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Economic Development and Developers in the News #83

Econ dev news from 165 economic development executives and organizations in 32 states, and Canada.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
11 min read
Economic Development and Developers in the News #83
Photo by Jennifer Hardin / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Good morning and welcome to the 83rd weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.  Today's issue contains news from 165 economic development executives and organizations in 32 states, and Canada.

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

Economic development in Albertville is flourishing. (Mike Price, Economic Development Director, Albertville)

A proposed $50 million amphitheater tests the regional cooperation for economic development in North Birmingham. (John Oros, President & CEO, Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau)

The City of Anniston recently approved a one-year partnership with a nationally known retail consulting, market research and development firm called The Retail Coach. Its mission will be to develop a retail recruitment strategy to bring new business opportunities to Anniston. (Toby Bennington, Director of Planning & Economic Development, City of Anniston)

Arizona

The Avondale EDGE video series, an exciting, short-format digital series about a city with big ideas and a strong vision, won two awards. (Ken Chapa, Director of Economic Development & Tourism, City of Avondale)

California

The Uplift Coalition, an economic development coalition of six counties along the Central Coast, has received a $5 million grant through California’s Community Economic Resilience Fund. The funding will develop an inclusive economic development plan that focused equity, sustainability, job quality, economic competitiveness and resilience. (Melissa James, CEO, REACH; Tahra Goraya, President & CEO, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership; Bruce Stenslie, President & CEO, Economic Development Collaborative)

Arcata Economic Development Corporation, a community development financial institution, economic development corporation and small business lending center, has been awarded a $5 million grant from the California Community Economic Resilience Fund to support a planning process developing sustainable industries that will create high-quality, accessible jobs for all. (Ross Welch, Executive Director, AEDC; Dawn Arledge, Executive Director, California Center for Rural Policy)

California Stewardship Network's Advancing Inclusive Regional Economies work group will support and empower California’s unique regions in advancing inclusive economies through inter-regional visioning, advocacy and sharing of promising practices. (Evan Schmidt, CEO, Valley Vision; Nick Ortiz, President & CEO, Greater Bakersfield Chamber; Michelle Decker, President & CEO, Inland Empire Community Foundation; Melissa James, President & CEO, REACH; Steve Frisch, President, Sierra Business Council; Paul C. Granillo, President & CEO, Inland Empire Economic Partnership; Micah Weinberg, CEO, CA FWD; Bill Allen, President & CEO, LAEDC; Jeffrey Ball, President & CEO, Orange County Business Council; Ethan Brown, Interim Executive Director, Sonoma County Economic Development Board; Rosanne Foust, President & CEO, San Mateo County Economic Development Association; Tahra Goraya, President & CEO, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership; Heidi Hill Drum, CEO, Tahoe Prosperity Center; Marian Kaanon, President & CEO, Stanislaus Community Foundation; Sarah Moffat, Director of External Affairs, Central Valley Community Foundation; Luis Moreno, Assistant Director, 3CORE; Kathy Moxon, Director, Redwood Coast Rural Action; Cynthia Murray, CEO, North Bay Leadership Council; David Rattray, President & CEO, UNITE-LA; Lauree Sahba, COO, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.; Maria S. Salinas, President & CEO, L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce; Jason Schwenkler, Executive Director, CSU Chico – North State Planning and Development Collective; Bruce Stenslie, President & CEO, Economic Development Collaborative; Genelle Taylor Kumpe, COO, Fresno Business Council; Ahmad Thomas, President & CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group; Heather Vaikona, President & CEO, Lift to Rise; Jim Wunderman, President & CEO, Bay Area Council)

The County of Humboldt will be holding public meetings in Willow Creek and Hoopa as it updates its economic development strategy. (Dianna Rios, Economic Development Coordinator, County of Humboldt)

Central Sierra Economic Development District presented updates to the Angels Camp City Council and Calaveras County Board of Supervisors.

California is home to a quarter of the nation’s arts and culture economy, making it the country’s creativity capital. Twenty five percent of California’s creative workers call Los Angeles home. It’s an important part of the state’s economy and that’s a major reason why the Creative Economy work group is making its debut at this year’s California Economic Summit in Bakersfield.

Canada

The Ontario government is providing $25 million over the next three years to support economic development in Indigenous communities. This funding will help Indigenous businesses and communities recover after the COVID-19 pandemic, modernize business processes, remove barriers for Indigenous people pursuing an apprenticeship, and provide training opportunities.

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.

La Plata County Economic Development Alliance membership welcomed three new board members at its October meeting. (Mike French, Executive Director)

Grand Junction City Council got its first look at the city’s 2023 recommended economic development budget Monday, which included $2.4 million for incentives via the city’s newly-passed infill development policy. The policy waives fees and provides tax incentives in a tiered system for people proposing development in the city center. (Curtis Englehart, Executive Director, Grand Junction Economic Partnership)

Delaware

At Developing Delaware 2022 hosted by the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce last week, leaders from each county had the floor for hot developments in their part of the state. (Michael Quaranta, President, Delaware State Chamber of Commerce)

Florida

The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County and the IEDC announced that Wellington resident Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO of the BDB, was selected to the IEDC board of directors for a two-year term.

Georgia

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, Centerville)

Jessica Belfry, chair of the Savannah SCORE chapter has announced the new leadership team for the volunteer mentoring group.

The United States Economic Development Administration has named Georgia Southern University as one of 51 nationwide grant recipients of the 2022 Build to Scale program, which means the University will receive $600,000 in grant funding along with $600,000 in local match funds. The goal is to accelerate technology entrepreneurship by increasing inclusive access to entrepreneurial support and startup capital. (Dominique Halaby, Director of the Business Innovation Group, Georgia Southern; Hugh "Trip" Tollison, President & CEO, Savannah Economic Development Authority; Manuel Dominguez, Sr. Director of Economic Development, City of Savannah)

Illinois

Christian County Economic Development Corporation Board held its annual meeting to review the organization's current efforts towards retaining and growing jobs in the county. (Dick Adams, Executive Director, Christian County EDC)

Jenelle Wolber, Director, Business and Economic Growth Services for the Quad Cities Chamber, was recently certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional by the National Development Council.

Indiana

The City of New Albany has a new economic development director: Claire Johnson. She is taking the place of Josh Staten, who left the position in June to work as director of business development for River Ridge Development Authority. Johnson previously served as the capital project manager for the Town of Clarksville's redevelopment department, and she worked in redevelopment for the City of New Albany as the neighborhood initiatives coordinator.

Want to make a positive billion-dollar impact in Indiana? Hold a trade show or specialty event. The Indianapolis region rakes in an estimated three-quarters of a billion dollars from 660 events each year. Every dollar invested in events historically generates upwards of a 160 percent return on investment. (Jason Weddle, CEO, Hamilton)

Iowa

Google plans a $600 million data center expansion in Council Bluffs that will add 31 jobs. The Iowa Economic Development Authority board approved the city's request to provide Google a $16.6 million tax break. (Debi Durham, Director, Iowa Economic Development Authority)

Doug Anderson is the new economic development director for Sioux County. He replaces Jim Collins who departed for a job in Garner.

Benton Development Group has invited a team from the Iowa Economic Development Authority to tour several Benton County communities. The delegation will survey downtown areas for strengths, challenges, and potential revitalization strategies. (Kate Robertson, Executive Director, Benton Development Group)

Seven brownfield or grayfield projects in the Corridor received a total of $5.6 million in Iowa Economic Development Authority tax credits on Friday — with three of the projects landing $1 million or more.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded $3.3 million to nine communities which included Guthrie County. Yale will receive $409,000 to assist with installation and improvement to the water and sewer infrastructure in the city.

Kansas

Two University of Kansas programs recently won University Economic Development Association Awards of Excellence at the 2022 UEDA Annual Summit. Haskell Environmental Research Studies Institute was named category leader in Talent, and the Center for Digital Inclusion Evidence-based Technology Education for Women Transitioning from Incarceration was named category leader in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Great River Economic Development Foundation is preparing for MakerFest. (Kyle Moore, President, Great River Economic Development Foundation)

Kentucky

Nine eastern Kentucky counties will receive a total of $24.4 million in funding for economic development projects. The projects are expected to retain or create more than 200 jobs, train 300 Kentuckians and serve more than 100,000 people through tourism, infrastructure development or training opportunities.

Louisiana

The City of Monroe announced a potential partnership with the Biomedical Research and Innovation Park for the construction of a new, state-of-the-art research and technology facility. (Don Pierson, Secretary, Louisiana Economic Development)

Maryland

Mark Anthony Thomas, president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, was selected as the GBC’s president and CEO after a national search.

Foundation of HOPE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women and young girls become viable contributors to the future workforce. During their time in the Economic Development and Empowerment Program, local sixth-graders learn everything from the basics of self-care to more complex topics like job readiness and entrepreneurship. (Keasha Haythe, Founder, Foundation of HOPE)

Minnesota

The Farmington City Council approved the hiring of Deanna Kuennen as the new community development director. In 2021, she was selected as the Economic Developer of the Year by the Economic Development Association in Minnesota. She worked as the economic development director in Rice County for more than 15 years, and as an economic development manager for the city of Northfield for three years.

The Blue Earth Economic Development Authority board approved a contract for professional services  with Community and Economic Development Associates.  The contract will secure CEDA specialist Amy Schaefer’s services for the city of Blue Earth in 2023. She is contracted to work approximately four days a week.

Mississippi

The Mississippi Cyber Initiative is marking major milestones and expanding its network of collaborators as the Mississippi State University-led initiative grows in its second year. (Jim Martin, MSU associate vice president for corporate engagement and economic development and Mississippi Cyber Initiative lead)

Missouri

While sightseeing and sugar cookies are perks of the annual Joplin bus tour, which is put on annually by MOKAN Partnership and the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, it’s Joplin’s economic development that’s the primary focus, where projects nearing completion or just underway are highlighted. (Lori Haun, director of Downtown Joplin Alliance; Travis Stephens, the chamber’s new president and CEO; Emily Frankoski, Connect2Culture director)

New Jersey

Marc Saluk, Director of Economic Development at Hunterdon County presented an update at the Hunterdon County Tourism Summit.

New York

The first Orange County Economic Summit brought together key stakeholders, politicians, policy makers, economic development officials and business leaders who discussed a wide range of topics critical to the county’s future growth. SUNY Orange President Dr. Kristine Young hosted the event and discussed her role as co-chair of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council.

North Dakota

The Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC is developing a five-year strategic plan to deal with projected population growth of 10% in the metropolitan area over the next decade. Affordable housing and diversification could be keys to economic development success. (Vice President Nathan Schneider; Chad Chancellor, co-founder of Next Move Group)

Ohio

The Parma City Council is expected to soon pass a 12-year economic development award for Oatey. (Parma Economic Development Director Erik Tollerup)

Officials across Granville have spent months researching the best ways the area can benefit from the Intel Corporation and other companies coming to Licking County — and now it has a path forward. After working with a coalition formed by Granville Township, the Village of Granville and the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce since March, Jim Lenner of Neighborhood Strategies outlined his findings and recommendations during a Oct. 19 chamber lunch.

Pennsylvania

Washington County economic development was discussed Thursday at a forum hosted by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce. (Jamie Colecchi, Mon Valley Alliance; Bob Griffin of the Washington County Redevelopment Authority, and Ami Gatts of Southwest Corner Workforce Development and the Washington Greene County Job Training Agency Inc.)

South Carolina

The County of Lexington Department of Economic Development says the last year has shown growth in the community. The annual report released Thursday highlights $448.7 million in capital investments and 1,107 new jobs.

South Dakota

On Oct. 3, the Belle Fourche City Council approved of a professional service agreement between Belle Fourche Economic Development and the city with a caveat to not exceed $90,000 for the yearly budget, pending legal review. (Economic Development Director Hollie Stalder)

Tennessee

The Nashville Business Journal held their first sit-down interview with Tennessee's new commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development: Stuart McWhorter.

Texas

Michael Hernandez, the Director for the El Paso Economic Development, shared what is on the plans for the County of El Paso.

Chris Strayer, Executive Vice President of Economic Development for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, was interviewed.

The Tyler Economic Development Corp. wants to build a 412-acre business park off Interstate 20 to attract manufacturing, distribution and other industries. Scott Martinez, CEO of the TEDC, spoke Tuesday about the project to county commissioners, who later approved using federal coronavirus relief money to build a public road through the business park.

The UTSA Institute for Economic Development hosted the 2022 University Economic Development Association annual summit earlier this month in San Antonio. (Tom Hindes, UEDA executive director, Rod McSherry, UTSA associate vice president for innovation and economic development)

A new $325k economic development plan produced for San Antonio by outside consultants has raised concerns among City Council members who say it lacks specifics and doesn’t get San Antonio closer to its goals.

Utah

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced Wednesday that Lorena Riffo Jenson will take the helm as the Department of Economic Development's director.

At the Oct. 18 Grand County Commission meeting, Economic Development Department Director August Granath shared updates on the department’s recent activities and achievements.

Vermont

The Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region will be awarded $1,492,687 in federal grants and matching dollars to support local entrepreneurship and innovation. (Matt Dunne, Founder and Executive Director of Center on Rural Innovation)

Virginia

Isle of Wight County supervisors have approved expanding the “enterprise zone” the county shares with Southampton County and the city of Franklin by 670 acres. Economic Development Director Chris Morello proposed the 670-acre expansion in September, 519 acres of which would encompass the Franklin Regional Airport and an adjacent industrial park.

Winchester has found its next economic development director. Richard “Rick” Cobert, the current manager of economic development for Stafford County, was hired Tuesday morning following an unanimous vote by the Winchester Economic Development Authority.

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)

West Virginia

The Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle continues to grow, with the recent addition of Anthony Clements as the organization’s new program director.

Wisconsin

A group called Create Wisconsin, which wants more state support for the arts industry, is rolling out a new multi-pronged economic development initiative. (Create Wisconsin Director Anne Katz)

The Wisconsin Economic Development Association presented Sen. Joan Ballweg with the organization's 2022 "Champion of Economic Development" legislative award for her leadership on legislative initiatives to drive economic growth and prosperity in Wisconsin. (Michael Welsh, vice president of Legislative Affairs, WEDA)


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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