Day 19: What Resources Can I Turn To?

Day 19:  What resources can I turn to?  A great economic developer knows who can help them.  Both professionally and getting the job done.  Today I got to hear Michigan Governor Rick Snyder speak at the International Economic Development Conference.  He said a lot of things that made sense but I particularly liked his phrase, Don’t find the blame and don’t take the credit.  My grandpa always said, don’t find the blame, just find the solution.  With a focus on the credit piece, I think it is important that economic development organizations don’t take the credit.  It is more important to make the public officials look good.  Now, it is important that the ED organization be visible, but most people know who really does the work.  It is most important that the board knows the groups involvement in the project. 

But back to resources.  There are lots of people out there who have the responsibility to help you.  State government, utilities, universities, etc.  Many utilities have economic development directors.  Since I was employed for 15 years as an economic development professional for a utility it was my experience that now as many communities took advantage of our resources as I would have liked.  Many utilities offer both financial and program assistance.  One of your first calls should be to a utility.  There company can really only grow when their communities grow.  You should also get to know the state contact in the economic development department.  Some states are more helpful than others.  Other important resources is to get to know a university contact.  If you don’t have a college in town, find the closest and get to know someone there.  Your professional organization at the state level and International Economic Development Council are important too as I mentioned on Day 5.  Next:  What are some professional resources I should use?

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