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Answered: How Did You Become an Economic Developer?

I asked, you answered.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
17 min read
Answered: How Did You Become an Economic Developer?
Photo by Camylla Battani / Unsplash

Last week I asked, "What is your story? How did you find your way into the world of economic development?". (If you didn't get a chance to participate, you can still answer.)

Economic Development, often unknown and misunderstood to those outside the field, is a beacon of dedication, passion, and luck for those who engage in it. Your stories are a tell of various life paths converging towards a shared mission - enhancing community well-being and quality of life.

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Some takeaways:

  • Your routes into economic development are diverse, as demonstrated by individuals like Danielle Sweat, a former teacher, and Troy McCue, who discovered his passion for the field unexpectedly. These experiences highlight that commitment to local communities can lead to a fulfilling careers, no matter where one starts.
  • Stories from lifelong learners like Leonel Jaramillo, who went from one conversation to another before landing in economic development, underscore the necessity for personal growth and continuous education in economic development.
  • The ever-evolving demands and challenges of economic development are highlighted by individuals such as Chris Gibbons, who was tasked with creating a new economic development strategy amid a massive job loss, supporting the point that these challenges often serve to invigorate your zeal and commitment further.
  • People like Patti Worfe, who fell in love with economic development over two decades ago and still considers it the best job in the world, exemplify the selfless and gratifying nature of work in this sector.
  • The tenacity shown by figures like Mark Litten illustrates the unwavering dedication to communities that confirms economic development as a sector fueled by individuals fervent about igniting positive change.

These shared values - a commitment to lifelong learning, embracing challenge as motivation, and a relentless dedication to their communities - are awesome.

Here are some of the responses. What other commonalities and differences do you see?


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