That title seems to be consistent part of the economic developers’ creed, and in this profession, something is ALWAYS being measured. For those who don’t measure themselves, placing all of your hard work and activities in the I DON’T KNOW file, is not a wise choice when it comes to longevity in employment.
This past week as part of a year end report to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Shawnee Forward, we supplied them with the tally showing the number of projects economic development staff worked on in 2019 and the categories those projects fell under.
In 2019, we reviewed, worked on and or responded to 158 projects of one variety or another. While there isn’t enough time or space to tell you every individual project that required our attention this past year, we can share with you the type of projects that were part of our economic development activities.
For the year we had 61 Manufacturing, 17 Office, 15 Retail, and 9 Distribution/Warehouse projects to sort through to determine if they were a fit for our center of quite a lot and if we lined up with the needs of each of those prospects.
Along with those categories, we also had 6 Agricultural, 10 Aerospace, 1 Bioscience and 14 Housing projects that caught our attention in the year. Not to be left out are the 3 Government, 3 Call Center, 6 Supportive Services, 5 Energy and the 8 Miscellaneous projects that we crossed paths with.
And for the official record, 26 of those projects allowed us to use our Shell Building as part of the Request for Information response.
While there will be those that believe 158 projects to review is not a very large number, we would suggest that these are NEW projects to our community, and that number does not reflect the projects that have been ongoing recently or in some cases over the past decade.
For those who are unfamiliar with the work of economic development, each project normally has its own set of needs, such as site selection criteria, accessibility, visibility, traffic counts, utilities capacity and availability, infrastructure requirements and a whole lot more.
And all of that makes economic development challenging and exciting all at the same time. Very few projects are the same, plus the time we are allowed to respond gets shorter and shorter, and that which means we need be better prepared, work faster and smarter all at the same time.
However, there is one commonality with all 158 of these projects. Each one looks like a growth opportunity to us.