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54 - Economic Development and Developers in the News

Econ dev news from 131 economic development executives and organizations in 39 states, Australia, and Canada.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
19 min read
54 - Economic Development and Developers in the News
Photo by Boris Smokrovic / Unsplash

Welcome to the 54th weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.

Today's issue contains economic development news from 131 economic development executives and organizations in 39 states, Australia, and Canada.

Today's issue is brought to you by LocalIntel.

Alabama

The Birmingham City Council, has approved an incentive agreement that would make way for a new grocery store on the west side of Birmingham. (Cornell Wesley, Director of the Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity)

The Wiregrass Economic Development director, Jesse Quillen, says he sees opportunity in Elba.

Cities in rural Alabama are seeing a rebirth in their downtowns, with a blitz of new business openings, property renovations and multimillion-dollar investments. Pop-up shops, green spaces, art festivals and social media buzz are among the trends that are helping drive the efforts to bring merchants, residents and visitors back to the heart of the community. (Trisha Black, Assistant State Coordinator, Main Street Alabama; Brenda Tuck, Rural Development Manager, Alabama Department of Commerce; Donald Bennett, President, Main Street Marion)

Arkansas

Officials with the Wynne Economic Development Corporation and Entergy Arkansas announced completion of the utility’s Select Site certification for the 37-acre Wynne Highway 1 industrial site. “The timeline for responding to prospects has shortened significantly,” said Cody Slater, CEO for the Wynne EDC, “and going through the certification process helps to ensure that we have the site information necessary to respond quickly to inquiries."

The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Batesville program kicked off with a retreat at the newly renovated Spring Mill event center. The Leadership Batesville program, prepares emerging leaders to serve the  community. (Crystal Johnson, CEO, Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce; Shelby Fiegel, Director, University of Central Arkansas’s Center for Community and Economic Development; Dylan Edgell, Assistant Director, the Center’s Assistant Director, University of Central Arkansas’s Center for Community and Economic Development)

Mike Malone has been named vice chancellor for economic development at the University of Arkansas. (Ashley Wardlow, Interim President & CEO, Bentonville Chamber of Commerce; Steuart Walton, Chair of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Arkansas Economic Recovery Task Force)

Australia

Applications are open for the next Economic Gardening Illawarra business development program. The program includes workshop sessions on strategy formulation; financial management; customer relationship management; digital strategy and online marketing; and advanced marketing techniques.

California

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration is awarding a $4 million American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program grant to the city of Santa Cruz, California, to develop a new arts and entertainment infrastructure and increase tourism to the region. (Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo; Governor Gavin Newsom)

College of the Desert’s board of trustees said they will keep the automotive training center in Cathedral City. The announcement came as dozens of people gathered for the “Build It Here" rally in Cathedral City. (Stone James, Director of Economic Development, Cathedral City)

Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation celebrated Women's History Month by honoring three local leaders and holding a women-owned business competition for startups and small businesses.

Stanton’s Entrepreneur Education Center Inc. and AltaSea, an emerging marine science research campus at the Port of Los Angeles, in San Pedro, recently signed an agreement to join forces as the opportunities in the blue economy grow. The blue economy — a sector that looks to the ocean to solve many of the world’s problems, from food insecurity to climate change — offers careers that include ocean engineers, marine ecologists, earth scientists, marine energy specialists, policy analysts and communications specialists. The sector also includes underwater robotics and aquaculture farming. (Jenny Krusoe, Founding Executive Director, AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles; William C. “Bill” Allen, CEO & President, Los Angeles EDC)

Tuolumne County’s Director of Innovation and Business Assistance, Cole Przybyla, has taken a new job with the state working on broadband infrastructure.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he has signed tribal-state gaming compacts between the State of California and the Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California and the Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi Yokut Tribe.  The new compacts reflect the Governor’s and the Tribes’ mutual commitment to a respectful government-to-government relationship, promoting tribal economic development and self-sufficiency, and a strong tribal government.

Economic development is not about jobs anymore; it's about workers. (Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner, Beacon Economics)

Canada

A $5-billion electric vehicle battery plant has been announced for Windsor that will employ 2,500 people. And just a week later, a new auto parts plant in Chatham has been confirmed. Canadian auto parts giant Magna International, which already has two plants in nearby St. Thomas, will open a $50-million-plus facility that will employ about 150 people to make battery enclosures for an electric version of Ford’s popular F-150 pickup truck. (Jamie Rainbird, Manager, Chatham-Kent’s Economic Development)

After seven years as the Manager of Economic Development, Marketing and Tourism for the town of Gravenhurst, Jeff Loney will be joining the Bruce County Economic Development team.

The Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s is in the market for an economic development officer again. For the second time in less than a year, the key position needs to be filled.

Eric Zakrewski will be leaving the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission this summer. Zakrewski was hired by the commission from the private sector in November 2019, replacing Doug Murray. Zakrewski's upcoming exit is the second departure at the commission this year. This spring, John Mason, the CEDC's mining projects lead, left Thunder Bay for retirement in central Ontario.

To demonstrate Guelph’s strengths as a location for investment, the City has created videos featuring testimonials from 15 leading local businesses. The locally produced videos focus on four of Guelph’s main industry clusters and priority sectors. (Christine Chapman, Manager, Economic Development; John Regan, General Manager, Economic Development and Tourism for City of Guelph)

Colorado

Gov. Jared Polis wants to make small businesses a priority of his administration and at a presentation to government leaders last week in Berthoud, he spoke about the need to lower barriers to those starting new businesses. (Adam Shake, President/CEO, Estes Park Economic Development Corporation; Jana Sanchez, Program Manager, Business Accelerator Services of Estes; Mike Freeman, CEO,  Innosphere, Fort Collins; Allison Seabeck, Executive Director, Warehouse Business Accelerator, Loveland; Niroj Bhattarai, Professor of Economics, Colorado State University; Jim Doherty, Community Director, Desk Chair)

Connecticut

With its seaside feel, foodie opportunities, and attractions for all ages, Connecticut's southeast coast is ideal for reacquainting oneself with the joys of travel. (Paige Bronk, Manager, Economic and Community Development, Groton)

Florida

Cultivating an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Bradenton area is a key component of the strategic plan at the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. The 26 West Center at State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota is emerging as a hub for the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. (Sharon Hillstrom, President & CEO, Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp.)

Michael Finney, president and CEO of the Miami‐Dade Beacon Council, has died.

Georgia

Flint River Fresh launched its Fresh Start program in partnership with the city of Albany Department of Community and Economic Development with a 100 Fresh Start Garden Kits Giveaway. The food garden kits include four seedlings and four seed packets that include vegetables, herbs and flowers. Each kit contains enough seeds and seedlings to fill a 4-by-8-foot garden space, and a growing guide at no cost to income eligible city of Albany residents. (John D. Hawthorne Jr., Director, City of Albany Department of Community and Economic Development)

Recently, inflation has affected most households across the nation. Jana Dyke, the President of the Albany-Dougherty County Economic Development Commission shared her thoughts regarding the current state of inflation.

Coastal Area District Development Authority, Inc. has announced the retirement of Andrew Standard, Chief Executive Officer. The CADDA Board of Directors appointed Terrence Louk to succeed Standard as Chief Executive Officer in January.

Hawaii

A bill that would have implemented several recommendations from a scathing audit of the Agribusiness Development Corporation is expected to die without a hearing before Friday’s legislative deadline. (Anne Frederick, Director, HAPA; Brian Miyamoto, Executive Director, Hawaii Farm Bureau)

Idaho

Idaho National Laboratory’s latest economic impact summary report shows the lab’s large economic impact to Idaho continues to grow. The report shows the laboratory is the state’s sixth-largest employer, adding $3.08 billion to the state’s gross economic output and creating 15,200 jobs for Idahoans. For every $100 in direct economic activity at INL, an additional $96 of activity is created or sustained. (Marsha McDaniel, Senior Advisor for Economic Development, INL; Teresa McKnight, CEO, Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho)

Illinois

Intersect Illinois, the state’s public-private economic development arm, has launched a new $1 million digital marketing campaign, “Be in Illinois,” aimed at luring companies to locate beyond the city limits of Chicago. (Dan Seals, CEO, Intersect Illinois)

The Village of Evergreen Park's Economic Development Advisory Group is seeking feedback from residents to identify new businesses or services that are needed in the village.

It's been one year since Mayor Jim Langfelder fired Springfield's director of the Office of Planning and Economic Development. Langfelder took over as head of the department, and one year later, no replacement has been named.

Indiana

Jim Staton is retiring as the Senior Vice President, International and Domestic Business Development from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

Small town life suits Greg Winkler, who has led the City of Anderson’s economic development efforts for the past 13 years.

The executive vice president and director of economic development for One Southern Indiana has announced his retirement. Matt Hall says he will step down from his role on April 15, after working for 1si and its predecessor for 32 years. Hall has been involved in more than 200 successful projects that includes attracting new companies and helping existing businesses to expand. Those projects resulted in more than 17,000 new jobs. (Wendy Dant Chesser, President & CEO, 1si)

The Indiana Arts Commission, in partnership with the Indiana Communities Institute of Ball State University, has released new research around how Indiana municipalities are utilizing local arts and culture in their community and economic development strategies. (Emily J. Wornell, PhD & Brian Blackford, MPA of the Indiana Communities Institute; Miah Michaelsen, Executive Director, IAC)

Indiana( Plus Illinois & Wisconsin)

Duke Energy is awarding nearly $120,000 in strategic grants to 26 economic development groups to spur new jobs and investment across their Indiana and their service area. (Brian Asher, executive director of the Shelby County Development Corporation; Kristin Clary, President, Accelerate West Central Indiana Economic Development; Jacob "Jake" Adams, Executive Director, Carroll County Economic Development Corporation; Mike Paulus, Executive Director, Cass County Economic Development; Kevin McGuire, President, Economic Development Commission, City of Batesville; Matthew Mikolajewski, Director, City of Madison Economic Development; Trevor Friedeberg, President/CEO, East Central Indiana Regional Partnership; Tami Muckerheide, President/CEO, Gibson County Economic Development Corporation; Charles Sparks, President & CEO, Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance; Paul Moses, Vice President of Economic & Workforce Development, Greater Lafayette Commerce; Kristin Clary, Executive Director, Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center; Keith Gillenwater, President & CEO, Grow Wabash County; Randy Sorrell, Executive Director, Hancock Economic Development Council; Ian Nicolini, Chief Operating Officer, Indy Partnership; Jim Plump, Executive Director, Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation; Shance Sizemore, CEO, Lawrence County Economic Growth Council; Stephane Frijia, President & CEO, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership; Mike Perleberg, Director of Marketing & Community Projects, One Dearborn; Marce King, Executive Director, Owen County Chamber & Economic Development Corporation; Brenda Middendorf, Interim Executive Director, Pike County Economic Development Corporation; Michael Thissen, Executive Director, Southwest Indiana Development Council; Jeff Hauser, Executive Director, Terre Haute Regional Airport; Lynne Brewer, First Deputy, Vermillion County Economic Development Council; Bob Grewe, Executive Director, Vermillion Rise Mega Park)

Iowa

The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce and Clinton Regional Development Corp. approved a merger creating a single entity known as Grow Clinton. The merger also included the Clinton Convention & Visitors Bureau, a division of the Chamber of Commerce. The combined organization will focus on tourism, economic and community development. (Andy Sokolovich, Interim President & CEO, CRDC; Rich Phelan, Executive Director, Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce; Lesley Webster, Director, Clinton Convention & Visitors Bureau; Jayne Armstrong, Iowa District Director, Small Business Administration; Lisa Shimkat, State Director, America’s SBDC Iowa)

Two major economic development organizations in Ames and Boone County are partnering for the benefit of both business communities. Ames Economic Development Commission and Boone County Economic Growth Corporation have entered into a contract of services. (Nate Nerem, President, BCEGC; Mike Hammond, Executive Director, Boone County Chamber of Commerce; Dan Culhane, President & CEO, Ames Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission; Debi Durham, Director, Iowa Economic Development Authority; Beth Townsend, Director, Iowa Workforce Development)

Jorgenson Consulting has been hired to assist the Quad Cities Chamber in finding the next president and CEO. After four years serving as president and CEO, Paul Rumler left the Quad Cities Chamber in mid-March to become Chief Executive Officer/Executive Vice President of CCIM Institute, a commercial real estate organization. Mike Oberhaus, Chief Strategy Officer, is serving as Interim CEO.

The Cedar Falls Economic Development Corporation is looking into funding a housing needs assessment recommended by the Racial Equity Task Force but pulled from the fiscal year 2023 budget by the City Council and postponed to the following year. (Jim Brown, Cedar Falls Economic Development Corporation)

Iowa is well positioned to grow its businesses and welcome new residents, the state’s top economic development official told a Gowrie audience. Debi Durham, the director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, gave an overview of her agency’s work during the spring banquet of the Gowrie Development Commission.

Executive Director Val Reinke of Allamakee County Economic Development addressed the Allamakee County Board of Supervisors about the Allamakee Revolving Loan Fund Committee’s recommendation to award grant funding from the loan fund to ACED for economic development projects.

Kansas

The Emporia City Commission strategic planning conversations focus on workforce retention, economic development and diversity. (LeLan Dains, Director, Visit Emporia, Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce; Casey Woods, Executive Director, Emporia Main Street; Chuck Scott, President, Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas)

Kentucky

The Kentucky League of Cities membership now includes a membership in the Kentucky Association for Economic Development. The partnership will give city leaders a new way to invest in their community. (J.D. Chaney, Executive Director/CEO, KLC; Matt Tackett, President & CEO, Kentucky Association for Economic Development)

This past week, the leadership at One East Kentucky submitted their resignations to assume new challenges with a national economic development consulting firm. While their departure will create a short-term void at One East Kentucky, it also provides an opportunity to refocus the future of economic development of Eastern Kentucky and the Appalachian region. (Chuck Sexton, CEO, Next Move Group)

After more than three decades in public service, Mike Kmetz is ready to call it quits. The director of the Jeffersontown Economic Development Authority will retire at the end of this week. Kmetz said he has been considering retirement for about a year. He decided now was the right time because Jeffersontown and Louisville Metro are on the cusp of getting new chief executives.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. will expand in Warren County with a $15 million investment over the next three years, creating 25 full-time jobs. To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority in February preliminarily approved the company for up to $4.5 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Reinvestment Act.

Matt Hall, executive vice president and director of economic development for One Southern Indiana, is set to retire after 32 years in the business locally. Hall has been with 1si since its formation in 2006. Before then, he worked at its predecessor, the Southern Indiana Economic Development Corp.

Maryland

Students converged at UMD’s first placemaking hackathon to brainstorm new function, beauty for familiar spaces. The event was sponsored by Terrapin Development Company, the real estate and economic development entity created by UMD and the University of Maryland College Park Foundation.

The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation will be one of five organizations nationwide to participate in a new program to better equity and diversity standards and practices within economic development organizations. The program, called the Equity Communities initiative, is being run by the International Economic Development Council and will provide participating organizations with site visits, webinars, check-ins and other resources. (President and CEO Benjamin H. Wu)

The Department of Economic Development has launched a talent attraction campaign highlighting the benefits of living and working in St Mary’s County, Maryland.  The “20 Away” campaign references the prevalence of good job opportunities in close proximity to recreational and outdoor activities. (Chris Kaselemis, Director of St Mary’s County Economic Development Department)

A new initiative spearheaded by the Latino Economic Development Corporation is aiming to shift low black homeownership rates in some of Baltimore’s most underserved communities. LEDC is working in cooperation with local CDFI Baltimore Community Lending, the city of Baltimore, and several other civic and community leadership stakeholders to build a continuum of wealth and stability for Black and Latina women in Baltimore via real estate, small business and workforce development. (Emi Reyes, the CEO of LEDC)

Massachusetts

A former employee of the City of Worcester’s Housing Development Office and Executive Office of Economic Development was sentenced today in federal court in Worcester for her role in a $2.3 million fraud scheme relating to the redevelopment of a multi-family property in Worcester. Jacklyn M. Sutcivni, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to 40 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

Minnesota

The Oronoco City Council held a special City Council meeting on Tuesday that included a presentation from Community Economic Development Advisors about the creation of an Economic Development Advisory Committee.

Mississippi

The Mississippi Economic Development Council will deliver Economic Leaders Forums to Oxford on May 18-19 at the University of Mississippi for its inaugural year. Oxford is one of five locations where economic forums will be held. Other forums will be held March 30-31 at Mississippi State University in Starkville, April 13-14 at Delta State University in Cleveland, April 27-28 at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg and May 4-5 at Jackson State University in Jackson. (Gwen Howard, Executive Director for the Mississippi Economic Development Council)

The Mississippi Economic Development Council and the Golden Triangle Development LINK announced Monroe County Chamber of Commerce Community Development Director Kelly Martin as the winner of the Brenda Hardaway Lathan Scholarship for Women in Economic Development at the 2022 Awards Luncheon at the Westin in Jackson.

Starkville has seen 23 new retailers and 22 new restaurants since January 2020. While the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be a difficult time in economic development, Starkville continued to grow and prosper, Greater Starkville Development Partnership CEO and Director for Corporate and Economic Partnerships at Mississippi State University Mike Tagert told Starkville Rotarians Monday.

Missouri

The Department of Economic Development is now hiring for grant-funded positions to support initiatives through the American Rescue Plan Act. DED plans to use ARPA funds for historic investments that will strengthen Missouri communities and drive economic growth.

Nebraska

The unemployment rate in Nebraska was 2.1 percent in February, tied with Utah for the lowest in the nation and near the lowest on record for any state. In several counties, unemployment is below 1 percent. Even taking into account adults who have left the work force, the share of the population 16 and older employed in Nebraska is around 68 percent, the nation’s highest figure. (Tony Goins, director of Nebraska’s Department of Economic Development)

Nevada

Jan Morrison, the Economic Development Officer of Humboldt County is retiring.

New Jersey

The second annual Tri-Community Commercial and Residential Development seminar with Orange, East Orange, and Irvington attracted about 50 residents. This event was a sequel to last year's, held at Sandwiches Unlimited in Orange. Officials with officials from all three towns spoke about upcoming redevelopment projects happening. (Orange Economic Development Director Laquana Best; Osner Charles, Paterson Assistant Director of Economic Development

New Mexico

A drug manufacturer's plans for expansion in Albuquerque announced earlier in March will include access to state incentives that will help it add more than 200 employees. New Mexico officials and leadership from Curia on March 24 announced the company stands to receive up to $5 million from the state's Local Economic Development Act job-creation fund. Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance, the area’s nonprofit, private-sector economic development organization, provided technical assistance for Curia’s expansion. (Danielle Casey, CEO)

What started in a garage as a small construction operation for ultra-light camper trailers that even motorcycles can tow has now expanded to a 5,000-square-foot facility. Santa Fe-based Earth Traveler Teardrop Trailers’ rapid growth over the past five years looks likely to continue as the City of Santa Fe aims to invest $125,000 in the company as part of a local economic development program. If approved, the city would act as a fiscal agent to manage a $100,000 appropriation from the New Mexico Local Economic Development Act fund, plus $25,000 in city funds to support Earth Traveler’s upward trajectory. (Rich Brown, director of community and economic development)

New York

Linda Hill, retired Lead Economic Developer at National Grid, has died.

A coalition of groups, including New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, the New York State Council of Churches and unions affiliated with SUNY and CUNY are saying the public is losing faith in state government, and in particular, the way New York state utilizes taxpayer dollars under the umbrella of economic development.

Optics manufacturer Optimax Systems Inc will be expanding its operations in Wayne County. Empire State Development has announced the business, located in the Town of Ontario will invest 20-million dollars to a create a 36-thousand square foot addition to its Dean Parkway facility. (Wayne County Director of Economic Development and Planning Brian Pincelli )

A Wayne County optics manufacturer is spending $20 million to expand its operations in the town of Ontario and create up to 50 jobs, Empire State Development announced Thursday. (Hope Knight, Empire State Development's acting CEO)

L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of Operation Oswego County, explained the software and services his organization uses.

North Carolina

Governor Cooper announced yesterday that VinFast, a Vietnamese electric vehicle and battery company, is bringing its first North American automotive assembly and battery manufacturing plant to North Carolina. The company plans to invest $4 billion and create 7,500 jobs in Chatham County, making this the largest economic development project in North Carolina’s history. (Christopher Chung, CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina)

Last week, Rowan County landed what local leaders are lauding as its largest-ever economic development announcement. Macy's Inc. plans to invest $584 million into a 1.4 million-square-foot fulfillment center in China Grove with plans of employing nearly 2,800 workers. The move was the culmination of many months of momentum for Rowan County, which has emerged as one of the region's hottest industrial submarkets. Rowan EDC President Rod Crider said he expects the county's momentum to continue.

North Dakota

In northern North Dakota, economic development leaders are trying to figure out what comes first — housing or workers. “Housing goes hand in hand with workforce, and all of our counties are also having workforce issues,” said Sandy Shively, executive director of the North Central Planning Council. (Shannon Duerr, executive director of the Cavalier County Job Development Authority)

Ohio

This week the city of Salem and its Sustainable Opportunity Development Center launched SizeUpSalem, an online service that uses big data, cloud computing and computer algorithms to deliver custom analysis for local businesses. More than 100 cities and organizations across the country subscribe to the service provided by SizeUp Inc. (Julie Needs, executive director of the SOD Center)

Chris Xeil Lyons, Middletown's economic development director for the last two years, was placed on paid administrative leave on March 25.  Additionally, Matt Eisenbraun, assistant economic director, has submitted his letter of resignation. He has accepted a position as community and economic development director for the city of Moraine, located south of Dayton. Eisenbraun said his resignation wasn't connected to Lyons being placed on leave.

The Lake Development Authority continued adjusting staff roles this week with the promotion of Patrick Mohorcic to director of public finance and CFO, replacing Timothy Cahill.

Oklahoma

A paper plant is helping shape economy in Rogers County: What used to be a place to pasture cattle and harvest hay has been transformed into an economic field of dreams in Rogers County. (Andrew Ralston, who heads economic development for Tulsa Ports)

Chelsea Feary is the new CEO of the Owasso Chamber of Commerce.

Oregon

Even though the sun hadn’t risen yet, hundreds of people, including business owners and citizens from around the Western Treasure Valley were awake and present for the annual Economic Breakfast. The theme for this year’s breakfast was economic resurgence. (Kristen Nieskens, Executive Director, Snake River Economic Development Alliance; Mark Gregory, State Director, Oregon Small Business Development Center ; John Breidenbach, President, Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce;Matt Borud, Marketing & Innovation Administrator, Idaho Department of Commerce; Craig Shaul, Research Supervisor, Idaho Department of Labor)

Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer announced that the 2022 omnibus spending bill, which has now been signed into law by President Biden, contains $1 million for Economic Development Alliance of Lincoln County to establish a Blue Economy Hub to encourage economic growth in coastal Oregon. (Paul Schuytema, executive director of the Economic Development Alliance of Lincoln County)

South Carolina

Ridgeland loses about $85 million in retail sales each year as consumers leave the area for their shopping, a consulting firm told Town Council last month. Council members have approved a contract for the firm to identify economic development opportunities and to help keep more of those dollars in town. (Lacey Bacchus, business developer for Retail Strategies)

South Dakota

Andrew Nilges, Executive Director at North Sioux City Economic Development Corporation, has earned his CEcD.

Tennessee

Developers are eyeing Lebanon for Nashville’s newly proposed theme park, Storyville Gardens. G.C. Hixson, executive director of the Joint Economic & Community Development Board of Wilson County, said Monday it's his understanding that developers are targeting a property dubbed "Cumberland Center" between Interstate 40 and U.S. highways 231 and 70.

Texas

Will Hampton is the new Senior Vice President at Strategic Government Resources!

The Dallas Regional Chamber unveiled its Southern Dallas County Economic Development Guide, a website highlighting the communities, real estate, employers, and talent pool there, with the aim of spurring investment and economic development in the region. “Southern Dallas County’s greatest opportunity for long-term economic growth is tied to good jobs,” DRC President and CEO Dale Petroskey said.

Workforce Solutions of East Texas is partnering with the East Texas Council of Governments to host its second annual rural economic development forum series, titled this year as “Rural, Set, Go: Boost!”

Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s economic engine continue to dominate, with the state ranking No.1 in the nation in gross domestic product growth. The increase in GDP for Texas is consistent with other economic indicators that flag Texas as the best state in the nation to do business, said Robert Allen, President and CEO of the Texas Economic Development Corp., based in Austin.

Vermont

The Woodstock Economic Development Commission has completed a three-month grant application process and has selected 19 grants totaling $302,947 it will recommend to the Selectboard for approval Tuesday at its regular meeting. The funding comes from a 1% local option tax on room, meals and alcohol approved by voters in 2015. Part of that approval was the requirement that the money raised be used for economic and community development, said EDC chair John Spector.

Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative today announced twenty-four recipients of the VOREC Community Grant Program. In announcing this round of grant recipients, the Governor restated his support for outdoor recreation as an important means for economic recovery and development.

Rural Americans lead the way with local economic development. (Sarah Waring is the State Director, USDA Rural Development for Vermont and New Hampshire)

Virginia

AccessVR and GCubed Enterprises, Inc., in association with the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation, and Germanna Community College, are excited to announce that the Nation's First Immersive Learning Lab for Workforce Development. (Angela Costello, Vice President of Communications & Marketing VIPC)

Southwest Virginia is gaining in political power and attention. (Mount Rogers Regional Partnership, Executive Director Josh Lewis; Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator, Executive Director Cathy Lowe; Jonathan Belcher, executive director and general counsel of the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority)

Washington

At its March conference, the Washington State Economic Development Association recognized Pierce County Economic Development for its work with community partners to launch the Pierce County Business Accelerator Program in 2021. (Pierce County Economic Development Department Director Betty Capestany)

After eight years with the city, Economic Development Director Tim Johnson is leaving Federal Way. Johnson is taking on a new role in Oregon state as the Lincoln County administrator.

West Virginia

The 5,800-acre former Hobet Mine site located along the borders of Lincoln and Boone counties will become the state’s largest solar field, along with a mixed-used development that will include industry, lodging, recreation and hospitality. (Kris Mitchell, executive director of the Boone County Economic Development Authority, sees SunPark as fitting well with the EDA’s efforts.)

A former coal mining site straddling Boone and Lincoln counties will provide 3,000 acres for what investors and organizers say will be West Virginia’s largest solar farm. (Lincoln County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Tommy Adkins)

The U.S. Economic Development Administration is making $1 billion dollars available to regional economic development boards. Bluefield West Virginia joined the state coalition called ‘Resilient West Virginia’. They look to receive $25-100 million dollars to fund multiple projects. (Jim Spencer, Director, Bluefield Economic Development Authority)

Wisconsin

Jimsi Kuborn is joining the City of Janesville as their new Economic Development Director.


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