EconDev 101: Educating Stakeholders
With information comes knowledge. With knowledge comes informed action based on a mission that all stakeholders can support.
On a broad scale, anything a community does to foster and create a healthy economy can be called economic development and there are organizations created for this very purpose.
But economic development is made no easier when local policymakers and community stakeholders do not have a basic understanding of foundational principles of economic development.
Such a lack of understanding can create unreasonable expectations, which in turn hamstring an economic development organization. In extreme cases, it can lead to resignations and firings.
Our one-day or half-day crash-course seminar is designed with two purposes in mind:
1. Educate community leaders so that they have a better understanding of how economic development works in the real world
2. Create community stakeholder buy-in so that everyone agrees to an operational plan going forward.
We will discuss the three operational principles of economic development -- business retention and expansion, entrepreneurial development, and business attraction.
We will explain the importance of human capital to a community and why workforce development through upskilling is critical to growing a local economy.
We will speak to how real estate "product" and physical infrastructure, particularly transportation and utilities, plays a hugely important role in the development and growth of a local business sector.
We will talk about how the business climate of a community is formed largely by the enactment and enforcement of regulations by local governments, particularly on issues regarding permitting and zoning.
We will explain how potential investors view the quality of life of a community as well as the cost of doing business pertaining to taxes, energy, and an assortment of other expenses.
When community stakeholders have a better understanding of economic development, the professionals can be more efficient and effective, and that benefits everyone.
"Dean did a tremendous job serving not only as a sounding board for ideas and helping us think through connections in other markets but also had a willingness to "shoot straight" on the good, bad (and ugly) of our ability to achieve the direction we thought we should be focused on. Would highly recommend Dean for those kind of strategic conversations and would count him as one of the best connections I've made in a while to have good personal conversations about the ED profession and direction of community development. Great person to bring in to deal with community officials, boards, and economic development partners for tough conversations done in a friendly, respectful, and genuine manner." -- Jeff Seymour, CEcD, Executive Vice President, Economic Development at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber