I have been hesitant to enter the “blogosphere” for the simple reasons that:
So I decided to think it over, and over...but finally concluded that it can’t be a bad idea to use every tool available to promote my community and perhaps share my somewhat contrarian views.
To begin with, I want to address the WHY of economic development. In that regard, I can only talk about my own very personal reasons. I more or less fell into the field some 35+ years ago working at the State level in Mississippi. I found that I truly love manufacturing and even more that I enjoy putting deals together and helping make good things happen. The good things that happen certainly involve winning the deal and the excitement of cutting ribbons and seeing favorable headlines. But that initial excitement wears off pretty quickly and hopefully we developers come to realize that the truly important mission (and it is a mission) of economic development is providing opportunity for meaningful work to support families and communities.
I specifically remember being at a project announcement where there were what seemed like hundreds of people present who had just lost their jobs to a factory that was closing. I saw folks who were excited. I saw a few people with tears in their eyes. I saw hope. Job done.
Sure, I love the chase and all of the nuances of winning a project that so many are chasing. But the mission is hope.
Next time, the WHO of economic development.