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Economic Development and Developers in the News #81

Econ dev news from 217 economic development executives and organizations in 33 states, Canada, and the UK.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
13 min read
Economic Development and Developers in the News #81
Photo by engin akyurt / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Good morning and welcome to the 81st weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.  Today's issue contains news from 217 economic development executives and organizations in 33 states, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

If this is your first time reading: Welcome!

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.


Alabama

Accelerator programs are seen as key to Alabama’s ongoing emergence as a growth center for technology, innovation and entrepreneurialism. The Alabama Collective recently hosted a panel discussion, "Accelerating Alabama: The Rise of Accelerator Programs.” (Tony Smoke, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Economic Development, Alabama Power; Brooke Gillis, Program Manager, TechStars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator; Charles Jackson, Program Director, Montgomery TechLab; Nikki Johnson, Director, Bronze Valley Accelerator)

The Clanton City Council will consider creating a director of economic development. Funding for the director of economic development position could potentially come from a new hotel fee.

Arizona

Juliana Jervis has been promoted to operations and events manager for the Arizona Association for Economic Development. Braxton Hynes joins the group as its member engagement and development manager. (Carrie Kelly, Executive Director, Arizona Association for Economic Development)

The city of Peoria on Wednesday was presented with an Excellence in Economic Development award from the IEDC. Peoria’s Economic Development Profile 2.0 is a brochure that shows development opportunities, city information and important data sets to aid in the strategic marketing and promotion of the city. (Jen Stein , Director of Economic Developmen)

Arkansas

The Hope City Board of Directors agreed to pare down the Streetscape Project and endorsed a 1/4 cent sales tax to fund economic development incentives. (Steve Harris, President, Hempstead County Economic Development Corporation)

California

Roseville City Council members approved the new Economic Development Strategy. The Roseville economic development department creates a new strategy every five years to enhance economic vitality in the city. (Melissa Anguiano, Economic Development Director, Roseville; Rana Ghadban, CEO, Roseville Area Chamber of Commerce; Barry Broome, President & CEO, Greater Sacramento Economic Council; Nicole Hinkle, Senior Economic Development Specialist, Placer County Small Business Resource Center)

The City of Berkeley’s Office of Economic Development offered a series of free events, including tours and tastings with West Berkeley makers and producers to celebrate  national Manufacturing Day and Bay Area Manufacturing Week. (Jordan Klein, Director, Department of Planning & Development, City of Berkeley)

Colorado

Kelly Jones of Loveland led the charge to update the city of Loveland’s economic development plan for the next five years, working closely with staff and the city’s strategic partners.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, announced the 2022 recipients of the Governor’s Minority Business Award. These for-profit, minority-owned businesses have been selected in recognition of their contributions to the economic diversity and success of minority communities across Colorado. (Patrick Meyers, Executive Director, OEDIT)

Connecticut

A new state panel tasked with revitalizing Connecticut’s poor urban centers is recommending $76.5 million in financing for more than two dozen economic development projects in 12 communities.

Georgia

GDEcD’s Bob Kosek is working with companies locating to Georgia to increase their speed to market.

A committee will be formed to study the best way to secure economic development for Madison County. (Bob Hughes, President/ED Director, Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce)

The City of Centerville is moving forward on plans for a new town center. In late September, the city council approved a moratorium on new construction and land disturbance permits in the designated town center area for the next six months. (Shannon Bryant, Economic Development Director)

Idaho

Shawn Barigar has been picked to fill the Twin Fall's new economic development director position.

Indiana

Lake County economic development leaders will discuss strengthening the regional workforce at the Lake County Advancement Committee luncheon. (Karen Lauerman, President & CEO, Lake County Economic Alliance; Lisa Daugherty, President & CEO, Center of Workforce Innovations)

The City of Fishers will consider issuing $26 million in bonds to help Andretti Global build a $200 million headquarters on the airfield property. (Megan Baumgartner, Director of Economic Development)

Andrew Carty is the new business development director for the Hancock Economic Development Council.

Iowa

Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority announced that a total of more than $450,000 in grants have been awarded through six Empower Rural Iowa Grant Programs. The grant awards will support rural initiatives spanning from child care and housing to workforce attraction and leadership development in more than 20 counties.

The Iowa State University Startup Factory today announced the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board has awarded Janas Materials Inc a $25,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance loan. (Steve Brody, President & CEO, BioConnect Iowa; Peter Hong, Director, ISU Startup Factory)

Rotarians hear Shenandoah's economic development update
during Rotary's Community and Economic Development Month. (Gregg Connell, Executive Vice President, Shenandoah Chamber and Industry Association)

Kansas

Rhiannon Friedman has been hired as director of devlopment and economic growth for Topeka's city government.

Louisiana

Schlumberger, an oilfield services and global technology company, will centralize its North Gulf Coast divisions at a new operations hub in Lafayette, Louisiana. The $11.5 million is expected to create 44 jobs. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered Schlumberger an incentive package including a $2 million performance-based grant for reimbursement of facility expansion and improvement expenses. (Mandi D. Mitchell, President & CEO, Lafayette Economic Development Authority)

Regional development is a primary focus of Louisiana Central, an organization based in Alexandria. At the opening of their Economic Regional Development Summit, they looked at new ways to approach making that possible. (Jim Clinton, President & CEO, Louisiana Central)

The IEDC recognized Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission for its innovative approaches to economic development. (Jerry Bologna, President & CEO, Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission)

The St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation will hold its Second Annual Small Business Matters Summit on November 10. (Meaghan McCormack, CEO, St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation)

Leslie Anne Durham is the new Executive Director at the Louisiana Infrastructure Technical Assistance Corporation.

Maine

The Rockport Select Board considered an ambitious Route 90 sewer/ economic development plan, ordinance and charter amendments.

Tracey Desjardins, who has served for three years as director of economic development for the city of Gardiner, is leaving later this month to take a similar position with the city of Saco.

Massachusetts

Dracut Economic Development held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of Everybody’s Sports Bar.

Michigan

Today Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the Michigan Strategic Fund approval of three transformational projects around the state, including two electric vehicle battery investments. In total, the projects represent a capital investment of more than $4.1 billion and the creation of more than 4,600 new direct jobs in Michigan. (Quentin Messer Jr., CEO, MEDC)

Tribal leaders gathered in Grand Rapids to share the unbelievable amount of opportunities to diversify revenue streams and launch new investments for the benefit of tribal citizens. (Joe Schultz, CEO of Sault Tribe Inc.; Jackson Brossy, SBA
Assistant Administrator, Office of Native American Affairs; Alan Proctor, Vice President, Odawa Economic Development Management Inc.; Terri Fitzpatrick, Executive Vice President, Michigan Economic Development Corp.; Julio Martinez, CEO, Mno-Bmadsen)

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a $1 billion bipartisan plan to lure economic development projects into the state through a $846 million fund.

Lakeshore Advantage, an organization serving Allegan and Ottawa counties, received an Excellence in Economic Development Award from the IEDC. (Jennifer Owens, President)

The Upper Peninsula Collaborative Development Council has retained the consulting services of TIP Strategies, Inc. to commence a first-of-its kind comprehensive Upper Peninsula county-by-county labor market study. (Mike Prusi, Upper Peninsula Collaborative Development Council; Bill Raymond, CEO, Upper Peninsula Michigan Works; Marty Fittante, CEO,  InvestUP; Elizabeth Scott, Senior Consultant, TIP)

Minnesota

Minnesota’s top leaders are spending time in the Northland to learn about economic developments in the Northeastern region. (Holly Hansen, Community Development Director, City of Cloquet EDA)

A ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening celebration was held at the new Economic Development Center in Rochester. (Nasibu Sareva, CEO, The African Development Hub; John Wade, Executive Director, RAEDI)

The Willmar City Council has approved the 2023 Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission budget of $695,865, which is a 6.4% decrease from the 2022 budget. (Aaron Backman, Executive Director, Willmar EDC)

Mississippi

Daniel Lang is the new Director of Economic Development for the City of Flowood.

The Jackson County Economic Development Foundation presented its recently-completed Strategic Innovation Plan. (George Freeland, Executive Director, JCEDF)

Missouri

After seven years, Mark Sutherland is leaving the Missouri Partnership.

Wright City is pursuing a Missouri state grant to fund downtown infrastructure improvements that are currently in the planning stage. (Jim Schuchmann, Wright City Economic Development; Tina M. Zimmerman, Owner, TMZ Marketing Services)

Nebraska

The Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation wants to renew their development program that was started all the way in 2003. (Dave Taylor, President, Grand Island Area EDC)

New Jersey

Elizabeth Development Company will celebrate the successful efforts of the organization and its partners in helping businesses and individuals thrive throughout the pandemic. (William O'Dea, Executive Director, Elizabeth Development Company)

New Mexico

The Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp. has received state certification for being an economic development organization providing a high level of expertise and technical support to the area. (Alicia Keyes, Economic Development Secretary; Bob Donnell, Executive Director, Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp.; Fred Shepherd, CEO & President, Sandoval Economic Alliance; Davin Lopez, President & CEO, Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance; Patty Lundstrom, Executive Director, Greater Gallup Economic Development Corp.; Jennifer Grassham, President & CEO, Economic Development Corporation of Lea County; Kathy Harris, President, Greater Raton Economic Development Corp.; John Waters, Executive Director, Carlsbad Department of Development)

New York

Governor Kathy Hochul announced one of the largest economic development projects in U.S. history — a transformational public-private partnership with Micron Technology to build a cutting-edge semiconductor manufacturing campus in Onondaga County, New York. (RHope Knight, CEO & Commissioner, Empire State Development; Robert M. Simpson, President & CEO, CenterState)

The Adirondack Economic Development Corporation in Saranac Lake will receive $125,000 from the Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. (Victoria Duley, Executive Director)

North Carolina

Rowan EDC President Rod Crider was selected to the Charlotte Business Journal’s inaugural Power 100 class.

Johnston County Commissioners have unanimously approved a series of economic development incentives to support creation of a 264,000-sq.-ft. industrial building in Smithfield. (Chris Johnson, Director, Johnston County Economic Development Office)

The Boyd Company’s analysis identified the top 15 markets primed to attract companies to set up their corporate headquarters, including Cary and Kannapolis. (Michael Haley, Executive Director, Wake County Economic Development)

Pitt County Economic Development recognized Bethel’s Package Craft as the 2022 Pitt County Industry of the Year during the 28th Annual Existing Industries Reception. (Kelly Andrews, Economic Development Director, Pitt County; Josh Lewis, President, Greenville ENC Alliance)

Bosch Rexroth, a leading manufacturer of factory automation solutions, will invest $58 million into a new state-of-the-art customizing and research and development facility that will expand its operations for linear motion and assembly technologies. In addition to retaining 326 employees currently employed at their Charlotte operations, the company will hire 24 more people. (Tracy Dodson, Director Economic Development, City of Charlotte; Peter Q. Zeiler, Director of Economic Development, Mecklenburg County; Christopher Chung, CEO, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina)

Cabarrus Economic Development recently celebrated local manufacturers and their impact on Cabarrus County for National Manufacturing Day and showcased the innovation and resilience of the industry. (Page Castrodale, Director, Cabarrus EDC)

North Dakota

The Economic Development Association of North Dakota has now set its priorities for the upcoming Legislative session. Topping that list is workforce. (Dana Hager, Executive Director)

Ohio

Cole Massie is the director of Economic Development & Center of Entrepreneurship for the University of Rio Grande.  At the Sept. 22 meeting of the Gallia County Commission, he proposed his filling that same role for Gallia County.

John Moliterno, the former executive director of the Western Reserve Port Authority, was among three recognized last week as a 2022 Regional Economic Development Champion by the Team Northeast Ohio. (Guy Coviello, President/CEO, Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber; John Moliterno, Past Executive Director, Western Reserve Port Authority; Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler)

Monica Conners is the new Economic Development Director in Delaware County.

Oklahoma

Governor Kevin Stitt announced the appointment of Chad Mariska to serve as Oklahoma’s Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development.

Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh long symbolised America’s rustbelt, that stretch of the industrial midwest and north-east that once boomed with steel, cars and coal. In recent years, however, the city has been trading a rusty reputation for a robotic sheen. Despite its national reputation as a city that reached its prime more than a century ago, Pittsburgh finished 15th in the inaugural FT and Nikkei Investing in America ranking of the best US cities for overseas businesses, wedged on the list between the hip and techie Austin and Portland. (Anthony Thomas, president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance)

South Carolina

Since August, the Economic Development Partnership has been known as Western SC. President and CEO Will Williams talked about the change during Western SC’s annual meeting last week. The former name “didn’t really identify us geographically,” especially to site consultants who weren’t familiar with where Aiken, Edgefield, McCormick and Saluda counties are located

Texas

The Hardin County Board of Supervisors accepted the resignation of county economic development director Angela De La Riva during Wednesday's meeting

After months of searching and meetings, Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation selected a new leader: Terry Stokes.

Governor Greg Abbott congratulated Rio Grande Valley Linking Economic and Academic Development for its work in developing education and industry partnerships that help students set and achieve college and career goals for an educated and highly skilled workforce in the Rio Grande Valley.

The International Economic Development Council announced the Kerr Economic Development Corporation was one of several organizations and cities in the U.S. selected as recipients of its 2022 Excellence Awards. (KEDC Executive Director Gilberto Salinas)

The Amarillo Economic Development Corporation returned from a Europe trip with other EDC’s and First Lady of Texas Cecilia Abbot to sell and market Texas to foreign companies interested in the state. (Kevin Carter, president and CEO of AEDC)

A meeting that focused on the tri-national aspects of Laredo as a major stakeholder in the commerce and trade world was held this past week in Laredo as various local stakeholders formed part of the discussions.  According to Gene Lindgren, president and CEO of the Laredo Economic Development Corporation, the North American Strategy for Competitiveness is the leading organization focused on the competitiveness of the North American supply chain, workforce and energy independence. He adds that NASCO is the only tri-national network of North American governments, businesses and educational institutions driven by a common interest in collaboration along commercial corridors and trade networks.

The T.L.L. Temple Foundation is partnering with the Center on Rural Innovation to develop economic development strategies aimed at creating digital economies across East Texas. Nacogdoches will be the first CORI site in Texas. (Matt Dunne, executive director at the Center on Rural Innovation)

Jasmine Amo is the new Economic Development Specialist at the City of Arlington Economic Development Corporation.

Virginia

Megan Baker, is Roanoke County’s new director of economic development.  Previously, she led Fayette County  Development Authority.

The Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors approved a strategic plan for economic growth at their meeting , but not without a serious debate about the role of housing in the county's future growth. The plan is designed as a blueprint for economic development over the next five years. PlatinumPR, a Maryland-based public relations firm, drafted the plan. (Jennifer Schmack, Director of Economic Development)

The 2022 winners of the Loudoun Innovation Challenge were announced. (Loudoun Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer)

A study commissioned by the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority confirmed it is on the right track when it comes to the targets of its job growth and investment efforts. The study, conducted by the Virginia Tech Center for Economic and Community Engagement, recommends that VCEDA continue to focus on the advanced manufacturing, electronic information technology, energy-related enterprises and creative tourism industries. (Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA’s executive director)

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, in partnership with Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance jurisdictions, is presenting a free virtual event titled "Workforce Development Resources for Northern Virginia Companies" on Thursday, October 20.

Sara Worley has been named the director of economic development for Goochland County.

The International Economic Development Council gave the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development excellence awards for three of the department’s economic development programs: the Community Business Launch, Industrial Revitalization Fund and Growth and Opportunity for Virginia.

Washington

The City of Vancouver estimates there will be up to $4.5 million in Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnerships Program, HOME American Rescue Plan and Affordable Housing Fund dollars available for local projects in 2023. (Teresa Brum, Deputy Economic Development Director, City of Vancouver)

The International Economic Development Council recently recognized the cities of Arlington and Marysville with a 2022 Excellence Award for exemplary multi-year economic strategy that led to the creation of the Cascade Industrial Center.

Neepaporn “A” Boungjaktha is Snohomish County’s new executive director for economic development. As executive director, she will oversee all of Snohomish County’s economic development activities, including Paine Field Airport.

Washington DC

Rebecca Thomas is the new Senior Director, Membership and Professional Development at the International Economic Development Council.

West Virginia

In a meeting at the Ripley City Hall on Thursday evening, Mark Whitley, executive director of the Jackson County Development Authority, spoke to local small business owners on the economic impact of the recent Berkshire Hathaway deal for the former Century Aluminum facility.

After repealing state filming policies in 2018 that failed to provide a positive return on investment, the WV Office of Economic Development has re-established the WV Film Office with a revamped State Film Tax Credit now in play. (WV business development manager Meghan Smith and workforce developer Dave Lavender)

Wisconsin

The Greater Green Bay Chamber received afederal grant from the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, part of the U.S. Economic Development Administration, totaling $467,500. The grant was submitted with assistance from Courtney Zaugg, Founder and CEO of Plaka + Associates.  The grant is part of EDA’s “Build to Scale” program which provides grants through the Venture Challenge and Capital Challenge. (Laurie Radke, Greater Green Bay Chamber President and CEO)


Canada

The Economic Development Operating Committee has hired Michelle Bezditny as the new Director of Economic Development for Steinbach. (Christine Beaumont, President, Steinbach Chamber of Commerce)

Northern Bruce Peninsula Council is looking to enter into an agreement with the county to assist with economic development.

The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury’s office of economic development has won another highly prestigious marketing award from the Economic Developers Association of Canada, for its innovative video series, "Meet the Owners." (Michael Disano, Manager of Economic Development, BWG Economic Development; Michael Kemp, Economic Development Marketing Coordinator)

Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership makes the top 20 economic development list for fifth straight year. (Matthew Slotwinski, Senior Economic Development Officer, Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership)

Proposed updates to the bylaw governing the multi-stakeholder Didsbury Economic Development Advisory Committee have been considered by council and sent to committee for further review.

United Kingdom

Knaresborough will welcome two of the region's senior business figures to help drive economic development. (Peter Lacey, Knaresborough Chamber of Trade; Matt Read, Connector and Place Development Manager, Knaresborough Connectors; James Farrar, COO, York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership; Alan Reiss, Director of Strategy, West Yorkshire Combined Authority)


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


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