Water Economy Network to Host National EPA Water Technology Innovation Cluster Leaders Meeting

Watter-EPAFourth Economy continues to be involved in developing and implementing cluster strategies that move beyond the data, focusing more on tangible marketing opportunities for regions across the country.  Once identified, regions can bring together common industry partners to solve challenges and help grow their respective markets – all of which helps to distinguish and add value to a particular region or community. Continue reading “Water Economy Network to Host National EPA Water Technology Innovation Cluster Leaders Meeting”

It’s all About that Base: Baseline Data, Energy Planning, & Economic Development

P32-Energy-BaselineIt’s no secret that the best strategic plans are based on qualitative and quantitative analysis, using this information to determine the best allocation of resources to pursue growth and change.  Too often, strategic planning processes “jump right in” and do not take the time to fully understand and quantify current and expected conditions. Change cannot be measured without first analyzing existing conditions to establish a baseline dataset from which change can be measured. This approach also applies to regional energy planning. As regions consider energy in relation to economic development planning, there are direct correlations to the impact energy has on people, place, and ideas. Establishing a regional energy baseline must be the first step before tactical planning can occur.

Additionally, energy planning is an often-ignored element in developing regional economic development strategies. Energy is a universal business itself, however it also impacts every single industry and business within a region. Energy directly impacts the health of people across a region, and is a critical element to regional success. How can economic development planning occur without energy planning? Continue reading “It’s all About that Base: Baseline Data, Energy Planning, & Economic Development”

The TechBelt Initiative Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC)

131016-IEDC-TechBelt-AwardA multi-state, economic growth accelerator, the TechBelt initiative has been recognized with a Bronze Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).  Presented on Oct. 8 at the 2013 IEDC Annual Conference in Philadelphia, the award honors this virtual organization in category of “Regionalism & Cross-Border Collaboration” in communities with populations of greater than 500,000.

The TechBelt initiative is a network of technology and innovation stakeholders collaborating to accelerate economic growth in northeast Ohio, western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia – states with contiguous borders and complementary industrial and academic assets.  TechBelt members are broad-based, representing the economic development organizations, foundations, researchers and chambers of commerce within the “mega region.” Continue reading “The TechBelt Initiative Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC)”

Who’s on the Front Lines of your Economic Development?

130828-Front-LinesI’ve always been a huge believer that customer service is one of the most valuable pieces of brand development. Companies who have superior customer service are recognized as a stronger brand and tend to have better sales numbers than those without. Associations who put customer service first tend to have a greater number of members than those who do not. The fact of the matter is that sales are directly proportional to customer service. The same can be said for economic development.

So, how are you manning the front lines of your economic development efforts? 
Continue reading “Who’s on the Front Lines of your Economic Development?”

Best Practices for the Fourth Economy – University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Announces 2012 Awards of Excellence Winners

Effectively engaging higher education resources for community is economic development is critical to success in the fourth economy.  Earlier this year, the Fourth Economy team was hired by the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) to help the organization advance its strategic mission – a mission to leverage higher education and enhance our national competitiveness.

UEDA announced its 2012 Awards of Excellence winners during its Annual Summit held this October in Chattanooga, Tennessee.   The Awards of Excellence Program recognizes UEDA members who are transforming their campuses into engines of economic prosperity through leading edge initiatives in five categories: 1) Community Connected Campus: initiatives that promote the physical development of quality connected campuses and their surrounding communities; 2) Research and Analysis:  initiatives that enhance the capacity of colleges and universities to provide new forms of research and tools for community, economic and workforce development practitioners; 3) Leadership and Collaboration: initiatives that support the development of collaborative economic development strategies and the leaders required to implement them; 4) Innovation and Entrepreneurship: initiatives designed to support startups, high-growth companies and clusters within a region; and 5) Talent Development: initiatives that promote the development of 21st-century skills.  Continue reading “Best Practices for the Fourth Economy – University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Announces 2012 Awards of Excellence Winners”

Fourth Economy Helps Advance University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Mission and Impact

By now we all know that talent, innovation and quality place-based strategies are at the heart of the fourth economy.  Earlier this year, the Fourth Economy team was hired by the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) to help the organization advance its strategic mission – a mission to leverage higher education and enhance our national competitiveness.

Our first year efforts culminated in one of the largest Annual Summit’s since the organization’s founding.  More than 175 delegates convened in Chattanooga, Tennessee in October for the three-day conference.

“There has never been a more important time for this delegation to convene than now,” said William Michalerya, UEDA President. “In the next few weeks, there will be a national election and regardless of the outcome, there will be a renewed discussion and interest in how best our Country should leverage its innovation assets and make key investments in those resources,” Michalerya added. Continue reading “Fourth Economy Helps Advance University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Mission and Impact”

Innovation Clusters: Water is Gold

Forget the gold rush.  A “water rush” is underway and water rich states are well positioned.

Just a few short years ago businesses expanding or relocating were likely to cite broadband and transportation networks among the most important factors in their decision process.  The Southwestern U.S. has been targeted for the majority of this investment activity. But with below average snowpack, higher temperatures, growing consumption, and extreme drought appearing to be the new normal, water has quickly become the new gold.

Continue reading “Innovation Clusters: Water is Gold”

Digital Placemaking: The New Frontier of Community Development

Over the past few decades we’ve seen an explosion of research and work in the science and art of placemaking. The importance of design, public space and public art is being broadly appreciated and implemented in communities around the world, often with stunning results. But in today’s world of social networking, mobile devices and nearly ubiquitous internet connectivity, are solely physical placemaking activities enough?

People look online first for everything these days, and communities are no exception. While it’s definitely vital for your community to have a welcoming, unique and livable physical presence, what is your community’s online presence like? Is it as fresh and lively as the new public square that was just finished, or is it a mish-mash of outdated websites, incorrect business listings and forum posts from 2003? Continue reading “Digital Placemaking: The New Frontier of Community Development”

Let the (Social Media) Madness Begin…

We’ve let you down. It’s not for a lack of desire.

As economic development professionals, we often talk about community engagement — whether that’s through public forums, surveys, client case studies, etc. However, there’s one community we always have on our minds — a community we hold near and dear to our hearts, that, at times, is neglected – our social community. You. And, again, as economic development professionals, we all know what happens when a community is neglected, and are working to change this. Beginning now. Continue reading “Let the (Social Media) Madness Begin…”