Table of Contents
Welcome to the 71st weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News. Today's issue contains news from 235 economic development executives and organizations in 38 states, Canada, and Australia.
If this is your first time reading: Welcome!
Hayden Camp, the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce director of membership, recently completed week one of the Intensive Economic Development Training Course, presented by Auburn University’s Government and Economic Development Institute.
Darryl Washington is the new economic development head in Montgomery. “Downtown revitalization is a focus because it really is the character of your city. Most of the people who come and visit, oftentimes they don't get beyond downtown,” Washington said.
With the City of Chandler nearing buildout, meaning the amount of open space left to develop on is dwindling, 50 acres at the southwest corner of Arizona Avenue and Pecos Road stands out as some of the most desirable open space close to the heart of downtown left to develop in Chandler. That could soon change. (Micah Miranda, city economic development director)
The City of Cottonwood Tourism and Economic Development department has published of the City’s first official Economic Development Guide. (Tricia Lewis, Tourism and Economic Development Director)
The Magnolia City Council heard a proposal but made no decision Monday to establish an entertainment district. Ellie Baker, executive director of economic development for the City of Magnolia, said the entertainment district would allow businesses within the district to sell alcoholic beverages in specific cups, allowing patrons to wander throughout the district with their drinks. Baker said many people believe that entertainment districts help cities be seen as more hospitable.
The Mono County Board of Supervisors adopted a Resolution appointing Jeff Simpson as Mono County Economic Development Director. Simpson has worked for the Mono County Economic Development Department for ten years, most recently serving as Economic Development Manager.
After nearly a full year being led by interim Director Steve Jozefczyk, the Grand Junction Economic Partnership will soon be under new leadership. Curtis Englehart has been with the Mesa County Workforce Center since 2015, serving as its director. On Wednesday, he’ll step into the economic partnership’s executive director role, taking charge of an organization with which he has frequently collaborated for the past five-and-a-half years.
The Colorado Economic Development Commission this week approved $50,000 in funding to help the Estes Park Economic Development Corp. operate its business incubator and accelerator program. The Estes Park Entrepreneurial Center, a division of the EDC known as the E-Center, operates the Business Accelerator Services of Estes Program. (Katharina Papenbrock, director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s rural opportunity office; Estes Park EDC E-Center program manager Thomas Cox; Adam Shake President/CEO)
The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade has named Robert Beletic as Aerospace and Defense Industry Manager. (Michelle Hadwiger, OEDIT’s Global Business Development Director)
A group of Town Dock fishermen in cooperation with the Stonington Economic Development Commission and Empire Fisheries have launched a branding initiative to promote the seafood they land as fresh and local.
Volusia County Economic Development has hired Ricardi Calixte, a seasoned economic development professional, to join its team of specialists. His key responsibilities will include working with Helga van Eckert, director of Volusia County Economic Development, to further enhance retention and growth programs for the business community with an emphasis on entrepreneurship guidance.
Governor Brian P. Kemp announced a chart-topping year for the film and television industry as productions spent $4.4 billion in Georgia during fiscal year 2022 – a new industry record. The Georgia Film Office, a strategic office within the Georgia Department of Economic Development, reported that the State of Georgia hosted 412 productions, represented by 32 feature films, 36 independent films, 269 television and episodic productions, 42 commercials, and 33 music videos between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. (Georgia Film Office Director Lee Thomas)
Applications are now being accepted for a grant program that supports innovation on Kaua‘i. The Kaua‘i Office of Economic Development is requesting proposals for fiscal year 2022-23 Innovation Grants.
A $498,660 award to the Purple Maiʻa Foundation for its Mālama Design Studio is one of four grants in a $1.36 million grants package approved July 26 by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. (Dr. Sylvia M. Hussey, CEO, OHA)
Choose DuPage announced Glenn Mazade, senior vice president at Old National Bank, has been named private sector co-chair of the Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance, joining Chairman of DuPage County Board and Public Sector Co-Chair Dan Cronin. Mazade will serve as elected private sector co-chair for a two-year term.
State Senator Doris Turner is celebrating $1.5 billion in economic development and 700 jobs coming to central Illinois as the Illinois EPA gives the green light to build a new natural gas-fueled power plant in Pawnee. “The Lincoln Land Energy Center will create good paying jobs right in our backyard,” said Turner.
Evanston's Economic Development Committee took their biggest step forward in establishing a program honoring legacy businesses. Committee members voted to allocate up to $100,000 in funding for the project. Under the program, the city would establish a Legacy Business Registry that would formally recognize contributions to the city by such businesses.
The proposed program could include a dedicated website with a business guide, the featured businesses and city recognition – such as a plaque, branding, window decal, an announcement from the mayor or a combination of these – calling attention to the business. (Paul Zalmezak, the city’s Economic Development Manager)
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration has awarded the city of Kokomo $1 million for infrastructure upgrades. The EDA says the funding from the American Rescue Plan Act will be used to mitigate flooding in the downtown area adjacent to Kokomo Speedway. The project will be funded through the EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program.
Members of the Angola Economic Development Commission gathered at City Hall on Wednesday morning for an election of officers. The commission discussed and voted on the appointment of three positions: president, vice president, and secretary. (Economic Development and Planning Director Jennifer Barclay)
The Southeastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission is welcoming two new staff members: Reneisha Rudder as the Economic Resiliency Coordinator/Digital Inclusion, and Kiley Sparks as a Project Development Coordinator.
Eastern Iowa leaders have a plan for a new Field of Dreams stadium: Have the public pay for it. In an application to the Iowa Economic Development Authority, submitted in May and adjusted in June, the city of Dyersville asked for $12.5 million in funding through Destination Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds' $100 million pool for tourism projects, funded with federal American Rescue Plan Act coronavirus relief money. If the state grants the city's wish, the award would represent about a quarter of the total cost of the project, a 3,000-seat stadium among the cornfields where Kevin Costner played a spirit-obsessed farmer in the 1989 movie about fathers, sons and baseball ghosts. (Nathan Jensen, a professor of government at the University of Texas-Austin who researches economic development)
Officials continue to work for more job creation in Lee County. The Lee County Economic Development Group is leasing a portion of their office to the start up company, PV Pallet.T he start up creates recyclable plastic pallets used for shipping solar panels and other supplies. (Dennis Fraise, resident)
Gov. Andy Beshear announced a $500,000 state grant, paired with a local match from the Berea Industrial Development Authority to provide $1 million in upgrades at the Mayde Road Industrial Park in Madison County. The investment through the state’s pilot PDI program will accommodate a pre-engineered 150,000-square-foot, pad-ready site and will allow work to begin on road infrastructure, utility extensions and tree clearing on a 35-acre parcel in the 87-acre industrial park. The pilot PDI program was created in partnership between the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Kentucky Association for Economic Development. (KAED President and CEO Haley McCoy; Lucas Witt, co-founder and partner at MWM Consulting)
The town of Killian is now a participant in a community development program, setting its sights on new investments and jobs to grow. A Friday announcement from the Louisiana Economic Development said the program aims to help communities create a “strategic” plan to develop economically.
The Economic Development Administration is awarding a $1.6 million grant to the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau to help build the New Imperial Calcasieu Mardi Gras Museum. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan. This project will boost tourism to the area and provide the cornerstone for all things Mardi Gras in Southwest Louisiana and generate a year-long cyclical economic benefit through meeting and exhibit space. The EDA investment will be matched with $400,000 in local funds and is expected to create 88 jobs, retain 66 jobs, and generate $1.7 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
The Maine Space Grant Consortium has been awarded $1.2 million to support the development of the Maine SpacePort Complex. The Economic Development Administration announced the grant Tuesday. The grant will be matched with $407,407 in state and local funds. The project is set to finalize a plan addressing workforce and business development as well as external engagement needs for the complex.
Gwen Wright, who for nearly a decade served as Montgomery County’s top official for development and planning, announced Thursday that she’ll be retiring in January. The position is unglorified but essential to the commercial and residential development of Maryland’s most populous county.
The town of Douglas has received $3.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to support infrastructure improvements to bring business into the Blackstone Valley.
A major $4 billion economic development bill is on hold as lawmakers assess an obscure law that could send billions back to Massachusetts taxpayers.
The City of Medford has released a draft version of its Comprehensive Plan, a document that will guide Medford and help create a long-range vision for development and policy over the course of decades. (Alicia Hunt, Director, City of Medford Office of Planning, Development, and Sustainability)
Armed with a $75,0000 state grant, Newburyport will be taking a closer look at boosting economic development in the city beginning next month. The city is seeking a consultant to perform an analysis that would include a market study to look at forming a strategy to help the city refine its approach to economic development. The grant, received last year, is a reward from the state’s Housing Housing Choice Initiative in recognition of the city’s efforts to sustain a 21st century workforce.
The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved multiple projects across the state aimed at growing economic opportunities in the state. Detroit and Sterling Heights are benefiting from the funds and will have projects developing infrastructure for two headquarters. (Detroit Economic Growth Corporation Executive Vice President of Economic Development & Investment Services Kenyetta Bridges)
An 18-month design process is underway to rework Kalamazoo Avenue into a two-way street. The change will likely benefit downtown businesses. (Nolan Bergstrom, Community Planner, City of Kalamazoo Economic Development Department)
Gentex, a manufacturer of high tech electronics has decided to invest $300 million to expand in Zeeland. The manufacturing firm will get support from Michigan Strategic Fund. Moreover, the expansion in Zeeland is likely to create 500 good-paying jobs for Michigan residents.
(Quentin Messer Jr., CEO, MEDC; Jennifer Owens, President, Lakeshore Advantage)
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced eligible projects for Minnesota's Film Production Tax Credit. (Steve Grove, Commissioner, MN Department of Employment and Economic Development; Melodie Bahan, Executive Director, Minnesota Film & TV)
Mary Thompson, executive director of the Heartland Lakes Development Commission, shared with Hubbard County commissioners how they might boost economic growth for the region. She spoke with the county board last week. “It has become very clear that housing is important to economic development. That is a barrier for employers who are looking for employees to come to the area. There is no housing in the community, so it really is an economic development issue, really more than it ever has been before,” she said.
Two longstanding Twin Cities-based economic development partnerships — the Itasca Project and Greater MSP — have announced a formal merger. (Don Ball, a Greater MSP communications director; Greater MSP president and CEO Peter Frosch)
Economic development groups in eight Mississippi counties will boost their marketing and strategic-planning power with 50/50 matching grants from Entergy Mississippi’s Excellerator Competitive Communities program. Winners: Adams County, Bolivar County, Claiborne County
Grenada County – Grenada Lake, Jefferson Davis County, Madison County MegaSite, Rankin County, and Washington County Economic Alliance.
In May, the SBA held an awards ceremony for the 2022 SBA Mississippi Small Business Award winners honoring business owners across the state who exemplify creating innovative small businesses that fulfill vital needs in the community while providing jobs and economic development.
The Riedel Foundation is teaming up to help educate and train future leaders in business by awarding a $17,500 grant to help establish a Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities Chapter at the Hannibal Career and Technical Center. The Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council applied for the grant. It is partnering with the Hannibal Public School District, the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Development Center to create the CEO initiative through the support of the Riedel Foundation. Through CEO classes, the local business community partners with schools to create project-based experiences for students by providing funding, expertise, meeting space, business tours and one-on-one mentoring. (HREDC Executive Director Corey Mehaffy)
The manufacturing worker base grew to an all-time high of 5 percent of Nevada’s employment landscape, an increase that signals a shift in the local economy as the state has now exceeded the number of jobs it had pre-pandemic but also as the hospitality industry remains 33,000 jobs short of pre-COVID levels. Economists said it’s unclear whether hospitality-related employers are cutting costs and not hiring people back, or if workers left the industry voluntarily for other opportunities. “If you look at transportation, warehousing and utilities, it’s up 18,300 jobs, and this is all statewide,” said Bob Potts, deputy director of the NV Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “Manufacturing is up 5,200 jobs above pre-pandemic [levels].” And more jobs are on the horizon.
James Hannahs has resigned from the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth as the Downtown Gloversville Development Specialist. He's the new Executive Director at the Greene County, NY Economic Development Corporation.
St. Lawrence County legislators unanimously passed a resolution authorizing $3 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds to be used for promoting economic development and tourism in the county. (Patrick J. Kelly, CEO, St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency)
Cattaraugus County lawmakers wasted no time in tapping a new $8.4 million economic development account established with proceeds from the Seneca Nation casino settlement with New York state. (Crystal Abers, Director of Economic Development, Cattaraugus County)
Governor Kathy Hochul today visited 5G-wireless technology leader JMA Wireless to help officially open its new headquarters in Central New York. The company will invest $100 million in this multi-phase project. (Hope Knight, President, CEO, and Commissioner, Empire State Development; Randy Wolken, President & CEO, Manufacturers Association of Central New York)
After briefly employing a chief executive officer who oversaw the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce and the Cayuga Economic Development Agency, the two organizations have now hired separate top leaders. The chamber and CEDA on Wednesday each announced new executive directors. Amy Fuller, a longtime chamber staffer who has served as interim director and manager, has been promoted to the re-established position of executive director for that organization. Michael Miller, a private sector financial analyst, has been named the new executive director at CEDA.
Local officials celebrated the opening of Wolfspeed at the Marcy Nanocenter, marking the long-anticipated debut of the semiconductor manufacturer. National Grid leaders were on hand to present the company with a $750,000 grant to support electric infrastructure costs to get the factory online. (Alberto Bianchetti, Regional Director for Customer and Community Management, National Grid)
With the passage of an updated version of the long-awaited CHIPS Act in the U.S. Senate, semiconductor manufacturers could be poised to pull the trigger on expansions. North Carolina has already put up millions of dollars to try and secure a large project.
Business Facilities magazine has ranked Rowan County among the top 10 metro areas in North America for food processing locations for the second consecutive year. (Rod Crider, President, Rowan Economic Development Commission)
The WNC: MADE X MTNS Partnership is launching a new outdoor-driven community economic development initiative, Building Outdoor Communities, spanning 25 Western North Carolina counties and the Qualla Boundary. (Brandon McBride, Executive Director, Appalachian Regional Commission; Noah Wilson, Director of Sector Development, Mountain BizWorks; Greg Corio, Assistant Vice President for Outdoor Youth Advocacy and Initiatives, West Virginia University’s Brad & Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative)
It is often said that tourism is the “first date” in a long-term relationship with economic development. Wilkes County commissioners will take a big step towards economic development by holding a public hearing to discuss the occupancy tax. (Thomas Salley, Director, Wilkesboro Tourism Development Authority)
High Point Economic Development Corp. has begun a newsletter to highlight current and future successes on a quarterly basis. The newsletter will provide the latest in economic development efforts across High Point and Guilford County, as well as the Carolina Core – an economic development organization meant to spur development across much of central North Carolina. (Sandy Dunbeck, Director, High Point EDC; Loren Hill, Carolina Core Regional Economic Development Director, Piedmont Triad Partnership; Montana Brown, Project Manager, High Point EDC)
White River Marine has been awarded more than $1 million in state and county funds to expand its existing New Bern facility and create new jobs. Last month, the Craven County Board of Commissioners approved a $500,000 building reuse grant under the Rural Infrastructure Authority and the Rural Economic Development Division that will assist in the construction efforts for the Hatteras upgrades. (Economic Development Director Jeff Wood)
The 0.5% sales tax for economic development has allowed the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. to recruit businesses while also supporting companies and creating jobs to the Jamestown area, according to CEO Connie Ova. “We have half a billion dollars of projects on the drawing board right now that will actually come to fruition and so that includes some matching investment of who knows how much and jobs of probably 400 to 500 that would not be possible without the Economic Development Corp.,” she said.
Benestar Brands, an international food producer and the world’s leading producer of pork snacks, will establish a manufacturing and distribution facility at SOAR Business Park in Minford, Ohio. The $2.5 million project is expected to create 40 jobs in Scioto County by 2025. (Jesse Roush, Executive Director, Southern Ohio Port Authority; Robert Horton, Director, Scioto County Economic Development; J.P. Nauseef, President & CEO, JobsOhio; Mike Jacoby, President, OhioSE)
The Defiance County Economic Development recently promoted Hannah Waterman to Workforce & Marketing Manager. Waterman recently served as the Office Manager. In her new role, she’ll take the lead on all workforce & marketing initiatives. (Erika Willitzer, Executive Director)
Expression Therapeutics, a fully-integrated clinical stage gene and cell therapy company developing novel therapeutics for oncology and hematology, invests $30M in West Chester. (Katy Kanelopoulous, Economic Development Manager, West Chester)
Seven new industry projects are expected to create nearly 700 new jobs and retain more than 3,000 across Ohio, according to Gov. Mike DeWine. The projects, are expected to result in more than $39 million in new payroll out of $51.8 million in new investments, all received approval from the Ohio Tax Credit Authority for incentives.
Murphy Hoffman Company, LLC, also known as Chillicothe Kenworth, in collaboration with JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development, and Greater Chillicothe and Ross County Development announced on Wednesday an investment of over $1.4 million in Ross County, creating 119 new jobs. (Tammy Eallonardo, Director of Economic Development)
Raheem Manning, has been named as Philadelphia's first nighttime economy director. He is tasked with building a strategic plan to turn Philly into a 24-hour destination for culture, tourism, and hospitality. (Anne Nadol, Commerce Director, City of Philadelphia)
Four economic development deals — totaling almost 1,250 new jobs — received state grants on Tuesday.
Liberty County commissioners approved a capstone agreement with Texas A&M University to update a strategic plan update for Liberty County as it relates to economic development.
Plans are underway to redesign the Richardson Economic Development Partnership, a city and Richardson Chamber of Commerce initiative that was created in 1984. Representatives from the Richardson Chamber of Commerce, city staff members and consultant firm AECOM recently discussed the plans during a council workshop session. Part of the plan calls for the creation of an Economic Development Department in the city. The new department’s role would include responsibilities such as attracting and retaining businesses. The department would work with AECOM and the Chamber to develop and finalize a new economic development strategy.
The Bryan commerce and development organization purchased more land west of Hensel Park and now owns 27 lots. They have not identified a specific project for the land. (Kevin Russell, Economic Development Director, City of Bryan)
Richard Dayoub from Thunderbird Management welcomed the CEO of the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance, Davin Lopez, to talk about the job market, the “just-in-case” inventorization and the importance of the regional approach generated by the Borderplex Alliance.
One local business organization just received a major recognition for its outstanding efforts in the local community and its economy. Earlier this week, MileOne received recognition from the Texas Economic Development Council for the 2022 Workforce Excellent Award. MileOne is a program of the Laredo Economic Development Corporation. (Cesar G. Hernandez, the program director of MileOne)
Hundreds of tourism projects nationwide are collectively getting about $2.4 billion in federal coronavirus relief funding. Those tourism projects include $425,000 in Portland to replace 200 trash cans. (Dave Lorenz, Michigan Travel Director; Butch Spyridon, CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.; Alisa Lee, Tribal Vice Chair, Fort Independence Indian Reservation; Sarah Watson, Manager, Executive & Commission Administration, Oregon Tourism Commission; Stephen Foutes, Missouri Tourism Director)
The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation and the Bennington County Regional Commission are urging residents to submit it as part of a regional action plan. Sept. 9 is the submission deadline for projects to be included in the Southern Vermont Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. (Meg Staloff, program coordinator, Brattleboro Development Credit Corp; Jonathan Cooper, community & economic development specialist, Bennington County Regional Commission)
HawkEye 360 opened a satellite manufacturing facility in Herndon. This expansion exemplifies how Northern Virginia has become a growing hub for the space and satellite industry. (Victor Hoskins, President & CEO, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority)
Taxpayers in Virginia Beach are collectively paying half a million dollars a year to be part of an economic development organization that aims to bring jobs and business to Hampton Roads. But city officials have questioned whether Virginia Beach has been getting its money’s worth from the Hampton Roads Alliance. (Doug Smith, president and CEO of the alliance)
The Lynchburg Office of Economic Development and Tourism has installed seven digital kiosks throughout the Hill City to provide information to residents, visitors, students, and businesses. (Anna Bentson, the assistant director)
The Culpeper County Department of Economic Development will host its first-ever Be A Culpeper Local Week from Monday, Aug. 1, to Sunday, Aug. 7. (Winona Pritts, the county’s business development coordinator and event’s organizer)
Unilock will invest $55.6 million to establish a new advanced manufacturing campus in Virginia. The hardscape manufacturer will locate up to four new production facilities in Doswell to meet increased customer demand from mid-Atlantic and Southeast markets. (Jason El Koubi, President & CEO, Virginia Economic Development Partnership; E. Linwood Thomas IV, Director Economic Development, Hanover County; Jennifer Wakefield, President & CEO, Greater Richmond Partnership)
The City of Seattle Office of Economic Development announced the expansion of Seattle Restored — an economic recovery program that matches small business owners, artists and entrepreneurs with vacant commercial storefronts to host short-term pop-up shops and art installations. (Markham McIntyre, Interim Director, Seattle Office of Economic Development; Chera Amlag, Seattle Restored Program Manager, OED)
A survey reveals Marshall residents want residential growth and economic development.
Finalists for the Deerfield village administrator position include Lisa Kotter, interim city administrator for Cascade, Iowa; Jordan Nordby, Main Street Monroe executive director, and Todd Willis, Brookfield economic development director.
Create Wisconsin brings state and regional business and economic development leaders to Rhinelander to showcase the creative economy. (Beth Haskovec, Director for Rural Prosperity, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation; Danielle Williams, Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development)
Shoppers and visitors are returning to the Adelaide CBD, with spending up, dwell time increasing, and major brands investing in Rundle Mall, Australia’s retail precinct of the year. (Andrew White, executive manager, Rundle Mall at the Adelaide Economic Development Agency, which manages the shopping and lifestyle precinct; AEDA managing director Ian Hill)
Nova Scotia's premier has chosen two "personal friends" to help with the transition of five economic agencies with annual budgets totalling $100 million into two new Crown corporations. Under the changes, Nova Scotia Lands, Harbourside Commercial Park Inc. and Develop Nova Scotia will be absorbed by a new Crown corporation to be known as Build Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia Business Inc. and Innovacorp will become part of another new Crown corporation known as Invest Nova Scotia.
Yukon’s premier is pushing toward northern sovereignty on the North American stage. On July 26, Sandy Silver spoke at the Pacific Northwest Economic Region summit, in a session titled Economic Development Challenges in a Volatile Arctic. Silver noted Russia’s aggression in Ukraine related to economic opportunities and navigable waters in the Northwest Passage, which is the route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through the Arctic Ocean.
Thanks for reading. Be sure to send errors, corrections, and news updates to [email protected].
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