February 2017

United in Diversity, United in its Future

United in Diversity, United in its Future

City of Woodburn, OR

Cultural identity and a sense of place serve as a pivotal part of how communities are perceived, and – perhaps more importantly – how these communities move forward with a unified clear vision for the future. It is this sense of identity that facilitates common values, traditions and economic and social wellbeing.
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Woodburn, Oregon, the ‘City of Unity’ as it is affectionately referred, exemplifies what cultural diversity can and does contribute to a community if it is encouraged, embraced and nurtured throughout all development processes. It is not an easy task, but it is one that Woodburn has at its core, and by all indications, the city is poised for growth.

Founded on Experience, Driven by Passion

Founded on Experience, Driven by Passion

Canadian Projects Limited

Canadian Projects Limited (CPL) has completed over three billion dollars of successful run-of-river hydroelectric, wind and solar power projects, on time, within budget and with the utmost professionalism possible. Although the company was only founded in May of 1999, the depth of its knowledge goes much further back and is based on decades of experience in Canada’s growing renewable energy sectors.
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Today, company co-founder and President Paul Kemp and his highly trained team of about twenty full-time engineers, project managers, construction managers, project administrators and administrative staff continue to build on their collective strengths and talents. The company works in civil-mechanical engineering while partnering with long-time trusted professionals in areas such as geology, surveying, electrical and other specialties, when required.

Industry, Metals, Agriculture & Lifestyle the Oregon Way

Industry, Metals, Agriculture & Lifestyle the Oregon Way

Albany-Millersburg Economic Development Corporation

There is something special about Oregon. The mix of rural simplicity with urban hipster progressivism and twenty-first-century industrial technology creates a cultural hybrid of old and new, country and city that produces some of the smartest and funniest people you will ever meet.
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John Pascone is the president of the Albany-Millersburg Economic Development Corporation (AMEDC). Upon completing his undergraduate degree in engineering, John got a degree in business administration before completing his MBA at Santa Clara University. In the thirty-five years since, he has been a pillar of commerce in the region. For nineteen of those years, he was a business counselor at Linn-Benton Community College and moved over toAMEDC in 1997. He spoke to me from his office in Albany.

Open for Business

Open for Business

City of Renton, WA

Located just eleven miles southeast of Seattle, in the heart of the Greater Seattle and Puget Sound region, the City of Renton has a legacy of many recognized and highly respected businesses. Renton has emerged from its early economy that was founded on timber, clay production and coal mining, to become the home of numerous service-based businesses, technology companies, manufacturers, banking entities and sports franchises. Renton is widely known for fostering a pro-business environment for companies of any size.
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The City of Renton is well-known for its great quality of life, so it is no wonder why the city continues to grow and prosper. It has much to offer: a scenic location, low cost of business and connections to seaports, highways and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as well as hundreds of acres of parks, the striking beauty of Mt. Rainier, quality schools and more.

Historically Rich and Poised for Growth

Historically Rich and Poised for Growth

City of Lakewood, WA

The city of Lakewood in Washington State is only twenty years old but has a historic past and hopeful future. Incorporated in 1996, Lakewood is well-situated near military bases and West Coast ports. The new city offers vast recreational opportunities and a growing economy.
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Mayor Don Anderson says that from an economic development perspective, “we’re open for business. We’re business-friendly.”

From 19th Century Paper and Lumber to 21st Century Tech

From 19th Century Paper and Lumber to 21st Century Tech

City of Camas, WA

Camas is a town built around economic opportunity from its origin surrounding three lumber mills and a paper mill that remains the largest west of the Mississippi to the late eighties when the technology sector took the State of Washington by storm. Despite growing from lumber and pulp to technology and gaining thousands of citizens, Camas retains its hometown small town feel. Paul Dennis and Scott Higgins spoke to me from their offices in city hall.
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Paul Dennis got ‘tricked’ into being on the city council in 1997. He was volunteering downtown, and a vacancy opened. Then, in 2003, there was a mayoral election, and the voters decided they wanted to make a change. So he served as mayor from 2004 through 2011. Now Paul is the chief executive officer of the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association, which is a group project funded by the city of Camas, the city of Washougal and the Port of Camas-Washougal. Current Mayor Scott Higgins began serving on city council in 2002 and in 2011 won his first term as mayor.

Gem of the South Puget Sound

Gem of the South Puget Sound

City of Olympia, WA

The City of Olympia is known worldwide for its many tourist attractions, tremendous scenery, thriving arts community, unique historic downtown and more. The city welcomes visitors, artists, entrepreneurs, and residents who appreciate the natural beauty, rich culture, and splendor offered by the Pacific Northwest and the Puget Sound area.
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Olympia is the capital city of the state of Washington and the county seat of Thurston County, located at the southern end of Puget Sound with views of Mount Rainier and the magnificent Olympic and Cascade Mountains. The city is approximately fifty-five miles from Seattle and about one hundred miles from Portland, the largest city in Oregon. The city is centrally located with access to several ports and coastal communities. Conveniently, Interstate 5, the main highway on the West Coast, runs through the city.

Over Two Hundred Years at the Heart of American Industry

Over Two Hundred Years at the Heart of American Industry

Richland Community Development Group

Richland County was named after the fertile land settlers found there just a few years before it was first incorporated in 1808. By the middle of the twentieth century, the area was at the center of the American manufacturing belt, which has deteriorated in the last few decades…
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The Richland Community Development Group (RCDG) was formed in 2009 to move the county forward from the declining pace of some of its industries into a brave new world of innovation. I spoke with the Director of Economic Development Barrett Thomas from the group’s headquarters to find out more.

The Gateway to Ohio’s Scenic Wonderland

The Gateway to Ohio’s Scenic Wonderland

Hocking County, OH

Although this is a rural area with a population of just under 30,000, Hocking County, Ohio has an abundance of natural resources and potential, making it a great place to call home. This is where community thrives, and the county is working hard to advance, encourage and promote economic and social development from which it can continue to grow.
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The city of Logan, Hocking County’s seat, was founded in 1816 by Governor Thomas Worthington. Logan celebrated its bicentennial in 2016, with a yearlong schedule of events and ended with a Bicentennial Ball on December 30. Many of these events will continue in coming years. Looking back on the past 200 years, Logan and Hocking County have much to celebrate and even more to look forward to.

Building on its Assets

Building on its Assets

Williams County, OH

Williams County, Ohio is no stranger to success. The community has been home to a vibrant manufacturing sector for decades. “We have been making things in northwest Ohio for a long time; we are not new to the manufacturing game or the large employer game,” says Matt Davis, Executive Director of the Williams County Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO).
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A long list of assets has been built upon this solid foundation. “We have a system built to support manufacturing,” says Davis. “It is not just the land, the reasonable utilities, the good logistics, the accommodating governments, wonderful communities, and great new school buildings—all the things that [many communities] already have in place. We have a leg up because of built-in support networks that support manufacturing in place; from local machining shops ready to serve, to custom training opportunities for the workforce.”

Accessibility, Affordability and Entrepreneurship

Accessibility, Affordability and Entrepreneurship

Ashland, OH

For decades, large industries and home-grown enterprises alike have taken root and flourished in Ashland, Ohio. With a unique mix of both affordability and accessibility, the county offers enterprises a gateway to strategic transportation routes and, most importantly, success.
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Ashland has consistently ranked among the top micropolitans in the country in terms of the potential it has for business development. However, the area’s true credentials are proved most readily by the strong industrial footprint and the many thriving local businesses that call Ashland home.

Success Speaks for Itself

Success Speaks for Itself

Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation

The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) was created in 1983 to provide strong, strategic leadership with the goal of promoting economic development. Today, over three decades later, the organization continues to thrive under President and Chief Executive David Zak.
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Zak’s considerable hands-on experience – including thirteen years in the public sector, seven years in private, and running half of the State of Ohio’s agency for economic development – more than qualify him for his current role which he has held since early 2014.

Working Collaboratively for Community Development

Working Collaboratively for Community Development

Cambridge-Guernsey County Community Improvement Corporation

Formed in 1965, the Cambridge-Guernsey County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) was created by the Guernsey County Commissioners and designated by resolution to perform the economic development functions for the County, the City of Cambridge, and the Village of Byesville. Later, in 2000, the Guernsey County Port Authority was formed to also contribute to these functions…
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Presently, both the CIC and the Port Authority operate out of a single office and offer a “one-stop shop” for businesses seeking assistance in setting themselves up in the county. “The vision was that this organization would provide the marketing, the contacts with new businesses, and maintain contacts with existing businesses to help them grow, provide funding if necessary, and whatever was needed for economic development – that was assigned to the CIC as part of its mission,” notes Norm Blanchard, CIC Director of Economic Development.

A Popular Tourist Destination Opens Its Doors to New Business

A Popular Tourist Destination Opens Its Doors to New Business

Tuscarawas County, OH

Tuscarawas County – a highly popular tourist destination in east-central Ohio – is open for business. Well-known for its historic past, recreational opportunities and proximity to Amish country, Tuscarawas is eager to attract new companies to its fold. This is not just community hype: in 2015, Site Selection magazine picked Tuscarawas County as America’s number two ‘micropolitan’ region for past-year economic and industrial site development.
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“We are sort of a diamond in the rough. We are a world class community with a lot of small town values. We have a lot of people who live here because they like the quality of life but work in [bigger cities outside the county],” says Bruce James, second vice-president of the Tuscarawas County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC).

Strategically Located and Poised for Growth

Strategically Located and Poised for Growth

Sandusky County, OH

In early 2016, Site Selection magazine listed the Sandusky County area as number thirty-nine on its list of the best “micropolitan” regions in the US for past-year business investment and expansion. It was the third year in a row Sandusky County was included in the top ranks of the magazine’s micropolitan list (a ‘micropolitan’ being a primarily rural region with no cities over 50,000 people and a total population below 250,000).
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Being recognized in this manner has been “really important, because that sets us ahead of many other communities and counties throughout the nation when it comes to economic development and capital investment,” states Kay E. Reiter, Executive Director of the Sandusky County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC).

Boundless Opportunity and Potential

Boundless Opportunity and Potential

Belmont County Port Authority

As part of the Wheeling Metropolitan Statistical Area of West Virginia and Ohio, Belmont County is looking to take full advantage of its location. Its natural resources, its transportation, and its hardworking population, have made it become a center for boundless opportunity.
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Access to Interstate 70, Interstate 470, Ohio Route 7, public and private aviation services, freight rail service and the Ohio River all play an important role for both business and quality of life in Belmont County. Belmont County has all the necessary services, amenities and infrastructure needed to prosper, and residents are close to Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Cleveland.

Ongoing Improvement

Ongoing Improvement

City of Prince Albert, SK

When Business in Focus profiled Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in June 2015, the city was in the midst of redeveloping its Official Community Plan. Since then, Prince Albert has begun implementing the new plan—as well as several other notable initiatives.
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Director of Planning and Development Services, John J. Guenther, RPP, MCIP, PhD, sat down with us this month to share the details on Prince Albert’s recent achievements.

Community, Culture, Character

Community, Culture, Character

City of Winter Park, Florida

Winter Park seems like a strange name for a city in the central part of Florida. I was intrigued to find out why, but first I discovered that this was an area which was a major attraction for businesses and people alike. This is a city that is expanding in many areas, including healthcare, tourism and scientific and technical services. Economic development is of paramount importance, as the city strives to target and expand business clusters…
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Business in Focus spoke with Manager Kyle Dudgeon and Coordinator Lindsey Hayes of the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency Department to find out more.

Developing Opportunity in Southern Alabama

Developing Opportunity in Southern Alabama

Covington County, AL

Covington County, located in rural south Alabama, is a place where industry thrives. We spoke with Rick Clifton, President and CEO of the Covington County Economic Development Commission, to learn about what Covington County has to offer.
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Located on the southern border of Alabama, Covington County spans over 1,000 square miles and has a population of 40,000 residents. The area is primarily rural, with several cities including Andalusia, Opp, and Florala. The Covington County Economic Development Commission, led by Rick Clifton, strives to create investment and job growth, and improve the quality of life in Covington County.

Rural, Progressive & Winning

Rural, Progressive & Winning

The Alabama Wiregrass Region

Last year, the Alabama Wiregrass region caught our attention as a national leader in business development and innovation. Sometimes referred to as ‘Wiregrass Country,’ the area encompasses parts of southern Georgia, southeastern Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle with the Alabama Wiregrass region sitting in the southeastern part of Alabama.
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The Alabama Wiregrass Region may be rural, but don’t let that fool you; big city potential, backed by some of the most advanced technology in the world sits at the heart of its economy. A unique mix of rural economic benefits paired with this advanced technological infrastructure and a highly skilled workforce continues to push the region to the forefront of industrial growth.

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