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65 - Economic Development and Developers in the News

Econ dev news from 168 economic development executives and organizations in 31 states, and Canada.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
12 min read
65 - Economic Development and Developers in the News
Photo by Giammarco / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Welcome to the 65th weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.

If this is your first time reading: 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.


Today's issue is brought to you by LocalIntel.-

Alabama

Limestone County continues to grow as Intech, a medical device manufacturer, broke ground on an expansion to their Athens facility. The Limestone County Economic Development Association celebrated the $23 million investment by breaking ground on a 40,000-square-foot expansion to the facility off Durham Drive. (President & CEO Bethany Shockney)

The Huntsville, Madison County economic development team are hitting on all cylinders. (Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce CEO Chip Cherry)

Arkansas

Laura Mabry has been promoted to director of operations and projects for the University of Arkansas Division of Economic Development. (Mike Malone, vice chancellor for economic development)

Jack Thomas has been hired by the Little Rock Regional Chamber as its vice president of economic development, a role in which he will oversee all economic development work for the chamber.

Arkansans said they are feeling the negative impact brought on by inflation. (Michael Pakko, Chief Economist and State Economic Forecaster at the Arkansas Economic Development Institute at the University of Arkansas)

California

Kern economic initiatives split over grant talks: Competition for a multimillion-dollar state grant has exposed a rift in Kern County economic development efforts by setting the mainstream B3K Prosperity collaboration against a Kern Community College District-led coalition focused on giving voice to labor and historically underrepresented groups.

The Board of Directors of Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation has approved an 8th member to the non-profit's Board, Quentin D. Strode. Quentin's background in executive leadership and small business development brings a valuable perspective for the organization, which offers business assistance to primarily minority entrepreneurs and small businesses in the South Los Angeles region.

Canada

Naomi Hofer is the new Tourism and Economic Development officer for the region. TED is housed at the Athabasca County administration building but works on economic development for the entire region and is funded by the Town of Athabasca, the Village of Boyle, and Athabasca County.

Film industry, and health care have been identified as developing sectors in Niagara’s economy.  The Niagara Economic Development agency’s new 10-year development strategy is being written at a unique time for Niagara, as it emerges from the economic effects of the worldwide pandemic. It aims to bolster established sectors and open new ones. (George Spezza)

David Campbell a Moncton-based economic development consultant, thinks that economic development should mean equality of opportunity, not outcome.

A new blueprint for Indigenous economic development was recently unveiled. (Victoria LaBillois of Listuguj First Nation (vice-chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board), Dawn Madahbee Leach of Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation (GM of Waubetek Business Development Corporation and chair of the NIEDB), Tabatha Bull, Nipi First Nation (president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business))

Florida

Governor Ron DeSantis announced nearly $1.5 million in awards to assist Florida communities with community planning projects through the Community Planning Technical Assistance and the Rural Infrastructure Fund grant programs. CPTA grants allow counties, cities, and regional planning councils to plan and develop strategies for economic development.

Lakeland officials announced Jason Willey will take over as the city's new assistant director of economic development. Willey takes over for Alis Drumgo, who left Lakeland in May to work for the City of Tampa. He will report to Brian Rewis, the city's director of community & economic development.

Georgia

Governor Brian P. Kemp announced the purchase of a more than 1,100-acre economic development site in partnership between the State of Georgia and the Development Authority of Peach County. The Middle Georgia Megasite is strategically located adjacent to GA Hwy 96 with immediate access via Interstate 75 to multiple major metro areas across the American South and Midwest.  (BJ Walker, Executive Director)

Artie Jones III is the new Economic Development Director for the City of South Fulton.

Hawaii

The Maui Economic Development Board is coordinating the Maui County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy report, which is federally mandated by the U.S. Department of Commerce and undertaken every five to six years. All Maui County residents are invited to complete a short community survey by July 1 to contribute to this report.

Illinois

Andrea Runge, CEO of the Lincoln Economic Advancement & Development, was named to the board of directors for the Illinois Economic Development Association.

Indiana

Adams County Economic Development Corporation is working to expand housing options locally. (Colten Bickel, executive director)

The Fort Wayne Economic Development Commission on June 16 approved a $142 million bond application for Do Good Foods, which promises to bring 100 jobs with yearly salaries of $61,000 when its leased building is operational. Its $96 million project would allow for the processing of leftover grocery food into feed for chickens.

After three weeks of technical and employability skills training, the ninth graduating class of the Lawrence County Introduction to Local Jobs and Skills program saw seven new Lawrence County residents give back to their community. (Lawrence County Economic Growth Council Director of Career Development, Joe Timbrook)

IKIO LED Lighting, headquartered in Indianapolis, has announced it plans to establish a manufacturing and warehousing facility in the Batesville Industrial Park. (Sarah Lamping, City of Batesville Economic Development Director)

Iowa

The inaugural annual meeting of a unified business advocacy group in this community was all about showcasing “progress and positivity.” That’s the view of Andy Sokolovich, president and CEO of Grow Clinton, who helped host that organization’s annual meeting.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority unanimously approved Sub-Zero Group Inc.’s financial incentive package June 17, clearing the way for the kitchen appliance company to construct a $140.6 million manufacturing facility in southwest Cedar Rapids. (Doug Neumann, executive director at the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance)

The New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative was awarded $100,000 on Friday from the Iowa Economic Development Authority for its Entrepreneurial Investment Awards Program. NewBoCo was among a half-dozen organizations that received a total of $265 million from IEDA, according to a news release from the state agency.

Kansas

During their June 15 meeting, Franklin County Commissioners received an update from Franklin County Development Council CEO Paul Bean.

Kentucky

The Somerset-Pulaski Economic Development Authority has taken](https://www.lanereport.com/156559/2022/06/speda-takes-the-next-step-in-finding-ideas-partners-for-ag-expo-center-project/) another step forward in determining if there is interest in building an agriculture and exposition center in Somerset-Pulaski County. (President and CEO Chris Girdler)

Louisiana

The St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation released their 2021 annual review last week. (Meaghan McCormack, Executive Director)

Arbor Renewable Gas, a that produces renewable gasoline and green hydrogen from wood waste and forest residue, is evaluating West Baton Rouge Parish for a planned $800 million manufacturing and distribution facility employing carbon capture and sequestration emissions-reduction technology. (Adam Knapp, Baton Rouge Area Chamber president and CEO)

Maine

A local group hoping to spur ideas for economic development in Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls will meet Thursday at 6 p.m. at Main-Land Development Consultants on Main Street. The group, which has met twice since January, has been talking with the Jay, Livermore, Livermore Falls Chamber of Commerce and other interested parties about discussing economic development.

Livermore Selectpersons agreed by consensus to look into the cost of a professional to help with economic development.

Maryland

Governor Larry Hogan will lead an economic development mission to Western Europe from June 18-26 that will include diplomatic engagements and economic announcements in Paris, France and Dublin, Ireland.

Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Ben Birge announced his departure from the organization Friday, exactly two years from when he assumed the role in June 2020. AAEDC Administrative Officer Jill Seamon will serve as Interim CEO.

Massachusetts

A largely undeveloped site in Haverville will be transformed into a new business park, helping to solve the problem of a shortage of available space for prospective industrial companies. (William Pillsbury, economic development and planning director)

Minnesota

Tina Goodroad, a 24-year veteran and current city administrator and development director of Dayton, Minnesota, has joined the City of Lakeville, Minnesota, as community development director. She fills the role opened by the retirement of 20-year City of Lakeville veteran Dave Olson.

Missouri

Clayco recently welcomed Milton Davis, PE as vice president of economic development. Davis has over 35 years of experience in business development; operations, project and construction management; and engineering design in support of capital project execution.

What began a routine report last week on Hermann city government activity turned into a pointed exchange on what some see as a need for a full-time economic development director in the county seat community.

Nebraska

The City of South Sioux City announced a new economic development project to spur growth and job creation for small businesses. With grant funding from the U. S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, the city will soon begin construction of Commerce Way, a critical infrastructure project serving the All-American Subdivision.

Nevada

UNLV Brookings Mountain West and Lincy Institute scholars have reviewed Nevada's economic development efforts of the past decade and presented agenda for the next five years.  The new 131-page report, offers a sweeping evaluation of the state of the Nevada economy over the past decade. It also suggests how policy and business leaders can rally around a new, focused agenda to address long-standing economic, educational, and social deficits and set the state up for a robust, sustainable recovery. (David Damore, report co-author, UNLV professor and interim executive director of UNLV Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute)

New York

The Cayuga Economic Development Agency and Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce announced Brad Broadwell is the new chief executive officer. Broadwell is tasked with working with local, regional and state partners to strengthen Cayuga County’s capacities in creating jobs and a diversified tax base.

Operation Oswego County held its 70th annual meeting on June 16 at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center in Oswego. The in-person meeting was the first since the start of the pandemic. Michael Treadwell, executive director of OOC, reported that in 2021, projects assisted by OOC and the County of Oswego IDA resulted in the creation or retention of 289 jobs with more than $167 million in capital investment associated with 32 new, expanded or retained facilities.

North Carolina

The N.C. Department of Commerce announced the awarding of economic development grants to several municipal and county governments, including Elkin and Hudson. The requests include commitments to create a total of 472 jobs and projects that will attract more than $67 million in private investment. (Leslie Schlender,
Economic Development Director, Town of Elkin; Deborah Murray, Executive Director, Caldwell County EDC)

After several decades of funding, Currituck County has decided to eliminate its Economic Development Department — which consists of one person — in the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year budget. (Larry Lombardi, Economic Development Director, Currituck County)

Bright, adaptable, expanding, inclusive and growth.  These are just a few of the words used to describe Wake County’s future at the Economic Development Annual Meeting, hosted by the Raleigh Chamber and Wake County Economic Development. (Michael Haley, Executive Director, Wake County Economic Development, and Senior Vice President, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce)

Montana Brown is the new Economic Development Manager for the city of High Point.

Once obscure, the Carolina Core is said to be becoming North Carolina's new economic engine. (Reagan Chandler Gural, President & CEO, Alamance Chamber; Michael Smith, President, Chatham EDC; Craig Goodson, President/CEO, Davidson County EDC; Terry Bralley, President, Davie County EDC; Robert Van Geons, President & CEO, Fayetteville Cumberland EDC; Brent Christensen, President & CEO, Greensboro Chamber of Commerce; Christian Lockamy, Economic Development Director, Harnett County EDC; Sandy Vernon Dunbeck, Director, High Point EDC; Savannah Heath, Economic Development Director, Montgomery County; Natalie Hawkins, Executive Director, Moore County Partners in Progress; Kevin Franklin, President, Randolph County; Leigh Cockram, Director of Economic Development and Tourism, Rockingham County; Jimmy Randolph, CEO, Sanford Area Growth Alliance; Todd Tucker, President, Surry County EDP; Mark Owens, President & CEO, Greater Winston-Salem Inc)

Sheryl Waddell has been named director of economic development and innovation hubs for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In this role, Waddell will lead the implementation of UNC-Chapel Hill’s economic development strategy centered around innovation, talent, and place by engaging with University and community partners, including corporate, nonprofit and government leaders.

North Dakota

In the last several years, there have been instances that give the appearance of a conflict of interest between Dan Larson serving on the Tioga Area Economic Development Corporation and his employment with the City of Tioga.

Ohio

A new income tax district funding improvements needed for a planned $70 million development with 375 jobs in a 1-million square foot building was approved by Shalersville Township. (Patrick O'Malia, Economic Development Director, City of Streetsboro)

Even according to its own metrics, JobsOhio gets a middling grade. (Zach Schiller, Research Director, Policy Matters Ohio;  JP Nauseef, President & CEO, JobsOhio)

Sara E. O'Malley will be joining Ohio State University next week in the Office of Innovation and Economic Development as a Consultant of Corporate Partnerships.

Courtney Hendershot, a former Wood County Economic Development and Downtown PKB employee, is becoming the Executive Director of Main Street Delaware in Delaware, Ohio. (Lindsey Piersol, Executive Director, Wood County Economic Development)

City of Columbus development officials say they hope to build off their biggest deals and continue to attract new companies and jobs to the region. (City of Columbus Economic Development Team: Sheldon Goodrum, Quinten Harris, Director Michael Stevens, Diann Johnson, Mark Lundine, Kasia Richey, Anthony Slappy)

Oklahoma

Choctaw Nation hopes to bring major economic development to McCurtain County with a new gaming facility. (Chief Gary Batton, Choctaw Nation)

Oregon

Design work to transform a parking lot near the former downtown Buick dealership into retail and residential space in Springfield is still ongoing, but inflation has led to a slowdown in cost estimating and bidding. The original construction estimate from April 2021 was around $22 million, according to a memo, but more recent estimates have fluctuated from $25 million to $32 million. (Vahana Keene, Economic Development Officer, City of Springfield)

Tennessee

A $5.6 billion mega-factory called “Blue Oval City” is coming to Stanton, a rural town with an estimated population of 420 people and a total land area of only half a square mile. Ford and SK Innovation announced that they’d build a factory in Stanton to manufacture electric vehicles and EV batteries. The project is the single most expensive investment in Tennessee’s history and will create 5,700 jobs.

Texas

Board members will be meeting in the coming days to discuss the future direction of the Galveston Economic Development Partnership after its founding president, Jeff Sjostrom, departs later this month.

Caterpillar Inc. announced it will move its global headquarters from Illinois to an existing divisional office in Irving, Texas, in the Dallas–Forth Worth area, in another blow to metropolitan Chicago, which last month lost the Boeing Co. headquarters.

The City of Bowie is steps closer to being certified as Film Friendly Texas through the Texas Film Commission, an office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism. (Cindy Roller, Executive Director, Bowie Community Development; Adena Lewis, Director, Bastrop County Tourism and Economic Development)

A planned cheese factory in east Lubbock that's expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the Hub City economy - and a million pounds of mozzarella to the global supply chain every day - became a step closer to reality this week. A 100 percent abatement on the building and personal property is estimated at $2.19 million per year, or $21.9 million over the 10-year term of the agreement. (John Osborne, President & CEO, Lubbock Economic Development Alliance)

Bill Beeson joined the Council for South Texas Economic Progress as an economic development analyst.

Alliance Industrial Company in partnership with Kyle Economic Development will be holding a groundbreaking for the Kyle/35 Logistics Park on Wednesday. (Victoria Vargas, Interim Director of Economic Development; Lauren Lyons; Economic Development Coordinator)

Industrial giant Caterpillar Inc. is moving its headquarters from suburban Chicago to Irving. Caterpillar, which posted $51 billion in revenue last year, will become the fifth-largest public company headquartered in North Texas. (Beth Bowman, President & CEO of Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce and Irving Economic Development Partnership)

Christopher Hines began his role as Business Development Director with Global Site Location Industries. Mr. Hines brings more than 20 years of economic development and corporate recruitment experience to the GSLI Team.

United States

The EDA is currently seeking a Network Operator (an organization or coalition) to build, launch, and operate the Economic Recovery Corps program, which will embed Fellows in local economic development organizations across the country. The Economic Recovery Corps program funds a Network Operator to recruit and place at least 50 Fellows in economic development organizations in underserved communities throughout the nation.

Vermont

Rutland County’s economy feels strong despite the constraints imposed by housing and workforce shortages. (Lyle Jepson, Executive Director, Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region; Bernie Carr, Executive Director, Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce; Ed Bove, Outgoing Economic Director, Rutland Regional Planning Commission; Matt Dunne, Executive Director, Center on Rural Innovation)

Virginia

LEGO Group plans to establish U.S. production operations in Chesterfield County, Virginia. The $1 billion project is expected to create 1,760 jobs. The company will construct a new 1.7 million-square-foot precision manufacturing facility. (Jason El Koubi, President and CEO, Virginia Economic Development Partnership; Caren Merrick, Secretary of Commerce and Trade; Jennifer Wakefield, President & CEO, Greater Richmond Partnership)

West Virginia

Thanks to nearly $1 billion in funding, West Virginia officials are working to provide broadband internet service to 300,000 households in the state that don't have access to the service. (Mitch Carmichael, Cabinet Secretary, West Virginia Department of Economic Development Cabinet)

Wisconsin

The Vernon Economic Development Association highlighted how it has significantly impacted the economy during the organization’s annual meeting. (Sue Noble, Executive Director, VEDA)

Nicole Ryf is the new Executive Director of the Waukesha County Center for Growth. (Doug Smith, President & CEO, Hampton Roads Alliance)


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


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Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. By day: Economic developer in Galveston County, Texas.


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