11 May 2023

Recognizing Economic Development Week

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When our GA Energy Cities Succeed – We Succeed!

Our Economic Development Team is dedicated to supporting our #GAEnergyCities in their individual economic development efforts. Our goal is to bring growth to Georgia, be it expansion, relocation, or new business. As Economic Development Week draws to a close, we remain resolute on the purpose behind our efforts.

We are dedicated to delivering top-notch results, working closely with our communities and the State of Georgia to maintain Georgia’s top position as a business-friendly environment. Our ED Team takes a moment to catch their breath, reflect, and fully appreciate the value and significance of our work.

Diana, our Digital and Social Media Specialist, engages in conversations with our team members to gather their perspectives on economic development. These insights are valuable in understanding the impact of our work in the communities we serve.

Diana: What does a successful economic development program look like, and what role can individuals, businesses, and communities play in supporting economic development?

Daryl ~ SVP & Chief External Officer: A successful economic development program works in concert with a community development program. It is everlasting and ever-changing. It can be difficult and complicated, but the rewards literally change lives. Successful economic and community development programs demonstrate a team effort. Leadership is the key, and when the right leader shows up, other leaders emerge

Diana: What community development resources and programs are available for our communities to promote economic growth and development?

John ~ Community Development: Georgia has a range of community development resources and

programs aimed at promoting economic growth and development. These include the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Small Business Administration, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute, Department of Agriculture, Economic Development Administration, GEDA, and GMA. What do these community development resources and programs have in common? They all aim to foster and promote economic development in Georgia’s communities and businesses, providing various forms of assistance, and services to support economic growth and development, whether through funding, technical assistance, training, or networking opportunities.

Diana: What does economic development mean to you?

Daniel ~ Retail-Commercial Development: Economic Development is all about adding VALUE to our communities! Whether discussing projects like hotel development or shopping center redevelopment, I witness how such opportunities can positively change people’s lives by creating job opportunities, attracting new investments, and improving their overall quality of life. Successful economic development isn’t just about grand ceremonies or ribbon-cutting events, but rather the success of an organization or community is determined by the team behind it. It truly takes a team…a team that s proactive, considerate, inclusive, and receptive to innovative ideas!

Diana: Please share your perspective on how we can define success in economic development.

Scott ~ Industrial Development: One of the best things about economic development is that success can be defined differently for each community, and no one definition of success is superior to another.

Any initiative that contributes to growing a community’s identity for itself and benefits its residents; is a success. Having our team be a part of those successes is the most rewarding part of the job.

Diana: What factors do companies consider when choosing a business location? How can economic developers use this to improve their communities’ competitiveness?

Chad ~ Industrial Development: Companies take various factors into account when deciding on a business location, including workforce availability, cost of living, transportation and utility infrastructure, and quality of life. Communities can improve their competitiveness by focusing on improving these factors, such as investing in infrastructure and workforce development programs. Each community has something that makes it unique and different. Economic developers should promote those things to attract businesses and help their communities thrive.

Diana: What are some of the current trends in economic development that are shaping the global economy?

Mark ~ Industrial Development: From a macro perspective, we are seeing many EV and Battery

projects coming in. With the announcement of the Rivian and Hyundai projects, a large number of suppliers focusing on serving those two megaprojects are showing up day after day. On a smaller scale, we are witnessing the trend of “reshoring” continue as international companies look to open up facilities in the US and, ideally, choose the Peach State as their new home. Economic development is the cornerstone for creating thriving cities, and communities can experience growth by adopting current trends in economic development.

Diana: How is technology changing the landscape of economic development, and what new opportunities or challenges does it present?

Michelle ~ External Affairs & Technical Solutions: Technology has opened avenues to the world no

matter your location. It is an important factor in attracting new investment to your community. Being able to access a labor force, a supplier network, and a customer base are key factors in today’s economic development. As landscapes change, so does technology. We have seen exponential growth in technology in just the last few generations. Embracing changing technology is essential for individuals, businesses, and communities to remain competitive and succeed in today’s global world. A friend likened AI adoption to making the decision years ago to try out a new car or to keep traveling by horse and buggy. It made perfect sense! 

And there you have it, folks; if you come across any of our team members around town, be sure to thank them for all they do for our #GAEnergyCities. Additionally, to stay informed on economic development news, or read our newsletter, visit our blog here.

About the Economic Development Week

Created in 2016 by International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the largest international professional trade association for economic developers, Economic Development Week aims to increase awareness for local programs that create jobs, advance career development opportunities, and improve the quality of life in communities everywhere.

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,300 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IDCs members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. IEDC’s members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions. www.iedcONLINE.org