What is next for the practice of economic development?

January 9, 2012

I believe in the practice of economic development. I believe that it is the consistent, innovative work of communities, regions and states that has kept the U.S. as competitive as it remains. Workforce officials work every day to prepare the workforce, community development officials help nurture local businesses and rebuild neighborhoods, chambers of commerce advocate for sound policies that both protect and promote business interests, and universities use their considerable resources to commercialize ideas into job creators.

Many of the individual functions are performed very well, but too few of these functions are organized to reinforce one another. That is why I believe the next step in the evolution of the practice of economic development is in the integration of these services. It is not only logical, but more necessary than ever that these services align to strengthen our local – and national – economy.

What it takes:

Leadership: A combination of public/private leadership that understands that there are no silver bullets to economic development success. It requires comprehensive effort, consistent funding, and accountability.

Professionalism: A commitment of economic development leaders in the various organizations to work together, share success and improve on failed initiatives.

A Bias for Action: A willingness to practice the fundamentals of economic development in innovative ways using technology and collaborative partnerships with business, academic, and government organizations.

The Columbus2020! Initiative is seeking to do just this in the Columbus Region, and we look forward to working with all of you to practice economic development in 2012!

Columbus2020! Update:
Our team begins the year with an excellent pipeline of new companies and some extremely exciting opportunities for job growth and capital investment. Our project management team is planning to host four companies within the 11-county Region, and the Existing Business Solutions team will begin their 2012 outreach to regional businesses.

Article of Note: Forbes – The U.S. Economy: Regions to Watch in 2012