economic Development Alicia Miller Karner)


The final piece of Kingsport’s major development on the “other side of the tracks” along Main Street, a 43-acre housing project, is a sure winner with selection by the Kingsport Economic Development Board of Edens Investments as developer.

Plans are in the works for a new neighborhood with a slew of amenities near downtown Kingsport, but it won’t be complete for quite some time. Engineering plans are being finalized for a proposed 39-acre residential community near the heart of the city after the Kingsport Economic Development Board officially selected Edens Investments as the developer of the project. (John Rose, economic development director for the City of Kingsport)

Four years ago, an investigative journalist in Nashville examined the cash grants and tax breaks given to companies as part of the state’s economic development deals to create jobs. The headline: “Are Tennessee job subsidies a success? Secrecy makes it nearly impossible to know.” Despite the deep report sounding an alarm, we are not much better off today in getting answers. (Deborah Fisher, executive director of Tennessee Coalition of Open Government)

Chattanooga is joining other towns along the Tennessee River in a partnership to promote paddling and other recreational activities in what backers hope will make the 652-mile waterway an internationally known destination for long-distance kayaking and canoeing, along with riverfront biking and hiking activities.
Known as the Tennessee RiverLine, the coalition has grown over the past five years and now includes 20 cities and counties with nearly 1 million residents. (Brad Collett, director of the Tennessee RiverLine Partnership)


Rural Texas has long struggled to get broadband internet into households, schools businesses, and even many of its more remote hospitals.  But on Monday, advocates for broadband expansion across the country say the Lone Star State’s connectivity will soon improve, thanks to funding allocated in President Joe Biden’s massive Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. (Jennifer Harris the state program director for Texas for Connected Nation; Greg Conte, the director of Texas’ Broadband Development Office)

The Corsicana Economic Development Partnership meeting provided updates on several recently completed and ongoing projects, including the groundbreaking of the new Corsicana Mattress facility which is part of the I-45 Industrial Park. (John Boswell, Director of Economic Development for Corsicana and Navarro County)

The Bastrop Economic Development Corporation is looking for a buyer for its two-story, 9,000-square-foot building at 921 Main St. that is leased by the Art Institute of Austin. (BEDC interim Director Genora Young)

The Tyler Economic Development Council is working toward expanding its toolbox with the creation of a foreign trade zone in Smith County. The nonprofit organization submitted its foreign trade zone application to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration in October, triggering a public comment period that ends Jan. 3. (Scott Martinez, president and CEO)

The Smart Money S.A. posted an in-depth look at recent Chapter 380 and 381 tax abatements in San Antonio.

American SpiralWeld Pipe Company, which recently completed the construction of its new facility earlier this year, was awarded the Paris Texas Economic Development Corporation’s Industry Appreciation Award during the annual Lamar County Chamber of Commerce banquet. The award is in recognition of ASWP’s considerable investment into Lamar County, the creation of 80 new quality jobs for citizens and the revitalization of the Northwest Industrial Park.  (Maureen Hammond, executive director PEDC)

A California-based energy company is planning to invest $1.15 billion in Caldwell County over nine years to build and maintain two power plants near Kyle and San Marcos that will combine solar generation and battery storage. (Jason Giulietti, president of the Greater San Marcos Partnership)


It might be time to start modernizing how we park. “There's more people working from home. There's autonomous vehicles coming, more car sharing,” said Julie Bjornstad, senior transportation planner with the Wasatch Front Regional Council. Bjornstad said too much land dedicated to parking can reduce economic development, increase housing costs and reduce revenue for cities.


Virginia is losing the man who helped the state win Amazon. Stephen Moret, who led the push to land Amazon’s $2.5 billion East Coast headquarters in Arlington County, is resigning as president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to lead a national nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and preparing young people for careers in high-skill industries. Moret will leave the partnership at the end of the year to become the top executive of Strada Education Network, based in Indianapolis, almost five years after coming to Virginia from Louisiana to take over an economic development organization in disarray.

A majority of those who weighed in on the future of the downtown Liberty Lot parking lot want its predominant use to remain the same -- parking. Economic Development Director Russell Seymour shared the results of a recent public survey and an Oct. 7 public input session with council members Monday evening.

Agriculture is an economic driver in Bedford County, and staff from the Bedford County economic development office discussed with county supervisors at a Monday work session the possibility of offering a new grant program related to supporting local agriculture infrastructure. For now, the Bedford County economic development office is in preliminary stages, seeking answers to questions, brainstorming possible internal organization for managing the grant program applications and gaining more information in general. (Pam Bailey, Bedford County’s economic development director)

Virginia spent $3 billion on economic incentive programs during the decade of the 2010s (between FY 2011 to FY 2020), equivalent to 1.5% of the total General Fund budget. Although there is considerable variability from year to year, incentives grew roughly twice as rapidly as the rest of the total budget, concludes the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission in a new report. About 70% of incentive “spending” was comprised of tax credits and exemptions, and the lion’s share of those went to data cent

Two loan fund programs are relaunching to help businesses in Greene and Orange counties. The Community Investment Collaborative has partnered with the Greene County Economic Development Authority and the Orange County Office of Economic Development to relaunch the programs. (Alan Yost, Director GCEDA; Rose Deal
Director of Economic Development OCOED) Inc. will establish a new cross-dock fulfillment center in Stafford County, serving as an East Coast supply chain hub and creating 500 jobs, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Stafford County and the Port of Virginia to secure the project for Virginia. (Stephen Moret, President & CEO of VEDP)

City of Suffolk acting Economic Development Director Gregory Byrd will retire in January, but by then, the position should be filled. Suffolk Economic Development Authority board chairman Wesley King announced Byrd’s retirement near the end of its Nov. 10 meeting. Kevin Hughes, the previous economic development director, was appointed by then-interim city manager Al Moor to be acting deputy city manager a year ago. At the same time, Moor appointed Byrd, who had been the assistant director of economic development, to be the acting economic development director. Hughes is now the deputy city manager and Moor the city manager.

A metal fabricating operation in Buchanan County’s Oakwood community plans to more than double in size and create 22 new jobs, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Buchanan County, the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority and the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority to secure the project. (VCEDA Executive Director Jonathan Belcher)


The Skagit County Board of Commissioners received an update Friday on the county’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan. The county has set aside $1 million from its American Rescue Plan Act funding to help businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic. The Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County (EDASC) is making recommendations on how the county should use the funds. (EDASC CEO John Sternlicht)

Washington DC

The DC suburbs are booming, and Tysons is leading the pack. Tysons has grown from a farm town to an emerging tech hub. And, similar to other suburbs around the country, its growth has been further accelerated by the pandemic. (Fairfax County Economic Development Authority vice president Alex Iams)

West Virginia

U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $113,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to The Conservation Fund to support the city of Madison and Boone County in developing an outdoor recreational economy. The funding is part of the USDA Rural Development’s Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge and will be used to create a Resource and Recreation Action Plan to strengthen recreation options and community health, protect natural and cultural resources and support economic development in Southern West Virginia.

In search for new coalfield ideas, an old, failed project is again a focus. (Kris Mitchell, Boone County Community and Economic Development Corporation)

A four-day orientation recently kicked off a nine-month program for the Appalachian Leadership Institute’s 2021-2022 Class. Class member Dr. Amelia Courts, president and CEO of The Education Alliance in Charleston, said the orientation was intense and fast-paced.  Courts said she was motivated to apply because the program focuses on “a sweet spot that has always been a passion of mine: The intersection of education and economic development…. That is really the heartbeat of The Education Alliance. … We are excited and passionate to help our young people create a future that does involve a strong economy in West Virginia.”


Franklin business leaders, area commercial real estate professions, and business service providers gathered with the Franklin Economic Development Commission, Common Council, and City staff to show appreciation for and celebrate the successes of the Franklin business community in 2021. (Calli Berg, Franklin’s Director of Economic Development)

Wausau’s Economic Development Committee has voted to award the West Side Battery property near Stewart Avenue and First Avenue to Madison-area developer Gorman and Company for affordable housing

The village of Mukwonago has a new administrator, one with a track record of  community sustainability and economic development. Fred Schnook will begin his role as administrative head on Jan. 1.

On Thursday, The Greater Green Bay Chamber presented the updated Economic Development Strategic Plan inside the ballroom at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Green Bay.  “We would not be here celebrating this strategic plan today if it weren’t for our strategic plan investors,” said Kelly Armstrong, Vice President of Economic Development.

As parents struggle in their search for child care and child care providers struggle to hire workers, one Wisconsin county is trying to make both of those efforts a little easier. Providers and non-profit groups in Green County have teamed up to bolster child care where demand exceeds supply so drastically that the county has been called a child care desert. “We’ve got a lot of jobs in Green County, and we don’t have enough people to take care of kids,” says Cara Carper, director of the Green County Economic Development Corp., another organization involved in the county’s child care initiative.

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

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