Monday, April 28, 2008

Top 10 “Megaregions”

by Richard Florida

Adapted from “Who’s Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life” by Richard Florida.

The core of the U.S. economy is made up of roughly a dozen megaregions that stretch into Canada and, in some cases, Mexico. They generate the great bulk of America’s output, and are increasingly becoming magnets for top talent and jobs.

1. Bos-Wash

Where: Stretches some 500 miles down the East Coast of the U.S. from Boston, through New York, to Washington
Population: 54.3 million
Economy: $2.2 trillion
Leading sectors: Finance, media, biotech
Key creative-class jobs: Computer engineer, fashion designer, investment dealer, lawyer

The Bos-Wash corridor is the world’s second-largest megaregion in terms of economic output — only Greater Tokyo is bigger. Today, it is home to more than 18 percent of all Americans, and its economy is bigger than that of France or the United Kingdom — and it’s more than double the size of India’s or Canada’s. Though broadly based, its economy has considerable specialization and strengths. New York is highly specialized in finance and business services, as well as arts and culture. Boston is known for its biotech industries and education resources.

The region will prevail as one of the most resilient megas. Not only does it contain the seat of U.S. government and banking, it boasts two of the top tech clusters in the world — the Dulles Corridor near Washington, D.C., and Route 128 outside of Boston. In her study of high-tech industry in Silicon Valley and around Route 128, the University of California’s Annalee Saxenian found the superior performance of such clusters turned on the adaptive capabilities of the region’s well-developed networks of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, technologists, and newly minted university talent. Those trends tend to scale in a super-linear fashion.

2. Chi-Pitts

Where: It runs from Pittsburgh and Cleveland through Detroit, Chicago, and Minneapolis
Population: 46 million
Economy: $1.6 trillion
Leading sectors: Manufacturing, transportation, commercial real estate, retail
Key creative-class jobs: Industrial and mechanical engineers, logistics and supply chain managers

The Chi-Pitts megaregion is anchored by America’s “second city,” Chicago, whose economy is larger than Sweden’s. Chicago’s lakefront renaissance — its incredible 20th-century architecture and marvelous refurbished neighborhoods — illustrates how older communities can highlight their own brand of aesthetics. Much of this is due to the efforts of Mayor Richard Daley, who has reached out beyond landmarks like the new Millennium Park and improved lakefront to bolster many of the city’s neighborhoods by refurbishing smaller community parks and gardens, planting trees, installing public art, and adding hand-painted benches and flower beds.

Those visual characteristics are some of the ties that bind talent to affluent communities. In 2000, more than two-thirds of the residents of downtown Chicago held college degrees — levels that are more typically seen in wealthy suburbs.

But this urban core likely will prosper at the expense of many older industrial cities, suburbs, and outlying rural areas in the Chi-Pitts megaregion. The Clevelands and Pittsburghs of the world will find themselves increasingly squeezed between twin pincers as top business functions gravitate to larger regions like Chicago, and production shifts to centers like Shanghai, China.

3. Char-lanta

Where: It runs from Raleigh-Durham, N.C., through Charlotte, N.C., to Atlanta
Population: 22 million
Economy: $730 billion
Leading sectors: Finance, biotech, telecom manufacturing
Key creative-class jobs: Computer systems designer, systems analyst, chief scientist, bioprocessing technician

Think of this mega as a tripod: The regional headquarters center and talent magnet of Atlanta is the main leg, and the other two are made up of the regional financial center in Charlotte and a regional tech center in the North Carolina Research Triangle. Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, and Charlotte have the highest concentration of young residents (between the ages of 25 and 34) in the United States, and Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill ranks No. 1 in the country for having the largest percentage of young people with a bachelor’s degree or higher education (45 percent). Looking forward, one can already imagine Chat-lanta and Bos-Wash forming a super-megaregion along the eastern seaboard of the United States, with the territory anchored by New York in the north and Atlanta in the south. More here.

The Four Things a Service Business Must Get Right

All successful firms must design a compelling offering and manage the workforce to deliver it at an attractive price. But service firms must do even more: deal with the frustrating fact that their customers can wreak havoc on service quality and costs.

For example, a customer dithering at a fast-food counter slows things down for everyone else waiting in line. An architect's client struggling to clarify how a new facility will be used drags out the design process.

To tackle this challenge, Frei advises aligning four key elements of your business:
  • What your service offering consists of
  • How you fund the excellence you want to provide
  • How you manage employees to deliver quality service
  • What you do to help customers enhance--not erode--service
Get these elements pulling together, and none of them can pull your business apart--as service stars like Wal-Mart, Commerce Bank, and Cleveland Clinic have discovered firsthand. More here.

Analysts: Southern states favorite in bid for VW plant

WASHINGTON - Tennessee and Alabama should be favored over Michigan to land a new Volkswagen assembly plant, analysts said Thursday, based on the auto industry's ongoing migration into the Sun Belt and concerns about labor's heavy influence in Michigan.

Volkswagen confirmed that it was considering the three states for a potential plant, offering a crown jewel of economic development that could help the states expand their auto industry presence.

Lured by incentive packages, an eager work force and a lack of unions, several Southern states have attracted automotive plants during the past two decades.

Three auto companies have already landed in Alabama. Daimler AG builds sport utility vehicles in Vance, Honda Motor Co. produces minivans and SUVs in Lincoln and Hyundai Motor Co. brought its first U.S. assembly plant to Montgomery, where it builds the Sonata passenger car and the Santa Fe SUV.

Tennessee is the home of Nissan Motor Co.'s North American headquarters near Nashville and has plants in Smyrna and Decherd. The state also has a General Motors Corp. assembly plant in Spring Hill.

Erich Merkle, vice president of auto industry forecasting for the consulting firm IRN Inc. in Grand Rapids, Mich., said Alabama is the likely front-runner followed by Tennessee. He said Alabama may have an edge because Mercedes-Benz has had a successful run in the state and "there's a German supply base that's already pretty well-established."

But he noted that Tennessee has come close to bringing an auto plant to a 1,600-acre site in Chattanooga in recent years. The region was a contender for a Toyota Motor Corp. plant that is being built near Tupelo, Miss., and a Kia Motors Corp. plant that went to West Point, Ga.

Michigan, meanwhile, could be undercut by the long-standing dominance of the United Auto Workers in the state. VW executives have been evaluating potential sites at a time when GM has faced a local strike at a plant near Lansing, Mich., and threats of strikes elsewhere.

Industry analysts have speculated that the strike threats are part of a UAW strategy to urge GM to pressure supplier American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc. into ending a long contract dispute.

"That's the big risk of coming to Michigan or anywhere in the north. You've got the UAW which is very strong and a lot of companies have wanted to avoid that," said Aaron Bragman, an automotive analyst with Global Insight Inc.

The UAW's attempts at organizing North American plants run by Toyota, Honda and others have been unsuccessful.

Michigan would have a considerable edge in its availability of skilled workers, thanks to the recent rounds of buyouts from the Detroit Three. And given the state's economic problems, it would be highly motivated to land another assembly plant, said Jeremy Anwyl, chief executive of the automotive Web site.

Anwyl said the most recent contract negotiations and concessions accepted by the UAW with GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC "probably takes some of the sting out of being a unionized plant - not completely, but it wouldn't be as bad as it would have been, say, five or 10 years ago."

Others noted that Volkswagen recently moved its North American headquarters from metropolitan Detroit to Herndon, Va., outside of Washington, citing the need to be closer to its East Coast customer base. Bringing an assembly plant to Michigan would seem to run counter to their rationale for making the move, they said.

A big question mark surrounds the incentive packages being developed by the states to woo Volkswagen. State economic development officials have declined to detail their efforts for the plant, which would be slated to carry a maximum capacity of 250,000 vehicles a year.

Volkswagen has not yet committed to building a new plant in the U.S., but the move is expected. With the euro currency reaching record highs against the U.S. dollar, goods exported from Germany are more expensive in the United States.

The Wolfsburg, Germany-based company has said it wants to expand in the U.S., where it has a small slice of the market. Volkswagen executives have said they want to triple U.S. sales by 2018 to 1 million.

Currently, Volkswagen's only assembly plant in North America is in Puebla, Mexico, where it builds the Jetta and New Beetle.

"Given Volkswagen's plans for international expansion, a big chunk of that is supposed to come from the United States, and there's no way they can build enough in Puebla or import enough at a profit to do it, so I think a new plant is guaranteed," Bragman said.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

Study finds 18% of invited e-mail lands in junk folders

Story posted: April 23, 2008 - 12:24 pm EDT
BtoB Online

Emeryville, Calif.—One of every five permission-based e-mail messages sent to U.S.-based ISPs lands in the junk mail folder, according to an e-mail deliverability study by Lyris, an e-mail marketing and online marketing technology company.

The Lyris HQ ISP Deliverability Report Card for Q4 2007 was based on monitoring deliverability rates for 436,558 permission-based e-mail marketing messages sent from 69 different businesses to multiple accounts at 59 ISP domains between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31.

The ISP with the highest inbox delivery rate was, with 93% of delivered messages landing in the inbox. RoadRunner SoCal was second at 92%. Hotmail was second from the bottom, with only 57% of its delivered messages reaching the inbox.

“These are messages that have been invited by the recipients, and yet so many of them still aren’t making it to the inbox,” said Blaine Mathieu, senior VP-marketing at Lyris, in a statement. “ISPs base much of their delivery decisions on a sender’s reputation, and that reputation is governed primarily by how often that sender’s recipients click the ‘Report as Spam’ button for its messages. Marketers can improve delivery by better managing their relationships with their subscribers to reduce those spam button clicks.”

—Carol Krol

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Few Choice Words … Go a Long Way

by Ron Starner, executive director, Industrial Asset Management Council

What is true of companies is equally true of communities. It is one thing to brag about yourself; it is entirely another if your clients do it for you.

This thought was reinforced the other day by reading two recent works on economic development marketing. One is the book Destination Branding for Small Cities: The Essentials for Successful Place Branding by Bill Baker.

The second is an article, "The Calf Rarely Brands Itself," written by Andy Levine for The IEDC Economic Development Journal.

Baker, president of Total Destination Management, has advised communities for more than 30 years on economic development branding and marketing. Levine, president and chief creative officer of Development Counselors International, supports economic development efforts through both marketing and public relations.

What the two have in common is the notion that successful place branding happens by design, requires a multi-faceted approach, and is best supported by the evidence of happy customers.
Baker says it well when he writes, "While local opinions are very important, it is vital for leaders to understand that their external customers are the final arbiters on what will define the most potent brand."

Levine puts it more bluntly: "What others say about you — not what you say about yourself — will build your brand," he writes in the winter 2008 edition of the Journal.

Successful companies have understood and practiced this truth for a long time. Campbell’s Soup, an Active member firm of IAMC, has for decades built a loyal following around its "Mmmm, Mmmm, Good!" advertising campaign. It’s hard to find a better testimonial than the satisfied taste of a smiling eater.

That is why the words of an influential corporate executive can be so valuable to a state or city. When a site selector endorses a location, the testimonial carries tremendous weight.

Consider this recent quote in Site Selection magazine from a satisfied company leader: "We like the location here in Merrimack Valley. We are located in the heart of a strategic biotech corridor that stretches from Southern New Hampshire to Massachusetts and Rhode Island. This allows companies like ours to learn from each other, and it provides supporting infrastructure for our industry. This is a good location. We intend to stay here."

Chris Perley, managing director for IAMC Active member firm Wyeth in Andover, made those comments about Merrimack Valley, Mass., a region that is attempting to brand itself as a life-science destination on par with Boston and Cambridge. Whether or not Merrimack Valley ever reaches that "destination," it has accomplished a great deal in securing the endorsement of a global pharmaceutical leader like Wyeth.

Branding expert Baker is extremely perceptive when he writes, "A city’s most valuable real estate asset is usually not the largest buildings that form its skyline. Rather, it is the space in the hearts and minds of its customers where they store all of their thoughts, feelings and perceptions about the place."
This is true whether those thoughts are good or bad. One life-science executive told Site Selection last year that his firm chose to bypass a community for a project because "we were looking for some clarifications … and they were either not responsive or the answers were not what we wanted." Needless to say, those comments were not what the community wanted to hear.

Still, much can be learned from such feedback. In fact, one could make a convincing case that communities learn far more from frank assessments like the one above than they do from flowery words of praise. After all, how does one learn to change and improve if the target customers never point out what a community, region or state is doing wrong? Either way, notes DCI’s Levine, "in today’s world, there is nothing more powerful and credible than ‘word of mouth.’”

Think of it this way. When Gertrude Stein said of Oakland, Calif., "There is no ‘there’ there," those words stuck like glue to that community. The stigma may be grossly unfair, but the unflattering portrait lingers today in the minds of many.

That is why Rule No. 1 for effective place branding ought to be — interview your key customers, your leading employers, and find out what they really think about your area. A great place to start this dialogue is at an IAMC Professional Forum, where Active members often provide such feedback, whether as part of a session or in informal networking.

The Active members whom I interview regularly are quick to point out that they welcome these discussions with economic development professionals. After all, corporate real estate executives desire the best possible facility locations for their companies, and they know what it takes to turn a potential site into a done deal.

They also want to see their own communities be known as successful destinations, because they take great pride in their hometowns. If you doubt that, just ask Anheuser-Busch’s Scott Reed, past chair of IAMC, to talk about St. Louis.

His words, like those of his colleagues, can be worth their weight in gold.
Some local leaders today will travel some 6,400 miles to make Loudoun County mean more to business people in Germany.

Together, County Chairman Scott York (I-At Large) and his assistant, Keith Nusbaum; Georgia Graves of the county's Economic Development Commission; Cheryl Kilday and Christine Geno of the Loudoun Convention & Visitors Association, and Beth Hain, the county's Economic Development Department business investment manager, will travel to Frankfurt.

The county first embarked on its global marketing strategy in 2004 when it chose to focus on German businesses locating here. Next week, the leaders will meet with Chambers of Commerce and tell companies about Loudoun County's story, highlighting its proximity to Dulles International Airport and the presences of other German companies here. They will return Sunday, April 20.

"Chairman York is going to visit with various partners as related to the cultural, educational, political relationships of the partnership [Sister County relationship]. They've done a couple of educational exchanges and they'll discuss the next steps related to that," Hain said. "We're also looking at the tourism component of how we can offer our packages and opportunities for folks in that region to come visit Loudoun. We'll also be making a few site visits while we're there with a handful of firms."

But the purpose of the trip is not to bring back any new wins for the county. Realizing the long-term investment and amount of time needed to create a global bond with countries, they want to perk some interest, nothing more.

"The more you get the network out, the more opportunity there will be for business development to happen," said Robyn Bailey, marketing manager for economic development. "You keep massaging that relationship."

The county set aside $250,000 in next year's budget for a cluster of new business development; some of that money could be slated for international development purposes. The details what's slated for that money will be clarified at the Economic Development Committee meeting on June 8.

"When you look around the region, Loudoun has a significant number of German businesses," Larry Rosenstrauch, Loudoun County's Economic Development Director, said. "It's always easier to build on something where you have an existing strength. It will take a while to reel in some fairly small fish but we'll feel like they're a big fish in our pond."

Economic development chief calls for unified regional marketing effort

POUGHKEEPSIE - A regional economic leader called on chambers of commerce and economic development corporations to pull together to create a more unified front for the Hudson Valley region saying it is imperative for this to happen to help the region move ahead in any direction.

Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation President Anthony Campagiorni said during a breakfast meeting of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce Wednesday that because the region has shown a loss of over 6,000 people to other regions and states in the past five years, it is necessary “more now than ever” for the counties and their business and development leaders to create a “less local focus of thinking and a more regional approach to the future.”

It must be a joint effort by a number of stakeholders, he said.

“It’s got to be New York State; it’s got to be counties, in some cases municipalities. I think the utility companies are going to have to step up and be partners with us. In some cases, if you are in a unique situation like Orange County, the Port Authority would be a funding partner for you as well.”

Campagiorni pointed out that there is not one greenfield development site in the region, making it virtually impossible for a large manufacturing and technology firm to settle in the Hudson Valley. He said this is a testament to the region’s “lack of strong inventory” to increase outside investment.

The HVEDC leader acknowledged that the country is in a recession, and that all levels of government are suffering financial, but he urged the public and private sectors to get on the same level in order for the region to move forward.

Campagiorni used the slogan “One Valley, One Voice” to promote his regional cause.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


By Tom Lacki, Senior Advisor, 1to1 Faculty
Source: 1to1 Weekly

It's an exciting, perhaps even scary, time to be a marketer. Times are changing, media is changing, and even customers are changing. If the present is so unpredictable, what will the future look like?

A new study by 1to1 Media asked 150 members of the 1to1 Xchange panel the question, "what will one-to-one marketing look like in 2020?" The results show promise for a more connected and informed customer-company relationship.

The future looks bright, as 84 percent of respondents agree that there will be moderate to high levels of positive change occurring within one-to-one marketing by 2020. This means significant improvement in the ability of organizations to capture and share information, understand customer needs, calculate customer lifetime value, improve the customer experience, and provide customers with relevant messaging in their preferred channel.

Similarly, 78 percent agree that the future of marketing will be based on building authentic relationships more so than the development of new products. And customers will continue to gain control of the relationship. Online chats, blogs, and Internet-based social communities increasingly put control of the brand image into the hands of customers. On the customer service side, one bad experience can have an exponential impact on a company's reputation as customers share their stories electronically.

Companies that will break through to customers are the ones that will focus on fairness, transparency, and building trust across the board. By 2020, marketers will focus less on gaining short-term advantage and more on working to win and maintain customer trust -- in fact, 84 percent of respondents agree that building customer trust will become marketing's primary objective.

Historically, the goal of marketing was to promote sales. This shift in mindset suggests that marketers are more fully recognizing that a message can't influence customer behavior if the messenger isn't trusted.

Another key finding is the growth of customer collaboration -- 82 percent agree that collaboration with customers will prevail over marketing to customers by 2020. And it will only increase as the tools to enable and track customer insight and participation improve.

The future isn't completely bright, however. Respondents agree that there are "clouds on the one-to-one horizon" such as governmental regulations that impact privacy, the deluge of solicitations and messaging across channels, and the fact that customers' attention spans are in short supply and under increasing pressure.

So how do you do make a solid one-to-one strategy work? The first step is putting one-to-one marketing into the day-to-day operation of the organization to improve the customer experience. Even on the campaign level, a little customer focus goes a long way. (We break down the impact of tactics like communication timeliness and relevance within a number of industries in our Relationship Builder research series.)

Organizations that plan accordingly will have the early mover advantage. Those that fall behind now by not acting in customers' best interests will trail behind even further from their competitors. Keeping up won't be easy, however, and will require constant diligence to new developments and continued customer insight.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lots of cooperation landed airplane plant

The Wichita Eagle

Wichita's biggest economic development win in years started with an Oct. 16 phone call and ended five months later in Topeka, where it survived a last-minute political struggle during a headlong rush through the Legislature.

The result: Cessna Aircraft will spend $780 million to start production of its new Columbus business jet, including $200 million for the plant and equipment. The plant will mean 1,010 jobs and a $74 million annual payroll.

The effort to land the Cessna plant included Sedgwick County, the city of Wichita, the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition and Cessna itself. Other groups also helped.

Here's how participants say the deal happened:

Oct. 17, 2007
Cessna executives Ed Pack and Tom Wakefield meet with local officials at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, a day after Pack called to set up the meeting. They lay out the size of the project, the amount of money to be spent and estimated new jobs. They don't say how much they want in incentives.

It falls partly to Al Higdon, interim president of the GWEDC, to develop the package. Higdon, a retired public relations veteran, had volunteered to run the group part-time and is now in the middle of the biggest deal in years.

City, county and state economic development staffs spend the next three months preparing an offer.

Cessna holds similar conversations with economic developers in North Carolina and Georgia, among others.

More here.

NC Heads List of Top-10 Pro-business States

This assessment by Pollina Corporate Real Estate, Inc., of the states that do the best at attracting and keeping jobs includes many that we see on others lists, but in a different order. This may serve as some confirmation that these states truly work hard at business attraction and retention. Pollina's Web site says the "study examines twenty-nine factors relative to states' efforts to be pro-business, and is the most comprehensive examination of states to date. The study is limited to factors over which state government has control. The list reflects state leadership that truly understands the importance of producing the best job opportunities available for their constituents. The state governments at the top of the list understand that they must be very pro-active in the international battle to keep and attract jobs."

Source: IAMC Notes, April 15, 2008 - Vol. 7, No. 11

Monday, April 07, 2008

How do we achieve balance?

Tucson, Arizona
Published: 04.06.2008

There is a new paradigm in economic development that turns this question upside down.

In the '70s and '80s, corporate-relocation strategy relied mainly on taking advantage of location, cost of doing business and real estate opportunities to move, relocate and expand to a region or metropolitan area. Then, labor and work force would follow.

Beginning in the '90s, with the advent of the Internet, wide use of technology that enables a business to operate efficiently anywhere, a global-based economy and a rapidly aging work force, companies rank the availability of talent and skilled labor as the No.1 driving factor in relocation decisions.

Guess what? That same, now younger, scarce work force looks for ambience, a vibrant downtown, outdoor amenities, quality education opportunities and a reasonable lifestyle in which to live and work. Labor is now in the driver's seat.

This reversal of trends means that conservation and sustainability are actually strengths for economic development — because they matter to skilled talent — and thus critical to the Tucson region's long-term success.

Two previous adversaries — economic growth and preservation/environmentalism — are now two sides of the same coin. Communities need to have it all.

Moving toward fulfilling the principle of sustainability in a community or a region, by the very nature of the definition of the word sustainability, means finding and forging a balance between environment, economic prosperity and social equity.

Every community is different, and may be stronger in one area than the other two. Getting to the appropriate balance that is right for that community can typically only come about if two things occur:

● 1. Engaging citizens, community leaders with experience and political leaders in each of the three components of sustainability, and working collaboratively to find that appropriate balance;

● 2. Community leaders, citizens and political leaders recognizing that they are planning for the future of the community, its current and future residents and businesses. Communities are not static but do indeed change dramatically over time. More here.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Chamber of commerce plans to split to bring in businesses

Published: Thursday, April 3, 2008
Caitlin McGlade

The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce plans to split its membership-based and economic development departments by next January.

If the split occurs, the Chamber can focus on marketing, networking and a number of other activities for its members, said CEO Jennifer Simon.

“[The split] makes sense because we have two distinct missions,” Simon said. The new economic development division would focus on bringing new businesses to Athens County, helping these companies meet their financial needs and helping recruit qualified employees for these companies, Simon said.

The Chamber still is looking for input from its members and investigating the costs of separating.

The current Chamber is funded by the city, county, Athens township and the community improvement cooperation, an organization that gives loans to impact economic development.

The Chamber has not yet “nailed down” the funding for the split, Simon said. She said she anticipates money from public funds and private investors, so the city will have to approve the final plan, Simon said.

The split will initially cost more money than remaining together, but Schaller said that this eventually would lead to more money through grants.

The economic development division would be able to better receive regional, state and federal grants because economic development tends to be more regionally focused, Schaller said.

When the chamber started in 1997, it had 280 different member companies and now it has 470 members, said Membership Service Coordinator Larry Payne.

New regional economic development group unveiled

By Ted MorrisHerald/Review
Published on Wednesday, April 02, 2008

BENSON — A new economic development group has risen up and is claiming to represent all of Cochise County.

Southeast Arizona Economic Development Group, a Benson-based consortium, appears to pose a rivalry to the dominance of the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation.

“We believe that the region has matured to the point where Southeast Arizona communities demand a representation in economic development and one with a foundation in responsible growth,” SAEDG Executive Director George Scott stated in a news release.

Scott said Sierra Vista and Douglas are the only two communities in Cochise County that have formal economic development functions. As for the other municipalities — Benson, Bisbee, Huachuca City, Tombstone and Willcox — “They never really had anyone who represented them.”

Concerning regional cooperation among economic developers, Sierra Vista Mayor Bob Strain on Monday said, “I have not been contacted by them, nor do I know anything about what their goals are. They have not talked to us.”

Sheila DeVoe Heidman, president of the board of directors of the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation, said Monday, “I have met with Mr. Scott, and the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation is looking forward to working with the organization to develop and explore economic development opportunities for the region.” More here.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Telling the story

BCI rep talks marketing with Henrietta, Clay County officials
Phil Major/ Times Record News Friday, April 4, 2008

For the past two years the Regional Marketing Council has been telling the story of the Wichita Falls region.

Tim Chase, president of the Board of Commerce & Industry in Wichita Falls, brought the story to the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce recently.

“We have a wonderful product here, but we don’t tell about it,” Chase said.
The initiative began about two years ago, and so far includes Wichita Falls, Wichita County, Burkburnett and Iowa Park.

Chase said BCI is seeking interest from other entities to participate.

The BCI, which is a chamber of commerce as well as an economic development group, decided work was needed to make the region stronger economically and a better place to live.
“It is important to tell our story to a broader audience,” he said.

A task force was put together to determine the scope of work for the initiative. First, economic development had to be defined, and that was determined to be primary job creation — jobs that bring new dollars to the region. More here.