Saturday, December 29, 2012

Economic Development Agencies Face New Scrutiny

In this article in by Josh Goodman of the Pew Center on the States the author describes how several states, most of them led by Republican governors, have experimented in recent years with the idea of turning their economic development agencies over to semi-private management. The results have not been uniformly successful. Many of these organizations are struggling to balance job creation with public accountability.  More here.

Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance, Dow Corning team up to attract interns

By Kathryn Lynch-Morin |

 Every year, hundreds of interns head to the Great Lakes Bay Region for their first taste of career life.

For several months, they live, work and contribute to the communities in the area. The only problem?

Getting them to stay.

Terry Moore, president and chief executive officer of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance said he'd like to see more interns staying in the region.

That's why his organization, the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce, Bay County-based Dow Corning Corp. and Saginaw County-based Nexteer Automotive have teamed up to help better acquaint interns new to the area. More here.

Michigan internships: Key economic development driver

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) is using internships  to retain talent and prepare students for careers in Michigan.

Amy Cell, MEDC’s senior vice president for talent enhancement said in an MLive article that the use of internships is a tremendous opportunity for the state of Michigan to develop and retain key talent in Michigan.

The state has adopted or launched multiple programs aimed at keeping college graduates in Michigan, developing a skilled workforce and connecting workers with high-demand jobs. Read more here.

GWEDC’s holiday gift package impresses

Want to know what marketing materials impress site consultants?  Jay Garner, a site selection consultant from Atlanta was recently impressed with a promotional gift he received from the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition. Read about what impressed Garner about their communication here

Wisconsin's economic development agency plagued by problems

An independent audit of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) found sloppy accounting practices, poor monitoring of loans and high turnover of employees. 

The WEDC is a quasi-public organization created by Gov. Scott Walker in July 2011, to be the agency leading his job creation efforts. But job growth in the state has been stunted, and the WEDC has been plagued by serious problems. More here.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Economic Development looking to capitalize on booming rural economy

Loudoun County’s Rural Business Division presented a new strategy for the rural economy to the county’s Economic Development Commission.

The new strategy identified the top ten agricultural industry sectors in Loudoun County including beef cattle, equine, sheep, goats, sod, hay, Christmas trees, nursery products, and fruits and vegetables.

Agriculture is Virginia's largest industry and Loudoun County is first in several categories including number one in number of horses, number of wineries and in acres of sod harvested. The county also produces the second most grapes in the state, is fourth and fifth in Christmas tree sales and in hay and other crops respectively.

The purpose of the new strategy is to provide a voice for rural business to aid growth and prosperity. More here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Site consultant says 'Right to Work' will bring more employers to Michigan's doorstep

Site consultant Dennis Donovan of Wadley-Donovan-Gutshaw Consulting says the Michigan's new right to work law will result in more prospective employers giving that state a look.  The major reason he says, is that the law will help companies keep their work rules flexible to meet their changing business conditions.

Donovan said the issue is “critical” for about 20 percent of employers and “very important” for another 35 percent. That means half of all employers will not consider states that have not passed Right to Work laws. More here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Uselessness of Economic Development Incentives

In summary, Richard Florida says in this article that "The bigger issue is that incentives do little to alter the locational calculus of most companies. The broad body of evidence on incentives, including the Times series, finds that incentives do not actually cause companies to choose certain locations over others. Rather, companies typically select locations based on factors such as workforce, proximity to markets, and access to qualified suppliers, and then pit jurisdictions against one another to extract tax benefits and other incentives." More here

Jackson County Economic Development Foundation Succeeds with Aerospace Cluster

Existing aerospace enterprises and the hope of more to come was the focus for the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation's annual investor's dinner held recently.

Northrop Grumman's recent expansion of a new product line there is viewed as an indicator of the county's place in the emerging field of unmanned systems and where we are headed," Freeland said.

George Freeland, executive director of the JCEDF said that his group pursues job creation in fields with high-growth potential and that Northrop's unmanned systems are the highest growth sector in aerospace. More here.

Beachwood Officials Discuss Long-Term Economic Development Goals

In discussing Beachwood Ohio Economic Development Director Jim Doutt revealed some long-term goals this week to compliment the city's immediate hopes. His plans include developing partnerships and an entrepreneurial center as part of the city's economic development incentive framework More here.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Randy Parham: Economic development incentives are balancing act for cities

Written by Randy Parham
For The Tennessean
Do economic development incentives work? Are they good for the community? Why do communities like Nashville offer economic incentives to attract or keep businesses?

“Many times a community won’t even make the short list unless it is willing to offer some kind of incentive,” says Janet Miller, chief economic development and marketing officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

But how much is too much?

“There is no magic formula for this,” she said. “Each community must determine what is in its best interest based on its unique situation.” More here.

Manatee Rebrands

The Manatee Economic Development Corp.has been renamed the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. in an effort to sell companies on the idea of doing business there.

Along with the name change, the group adopted a new marketing slogan - "Think Global. Think Bradenton Area."

The new marketing effort, was developed by 13 volunteer members of the marketing task force and Atlas Advertising, a Denver based marketing firm which did surveys and market research. The research revealed that more businesses outside the area identify with the name Bradenton Area than Manatee or Sarasota.  More here.

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Pasco developing marketing strategy to lure high wage jobs

The Pasco Economic Development Council has adopted a "placemaking" strategy  to economic development.  The strategic plan was developed over the past year and a half in cooperation with business leaders and regional developers.

The plan leveraged changes in the land development rules and transportation fees and built on that to create long-term goals for each of the county's five market areas. They also renamed the areas based on their characteristics in order to improve their marketability. More here.

Economic development board looks at branding

"Business to Beaches" is the new tagline being used by the Economic Opportunity Advisory Council of Flagler County Florida as part of its branding effort. the EOAC is hoping to capitalize on the county's mix of leisure options and business-friendly climate.

Committee members responsible for the new tagline wanted to highlight the county's natural attractions along with a message that the county is "open for business".  The group wanted the branding message to be short and "memorable".  More here

New economic development structure gets an 'incomplete'

The state of Ohio decentralized its economic development efforts from Columbus to six regions with the creation of the still-controversial JobsOhio program.

In the Toledo region, and elsewhere, development officials say the new way of doing business has been rocky but improving every day. Local officials within each of the six regions are working together, but it is not without difficulties and uncertainty over the long-term viability of JobsOhio.  More here.