Monday, January 30, 2012

Connecticut Crowdsources Rebranding

The state of Connecticut has been saving its pennies and now has $22 million to spend on boosting tourism and business investment in the state. The state hasn’t spent any money in the last two years on tourism and is now opening up its wallet to try and rebrand itself over the next two years.

"For the last two years, Connecticut has been the only state in the region to have allocated no marketing money for stimulating business development and tourism," Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy said in a press release. "As we looked at competing states’ branding plans, we knew we needed to advertise the state aggressively as a great place to do business and visit. This smart new strategy, leveraging the state’s investment in tourism to further economic development goals for attracting new business and recruiting new talent, will help us get there." More here.

Friday, January 27, 2012

No stone unturned for economic development

Chesterfield Virginia's Will Davis talks about the county's brightening economic future and the approach they have taken to get there. More here.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Efforts Starts to Develop "Creative Corridor" in Stamford

Fairfield County Connecticut is home to nearly 600 agencies employing about 8,000 people in public relations, graphic arts, marketing and advertising and a new effort has been started to bring more jobs in the sector to the region.

The number involved in the sector is far higher when including area residents who commute to work in New York City.

About 90 of them got together recently to discuss the creatiion of a "creative corridor".

“We have to come together to tackle the image of Connecticut being staid,” said Marian Salzman, chief executive officer of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, North America, and chairwoman of the Fairfield County Public Relations Association.

“Outside the state, we have the reputation as a place for financial services and hedge funds. Perception is reality in our business," she said.

More here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Marketing campaign aims to recruit factory workers

The Waukesha County Business Alliance said Wednesday that it has selected Scheibel Halaska as the agency to design and implement Wisconsin's "Dream it. Do it." manufacturing career-building initiative.

"Dream it. Do it." is a national recruitment strategy sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers.

"The campaign is designed to re-brand the manufacturing industry as an industry providing high-paying, high-quality careers," the WCBA said in an emailed statement.

The campaign is targeted at young people ages 17 to 27. Wisconsin will be the 20th region nationally to implement the program after a statewide license was secured by the Wisconsin Technical College System.

Manufacturers in the state have repeatedly said that finding qualified workers with the skills needed to operate complex, computer-controlled machinery is the top business challenge they face.

The initiative will first be implemented in the Milwaukee 7 economic development region, with the WCBA leading the program. Eventually, the program will be unveiled statewide. "The region will serve as a successful foundation for a statewide adoption in subsequent phases of the initiative," according to the statement.

The program will begin with the development and launch of a careers website.

"A foundational element of the website will be tools and resources to support area manufacturers in becoming better at attracting, retaining and engaging next generation workers," according to the statement.

The Waukesha County Business Alliance is a countywide chamber of commerce with over 900 member companies, representing more than 60,000 employees.

Ala. gov announces new economic development plan

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley on Tuesday announced a new economic development strategy that aims to turn bright ideas at universities and private research institutions into products that can be made by companies hiring state residents for good-paying jobs.

Bentley, a Republican who was elected in 2010 on a platform of job creation, released the so-called "Accelerate Alabama" plan at a meeting of economic developers Tuesday.

With unemployment down since Bentley took office but still at 8.1 percent, state leaders are expected to focus on job creation in the coming months.

More here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Iowa Economic Development Authority director Debi Durham: Iowa needs more people

Our recent survey found that marketing the availability of a  skillled workforce as a location advantage is one of the emerging trends in economic development. 

In this article, Iowa's state econmic development director told lawmakers that growing the state's population is key to growing Iowa’s economy.

Boosting educational investments that prepare young adults for industrial and advanced manufacturing jobs will be important too, she said, but Iowa must attract more people and reverse its current-slow growth trend. More here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Global Matters: In economic development, some inevitably fly away

Here's a column on the decsion by an aircraft manufactuere to locate in Wisconsin instead of Maine.  This is another instance where, allother things being equal, the prize goes to the state with the best incentives.  More here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

LEAP plans new focus on economic development

Interesting quote from the new CEO of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership in this article.  He wants to put a greater emphasis on helping entrpreneurs through a netwrok of incubators.  Bob Trezise, the new CEO says, "We wanted to reshape LEAP fundamentally into an economic development organization and I think it was primarily a marketing organization before."

We would argue that an incubator strategy for new business grwoth is a marketing strategy.  More here 

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Research park to revamp marketing strategy

Clemson University’s Advanced Materials Center wants to undertake a branding update to expand its scope of expertise.

Materials research has been under way at the lab since 2004 and Clemson has been able to attract millions of dollars in state, federal and private research grants.

But Clemson’s Information Technology Center site is headquartered there, as is the Clemson Computing and Information Technology department and the L.G. Rich Environmental Lab, which researches environmental systems, toxicology and pollution prevention. More here.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Branded: Forest Lake designs new image

Another community develops a new logo and slogan under the guise of "branding". More here.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Montgomery County MD Looks to Be More "Business Friendly"

Montgomery County lawmakers want to change their approach to economic development in response to claims that they are unfriendly to business.

The county's Department of Economic Development needs to be more entrepreneurial and less bureaucratic says County Council President Roger Berliner, D-Bethesda

Discussions with business leaders indicate that zoning and permitting processes are cumbersome. In addition, state taxes and regulations in Maryland are burdensome enough that some companies pick business-friendly Virginia over Maryland.

More on the reform efforts here.

Monday, January 02, 2012

GloballWatt not pursuing Saginaw solar plant

A company that had planned to invest $177 million in a Saginaw solar panel manufacturing plant has put the project on hold.  GlobalWatt planned to create a production line to assemble crystalline silicon solar panels, creating up to 500 jobs. The project was approved for economic development incentives from Michigan and local taxing authorities.  SInce no jobs were created, the credits will not be distributed.  More here.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Does Local Economic Development Work?

Academic Mario Polèse argues that the history of local economic development is a "story of academic fads", that have "proven of little practical use."

Writing in City Journal, academic Mario Polèse calls local economic development strategy an "urban-development legend". He reviews the prevailing economic development strategies employed over the last century -- up to and including the prevailing "Creative Class" approach associated with Richard Florida -- and concludes that these "grand theories do little to revive cities," and often end up doing damage to the local economy the theory seeks to stimulate. More here