Welcome to the newly revamped Denver South Economic Development Partnership Website and the debut of the “What is Economic Development” blog. Economic development can mean many things and as a result it has caused confusion about what economic development organizations actually do. We have realized through the content development on our new website that we, as economic development professionals, were making too many assumptions that the average business professional has an understanding of what it is that we do. We have since begun to recreate our website content with the intent to inform while avoiding the pitfalls of over utilizing economic development terminology. This blog is intended to serve as one vehicle to help us inform and also create discussion around current topics within economic development and our region.
The International Economic Development Council defines the industry as follows:
“The main goal of economic development is improving the economic well-being of a community through efforts that entail job creation, job retention, tax base enhancements and quality of life. As there is no single definition for economic development, there is no single strategy, policy, or program for achieving successful economic development. Communities differ in their geographic and political strengths and weaknesses. Each community, therefore, will have a unique set of challenges for economic development.”
*(IEDC-http://www.iedconline.org/clientuploads/Downloads/IEDC_ED_Reference_Guide.pdf)
Even as an economic development practitioner I am not quite sure what to make of the above definition. Obviously, the definition itself hints at the ambiguity surrounding activities that can fall under the umbrella of economic development. The three legged stool, of initiatives, for the industry is recruit new businesses, retain the companies you have, and help local organizations expand. Unquestionably, the goal for all of this is job creation and prosperity for a given organizations constituents. But this is all still to abstract.
Denver South is a dynamic business corridor with over 200,000 employees, over 45 million square feet of office space, and 6 of the 9 Fortune 500 companies that are located in Colorado. Denver South and Colorado boast one of the nation’s best workforces, 2nd most educated, and a diverse concentration of high knowledge industries such as; aerospace, engineering services, financial services, telecom, cleantech, IT, and healthcare.
The Denver South EDP has four key initiatives to support the region and our six partner communities: Marketing and promotion, support of business friendly public policy, economic development project management (assisting relocations and expansions), and transportation and infrastructure support. It is my attention to provide case studies of our work within these strategic initiatives, as well as some discussion of local and national trends, to bring light to the efforts of economic development to create vibrant communities.
Thanks for visiting the new website and for reading this far in our initial blog post. I welcome your comments, as well as suggestions for future topics. I look forward to continuing the conversation…