Celebrate Economic Development Week!

This month, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is commemorating its 90th anniversary as the largest professional membership organization for economic developers. May 8 marked the date of the merger between the American Economic Development Council and the Council for Urban Economic Development in 2001.

IEDC Economic Development WeekIEDC has designated this week (8-14), Economic Development Week, encouraging economic developers from throughout the world to celebrate the industry as a profession. It’s a great time to recognize the long-term impact that this profession has had on job creation, new investment and improving communities.

“This anniversary is not only about the history of IEDC,” IEDC Board Chair Barry Matherly, CEcD, FM said. “It’s about the incredible, albeit sometimes thankless, work economic developers do to keep jobs plentiful and to maintain a high quality of life. That is but one reason why this anniversary is reserved for celebrating economic developers.”

Celebrating Economic Development Week gives communities an opportunity to showcase the results of positive collaboration and continued partnerships. It also provides a forum for educating elected officials, community leaders and residents on the importance of supporting economic development efforts.

IEDC’s celebration guide is available for download here

Saginaw, MI’s County Board of Commissioners and City Council passed resolutions announcing May 8-14 as economic development week and recognizing the strong, long-term relationship that they have shared with IEDC. The Great Lakes Bay Region has been hosting tours of its eight-county collaborative this week, including meetings with a site consultant.

Many other communities also are undertaking celebration plans. Ohio’s GROW Licking County has been among the first EDOs to organize Economic Development Week events: Its two-day ED101 Connect series is focusing on educating the community on the importance of the economic development profession.

“The intent of this series is to provide a critical baseline of education to our county’s leadership,” Licking County Commissioner’s Office President Tim Bubb said. “Through this dialogue, we hope to promote a fuller understanding of economic development and its role with various elected boards throughout Licking County.”

ED101 Connect covers best practices, stories of successes and shortfalls, as well as the importance of collaboration in economic development. Seminars strive to create a core of “in-the-know” community leaders, entrepreneurs, and business professionals by arming them with essential knowledge to improve infrastructure, attract and retain business, and sustain a healthy local economy.

Tulare County (CA) Economic Development Corporation is spreading the news through its stakeholder update videos and is introducing resolutions to be adopted by county officials recognizing Economic Development Week.

Other highlights include:

  • Greater Richmond Partnership (VA) organized an Economic Development Partners Lunch & Learn on May 8, and will participate in several events throughout the week. 
  • Greater MSP, (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN) along with IEDC President & CEO Jeff Finkle, CEcD, is hosting an event to recognize those executives and government officials involved in rolling out the Minnesota Medical Manufacturing Partnership (MMMP).
  • Grow St. Charles (MO) has passed a City Council resolution of support, and has requested a proclamation from Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.

Yesterday, IEDC Vice Chair Michael Langley visited Cleveland to join Joe Marinucci of the Downtown Cleveland Partnership and Tracey Nichols of the City of Cleveland for a press conference to formally announce Economic Development Week, as well as IEDC’s Annual Conference, held September 25-28 in Cleveland, OH.

IEDC also launched a new award for Economic Development Week called the Innovation in Economic Development Week Award. This award will highlight effective promotion and celebration of Economic Development Week in communities. There is no cost to enter the contest, but the activities that communities highlight in their entries must have been completed during the week of May 8-14. The deadline to apply for the award is June 10. Download the Innovation in Economic Development Week entry packet to get started.

Business Facilities congratulates IEDC on its 90th anniversary!