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Economic Development and Developers in the News # 153

Econ dev news from 85 economic development executives and organizations in 24 states.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
7 min read
Economic Development and Developers in the News # 153

Table of Contents

Welcome to the 153rd weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.

Today's issue contains news from 85 economic development executives and organizations in 24 states.

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State legislators awarded the Industrial Development Board of Dothan $3.94 million from the State Industrial Development Authority to help acquire the 446-acre Westgate Supersite, made possible by the SEEDS Act of 2023.

Tourism continues to be the predominant economic driver for Baldwin County, as the county leads the state with an estimated 65,000 people employed in the tourism industry. (Beth Gendler, president and CEO of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism)


The Fairbanks City Council voted to postpone a proposed economic development partnership with the Fairbanks North Star Borough due to unresolved questions and issues. (Jomo Stewart, the Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation president and CEO)


Arizona Commerce Authority won an Economic Development Award from Business Facilities for its innovative Future48 Workforce Accelerators, which exemplify workforce development by preparing Arizonans for jobs in various growing industries (Sandra Watson, President and CEO)

The town of Queen Creek honored its economic development director, Doreen Cott, for securing a $5.5 billion investment from LG Energy Solution, funding the construction of one of the country’s largest battery manufacturing facilities.


A multi-million-dollar economic boost is on its way to the Eastern Sierra region, which includes four Mother Lode counties, as part of the newly-formed Sierra Jobs First initiative, aiming to build a community-led, climate-forward economy with a focus on disadvantaged communities.

Menifee’s Restaurant Week received an Award of Merit from the California Association for Local Economic Development for encouraging patronage of local dining establishments (California Association for Local Economic Development, Menifee Economic Development Department).


Southeastern Connecticut officials see potential for substantial economic growth by further developing the state’s “blue economy” beyond the currently thriving offshore wind sector, exemplified by the $310 million State Pier Terminal in New London. (R.T. Hamilton Brown, director of economic development strategy for the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region, or seCTer)


Erin Silk, CEO and president of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, has been named among North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers of 2024 by Consultant Connect.

Cape Coral’s economic development experts updated City Council on key indicators, including a 3.4% unemployment rate, lower-than-average retail and office space vacancy rates, and increased rental prices and industrial space construction, while detailing several commercial projects and ongoing incentive and grant programs for 2024 (Economic Business Director Sharon Woodberry).

Economic Development Manager Jenee Skipper was honored with the Team Spirit of the Year Award for demonstrating exceptional leadership, unwavering commitment, and her work at regional and state levels. Economic Development Manager Yolanda Goodloe received the Performance Excellence Award for her dedication, expertise, and exceptional performance in client engagement and government contracting. These honors were announced by the Florida Small Business Development Center at University of South Florida during their 2024 Annual Business Awards.


Nine central Indiana economic development organizations have received up to $5,000 each from Plainfield-based Duke Energy Indiana to fund marketing efforts to attract new jobs and investment. (Aspire Johnson County, Boone County Economic Development Corporation, Noblesville, East Central Indiana Regional Partnership, Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County, Fayette County Industrial Development Corporation, Hancock Economic Development Council, Indy Partnership, Shelby County Development Corporation)

Patrick Hickey, now the economic development director at the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership, has led the pursuit of a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy aimed at diversifying and strengthening the local economy.

Governor Eric Holcomb and Eli Lilly Chair and CEO David A. Ricks announced Lilly’s $5.3 billion expansion in the LEAP Research and Innovation District in Lebanon, bringing the company’s total investment to $9 billion to produce active pharmaceutical ingredients for new diabetes and obesity medicines and creating 200 new highly skilled jobs.

Carmel Mayor Sue Finkam has established a new Economic Development Department to focus solely on attracting and retaining businesses, separating it from the city’s communications efforts.


With the closure of Perry’s Tyson Fresh Meats plant imminent, the PerryNext coalition, composed of city, county, and state officials along with local business and community leaders, hosted a panel discussion to address the economic and social impacts. (Central Iowa Workforce Development Executive Director Eric Kress, Iowa Workforce Development Business Engagement Consultant Chad Pierce, Iowa Economic Development Authority Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Director Rick Peterson)


Madeline Lester, Jason Codling, and Katherine Mitchell have joined the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Statewide Projects team and Power Evans, Mackenzie Bennett, and Haley Bell have joined GDEcD’s Existing Industry and Regional Recruitment team.


Legislation to create an economic development district on University of Louisiana at Lafayette property, with an appointed board that could impose sales taxes without a vote of the public, drew opposition from some state lawmakers Thursday before winning final approval.


New data from the Washington County Department of Business and Economic Development shows that farming continues to have a positive impact in the region. (Leslie Hart, economic development specialist in the Washington County Department of Business and Economic Development)


Michigan economic development officials have canceled three planned trade mission trips to Israel this year because of the ongoing war in Gaza, and invited Israelis to make more trips to Michigan to make up for the cancellations (Quentin L. Messer Jr., Michigan Economic Development Corp., Michigan Strategic Fund, Michigan Israel Business Accelerator).


The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development recently awarded $6.2 million in grants to 21 organizations to expand child care across the state, including a $400,000 grant to the Northwest Minnesota Foundation in Bemidji.

The Duluth Economic Development Authority approved a tax-increment financing plan for the first phase of the Incline Village housing and retail development at the former Duluth Central High School site, with projected new property tax revenues of over $75 million after 25 years (Chad Ronchetti, executive director Duluth Economic Development Authority).


Two Mississippi economic developers were recently named to a listing of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers. (William “Skip” Skaggs, North Mississippi Industrial Development Association; Gabriella Nuzzo, Greater Jackson Alliance).


Missoula County is considering redeveloping an old gravel pit near Reserve Street into an economic development district to fund public infrastructure, jobs, housing, and redevelopment.

New Mexico

Kristen Gamboa is the new executive director of the Carlsbad Department of Development.

New York

Cayuga County is ending its financial support of the embattled Cayuga Economic Development Agency and will pursue a new model for economic development.

North Dakota

Keith Lund, President and CEO of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation, has been recognized as one of the top 50 economic developers in North America. (President of Consultant Connect, Carla Sones)


The village of McConnelsville received $10.3 million in Appalachian Community Grant funding to ramp up economic development and tourism through projects like streetscapes, parks, and a riverside aspect to the park, while ensuring existing historic buildings remain unchanged (Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik).

The Crawford Partnership for Education & Economic Development is excited to announce a new career opportunity for a dynamic Community Development Manager or Director. (David Zak, Crawford Partnership)


Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Rick Siger is leading Pennsylvania’s new ten-year economic development strategy, being instrumental in Governor Josh Shapiro’s administration’s efforts to advance the state’s economy through initiatives such as the PA SITES program and the Main Street Matters program, focusing on site readiness, community development, and regional competitiveness.


The Jackson Rotary Club met to discuss the city’s economic developments, including presentations on job creation and the economic impact in 2023 by the Jackson Chamber’s CEO Kyle Spurgeon and Chief Development Officer Mandy White.


Kilgore Economic Development Corporation has hired Katherine Kirkpatrick as its new marketing and business development lead (Lisa Denton, CEO).

The Council for South Texas Economic Progress is hosting a delegation of potential investors from India next week (Adam Gonzalez).

City staff member Anthony Satarino will be the next director of the Celina Economic Development Corporation.


At the seventh annual Southern Vermont Economic Summit, business and community leaders discussed strategies for ensuring a thriving future for the region. (Fred Abousleman, A/R360 Consultants; Chris Estes, Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group; Meg Staloff, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation)


Virginia is launching a new multimillion-dollar economic development initiative that aims to use a federal grant with matching funds from venture capital firms to fund small businesses.

Governor Glenn Youngkin unveiled “Accelerate Southwest Virginia,” a holistic approach aimed at promoting development by addressing roadblocks to future success, with key initiatives in infrastructure investments, job growth, workforce development, health care services, and making Southwest Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family.

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Dane Carlson Twitter

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

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