Economic development is a team sport and the field is only getting more competitive. So how do we increase our region’s chances of success? A group of economic developers in the New North believes it has an answer.
According to estimates, there are over 5,000 economic development organizations (EDO’s) in the United States – each competing for new jobs. Just like in the case of the Fox Cities, most of an area’s job growth will come from the expansion of employers already located within a community. Nonetheless, most EDO’s – our organization included – are also focused on externally marketing their community to attract new companies to increase and diversify the local employment base.
EDO’s compete for no more than a few dozen new large business projects (involving 100 or more jobs) that occur throughout the U.S. in any given year. There are several factors that company leaders, site selection consultants and other decision-makers consider when searching for a new location to do business. They include: access to workforce – which has moved up to the top of the list in recent years – population size; real estate availability; quality of education; economic incentives; transportation and infrastructure network; stable and responsive local government; among others.
In an effort to increase our area’s visibility and competitiveness on the national stage, as well as leverage our limited resources and tremendous regional assets, leadership from the economic development entities representing Greater Green Bay, Greater Oshkosh, Fond du Lac County and the Fox Cities have been planning the formation of a marketing effort for the purpose of attracting new businesses to our corridor. The driving force stems from the understanding that a win in the region, is a win for the region. In fact, last August the Greater Green Bay Chamber and the Fox Cities Regional Partnership combined forces – and budgets – to co-host a group of site selectors on a tour of the Greater Green Bay-Fox Cities Region, which was a hit. The event got us thinking – what if we took this to the next level?
Although this collaboration is still in its infancy stages, we’re confident that we’ll be successful in banding together for the benefit of our greater region.
Stay tuned for more updates!