Business Facilities Economic Development Organization Awards

Business Facilities recognizes EDOs for innovative or impactful programs and initiatives aimed at improving the communities they serve.

Economic Development Organization Awards

Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Co.

Outdoor Recreation Initiative: The Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Co. serves as the economic development affiliate of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce (PA). Having developed 15 business parks, SLIBCO retooled its approach to working with speculative developers. While most intend to build on speculation for warehousing and logistics, the office established internal incentive programs for developers to attract advanced industries. As employers and economic developers tackle the ongoing workforce issue, there has been headway towards attracting young talent out of major urban markets, into smaller urban or even rural communities. Part of this relies on amenities within the greater community, and in some cases, more specifically—outdoor recreation. In partnership with a local conservation group, SLIBCO is transacting 250+ acres for the sake of conservatorship. The conservation group intends to create recreational opportunities, including mountain biking trails and hiking trails. SLIBCO has identified ways to diversify industry attraction, layered in with the concept of talent attraction through recreational amenities within the greater community.

Elevate Douglas Economic Partnership

Reorganization: Founded in 2021, Elevate Douglas Economic Partnership (GA) is a P3 organization created to unite the City of Douglasville Development Authority and the Development Authority of Douglas County with one staff. Elevate Douglas was borne out of the 2017 Community and Economic Development Strategic Plan. A capital campaign in 2020 was paused when COVID-19 emerged. They completed first capital campaign in December 2022 and raised 81% of a $2.5 million five-year goal. Accomplishments include: creating a workforce training program, Career Ready Training Program. To date, 100+ individuals have found full-time employment. They also launched a Jobs and Justice Council to bring together second chance employers and the local criminal justice system. Elevate Douglas partnered with Douglas County Government to secure 167 acres to develop a mixed-use development, scheduled to open in 2024. Over the past five years, they have announced over $5 billion in capital investments and 2,500 jobs. These include Microsoft data center, Home Chef, Google data center expansion, Stitch Fix, Sam’s Club E-commerce, and numerous expansions.

Economic Development Organization Awards

Clarksville Montgomery County Economic Development Council

Workforce Program: In Tennessee, Clarksville Montgomery County Economic Development Council (CMC EDC) is dedicated to creating solutions to employment barriers and focused on creating high-skill, quality wage jobs. In the past year, CMC EDC announced 1,300 new jobs, primarily in the EV sector and 650+ expansion jobs. Attracting LG Chem to Clarksville was an “against all odds” win requiring out of the box incentives, including a massive childcare investment, infrastructure expansions, financing over an extended term, and a strategic plan to attract skilled workers with upgraded quality of life amenities. Planning a $3.2 billion investment, LG Chem discovered creative workforce solutions here, like the first of its kind, Industrial Childcare Facility, creating up to 400 reduced rates childcare slots for industrial partners. This is retention tool for employers that eases the burden for families. Construction on the LG Chem site begins fall of 2023, with operations by the end of 2024. Leadership is visiting South Korea this summer to learn about workforce needs and establish a talent pipeline at Austin Peay State University.

St. Tammany Corporation

Workforce Development: St. Tammany Corporation (LA) leads collaborative efforts in workforce, education, and talent by facilitating the Workforce Roundtable Initiative, comprised of executive representatives from Northshore Technical Community College (NTCC), St. Tammany Parish Public Schools (STPPS), Tri-Parish Works/Workforce Development Board (TPW), and Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU). This initiative places industry’s workforce needs at the center. In 2022, the group facilitated industry roundtables for industries (manufacturing, distribution/logistics, information technology, and more), including highlights of existing training/education. In August, 170 STPPS junior high and high school career and technical education faculty from 21 school locations participated in the Future Focus profession development program. In February 2023, STPPS collaborated with STC and TPW to host the first Career & College Expo for students in grades 8-12. Over 3,000 students and parents met with representatives from education, military, apprenticeships, and business and industry. The following day, 1,000 high school students from the five-parish Northshore region participated in NTCC’s second annual Information Technology Summit.

City of Henderson, NV

Renewed Vision: Over the last 15 months, the City of Henderson’s Economic Development team has taken bold steps towards becoming a national leader. To move the team forward, Henderson, NV welcomed a Certified Economic Development professional as the new Director along with two experienced economic development professionals from regional organizations. In 2022, the city announced three businesses moving in or expanding, accounting for 225+ new jobs. Through the first three months of 2023, the city announced the headquarter relocation of a global leader in air compressors and vacuums and the relocation of an apparel distribution center. Combined, these will bring 350+ jobs and over $2 million in capital investment. In the last year, Henderson has annexed over 8,000 acres in Eldorado Valley; the first 850 acres to be master-planned as an industrial park. In 2022, Henderson broke ground on an advanced manufacturing training center, the Center of Excellence, built in partnership with the College of Southern Nevada. The team has also led the largest acquisition by the city of a strategic site within the downtown corridor. The site, formerly a hotel and casino, is envisioned as an indoor sports and recreation facility.

Said Jared Smith, Henderson Economic Development Director: “Here at the City of Henderson, we have an all-in-to-win approach to new economic and business opportunities. Receiving this award is a testament to our work in making bold and strategic investments that solidifies Henderson as a premier place to do business.”

Economic Development Organization Awards

Hernando County Office of Business Development

Expansion Assistance Program: Barrette Outdoor Living™ considered several options and again chose to expand at Brooksville – Tampa Bay Regional Airport & Technology Center (BKV) in Hernando County, Florida. The manufacturer took part in a county program called EPIC, Expedited Permitting, Inspection and Certification. As the leading North American supplier, Barrette Outdoor Living manufactures and distributes fencing, railing, decking, and gates. In early 2022, the company announced plans to add vinyl manufacturing, with plans to employ 170. A search revealed that the best site to construct their new 175,000 square foot facility is on a 15-acre parcel at BKV’s Rail Park. While proximity to the company’s other facilities and regional suppliers played a role, construction speed was also vital. From groundbreaking to certificate of occupancy, expected construction duration is 12 months. Barrette Outdoor Living began business in Hernando County in 2014 with an aluminum manufacturing facility at BKV. In 2019, they successfully constructed a 100,000 square foot distribution center within nine months.

Said Valerie Pianta, Economic Development Director, Hernando County Office of Business Development: “Since launching EPIC in January 2020, the program has been enormously popular! It streamlines the development process making the road to Certificate of Occupancy seamless. As facilitator, our team interfaces with internal and external agencies, meeting frequently, to ensure all milestones are on track. Even in the best scenarios, obstacles occur; we’re here to personally anticipate and resolve them. Time is money and businesses know they can take EPIC to the bank.”

EDC of St. Lucie County

Recovery Story: St. Lucie County (FL) was hard-hit during the Great Recession of 2008; in 2010 one in every 19 homes in the MSA was in foreclosure. Multiple economic development deals had fallen apart. Unemployment topped 14%. In 2014, the EDC appointed new leadership and made a commitment to build community support. Today, it is a respected business organization with a vital membership. It has created a multi-faceted program to bring commuters home to work and youth training initiatives, and now they’re working on housing affordability. As a mid-tier market with a limited marketing budget, they are creative with virtual tours, social media, choosing the right editorial environments for print advertising, and used navigation app Waze to promote a WorkLocal campaign. A 2017 to mid-2021 analysis by the Economic Strategy Center of 46 EDC projects demonstrated economic impact of $1.855 billion in total output (in a county with total 2019 GDP of $8.43 billion) and added 10,205 jobs. In 2022, project brought 2,864 jobs. EDC of St. Lucie County achieved the 30-year plan for the Jobs Corridor development in seven years with: Legacy Park, FedEx Ground, Amazon, a food distribution facility, wire manufacturer, and City Electric expansion.

Grand Junction Economic Partnership

Rural Development: The Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) is a leader in Colorado’s Rural Jump Start (RJS) Program, operating within Mesa County and the Grand Junction area. The RJS Program is a collaborative effort by the State, local governments, higher education, and economic development. Through the program, GJEP works with prospective businesses to support incentive application processes and connections with Colorado Mesa University. Businesses can receive up to $20,000 as newly established, tax breaks, up to $2,500 per new hire, and access to top academia. In 2022, GJEP facilitated the expansion of Spares in Motion, a Netherlands-based supplier for the wind turbine market that selected Grand Junction as its first North American location. GJEP also worked with Phoenix Haus, a prefabricated home manufacturer that relocated there in 2017. In 2022, Phoenix Haus expanded due to momentum through the RJS program. To date, GJEP has helped 26 companies. There has been $5.2 million given in total tax benefits for the county; this comprises nearly 66% of the total tax benefits given statewide through RJP. Total economic impact amounts to $15.3 million from primary job creation and capital investment.

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