The Days Ahead of Us

Tim Burg Economic Development, Monday Memo

February is beginning to shape up as a month-long series of meetings, intermingled with everything else that is on our To Do list.   Or in other words, it’s going to be a fairly normal. 

In a world that is more interested in explaining what we got done, rather than how busy we are, here are the highlights of what is in front of us in February 2020.

There are several Career Fair events being held at the Shawnee I-93 High School this month. One of which is specifically focused on helping students understand that there are a wide variety of employment options ahead of them in our area. 

Another Career event is aimed at helping the parents or guardians of those students to also understand the availability of employment options in our immediate area, and hopefully tie that back to the skills their student will need to have if they wish to obtain one of those jobs.    

From our perspective we need all of those who wish to work to be fully aware of the options before them. A great life can be achieved right here in our center of quite a lot.

February is also a month that we will continue to share why filling out your 2020 Census information is important to our community, county and state.  Our goal is to wear everyone down so they will commit to filling out the Census documents and then we will leave them alone…well at least about the Census…

On the big list of things to do is to remain active with several of our area manufacturers to explore what we may be able to do to assist them with their expansion plans, or with anything else that might be on their horizon.   On any given day, we use the secret word to gain access to an employer and that word more often than not is WORKFORCE.  

If you haven’t figured out by now, manufacturing jobs in Shawnee are a really big deal, as the wages for those primary job’s averages around $53,551.00 per year.  For those of you that don’t know, that is a VERY good wage in Pottawatomie County and the best way to grow the economy is to help create and retain wealth producing jobs.

The long list of economic development activities in front of us this month includes contacting those who have expressed an interest in locating a business here and responding to those who we have not met or even heard from yet.

In this business, we respond to Requests for Information each month.  The number of opportunities to do that can vary from a half dozen to several dozen each month depending on the economy, the progress a business is making in their site selection or a long list of other items that will be needed of us to assist them with their thought process and ultimate location decision.  That simply means we need to be ready regardless of whatever else we have going on or what is asked of us.

In case you aren’t in the know, our organization recently signed a listing agreement with a National Real Estate firm to help us promote a rather LARGE and UNIQUE building we have to offer to industrial prospects.  That will mean that we will be working closely with that agency to share the data and demographics about our community more than ever before.   Our motto with this project is SELL, SELL, SELL!!!

Having a great community with a long list of opportunities is a story we all need to tell more often, and in a world of skepticism, providing facts that are accurate and reliable is critical to our success.  There is little doubt that in the month of February we will be spending time, updating and validating our data. 

Mix in working with OBU students and their professors on some classroom marketing projects, being part of a County wide strategic planning committee, reviewing and sending out Grant opportunities, providing community tours to those who want to know more about us, plus a bunch of other tasks, and you get a bigger picture of the road the lays ahead of us.

And to add a little bit of an added twist to our work, it’s a short month, which means we need to spend our time effectively and efficiently.