Day 68: How Important are Certified Sites?

Day 68:  How important are certified sites?  Over the last five years the hot trend in economic development has been certified sites.  The cynical side of me first thought it was a new product line for engineering firms.  And, actually it was.  But it is a good idea too.  I believe Oregon was the first state to have a true certified site program.  It was a very rigorous program.  There have been several other states that have adopted certified sites but they are watered down because the local communities complained that it cost too much money.  This is an expensive process, but do you want to grow your community or keep the status quo?  In this economy status quo actually means falling behind.  Rural communities are losing the battle, but they don’t need to.  If they would step up and spend the money that needs to be spent they can compete.  That means having sites that are ready.  By ready, I mean they have put all the streets and utilities in place.  They have all the permitting ready to go.  It requires hard work.  We see too many communities that don’t want to do the heavy lifting and then they wonder why they are not growing.  As with anything in life, preparation is the key to success.  Do you think an Olympian gets a gold medal just by walking in competing in their respective sport for the first time?  Having a certified site is that preparation and it is very important.  Once it is certified you have something to market too.  Here is a link to the Oregon program.  It is the most complete that I am aware of.  Even if you state does not have a certified site program, work on a site in your community that can compete with those that do.  Next:  What makes a good economic developer?

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