May 3, 2021

“A noble purpose inspires sacrifice, stimulates innovation and encourages perseverance.”
-Gary Hamel
Somewhere there is a parent that is out of work or underemployed struggling to provide for their children. Somewhere there is a high school graduate that is willing and able to work but doesn’t know what career options are available to them without attending college. Somewhere there is non-profit leader or a first responder counting on their community’s support so they can deliver their services at a high-level. And in each case, there is an economic developer working hard to make those things possible.

The U.S. is projecting nearly 6% growth, which means that the development is at full throttle. Economic development teams are busy serving small businesses, helping big businesses to compete globally, financing projects, and trying to deliver a workforce to their companies. The extra hours, stress, and anxiety over the past 14 months have been incredible, taken its toll, and also hardened and improved the profession of economic development and the professionals doing the work.

Economic developers all over the world are doing some of the best work now, just when we need it, because of the traumatic experiences of the past year. The purpose and power of connecting business with government, capital with entrepreneur, and job seeker with job creator has never been clearer. The global shutdown has brought into more focus how lucky we are to be able to have these opportunities to serve and innovate and to reduce the vast inequities laid bare by the aftereffects of the pandemic.

For the economic development professionals and their allies reading this, especially JobsOhio, REDI Cincinnati, Team NEO, RGP, DDC, OhioSE, IEDC, OEDA, ODSA, MODE  – thank you for your hard work! Someone, somewhere is counting on your success.

Let’s let gratitude, respect, and purpose be the words of the week as we pursue our ambitions.

​​​​-Kenny McDonald