economic development(n.) a dedicated effort to create/retain jobs, grow the tax base and increase the standard of living for a community or region.
Recently, the SEDA Board of Directors hosted representatives from the Alabama Department of Commerce, the North Alabama Industrial Development Association (NAIDA), and TVA Economic Development for an in depth look at today's world of economic development. The session began with SEDA President Forrest Wright providing a brief history on the creation of the Shoals Economic Development Fund (SEDF), the Shoals Industrial Development Committee (SIDC), and Shoals Economic Development Authority (SEDA)and how each relate to the other.
Warren Hicks and Alex Sadler conducted TVA's Best Practices in Economic Development workshop which focused on assisting local communities and their decision-makers to have a better understanding of the economic development process in today's business environment. The workshop concentrated on the six strategies of economic development which include: business recruitment, retention and expansion, workforce development, entrepreneurship, community livability, and tourism and retail. Training topics covered included an update on trends in the site selection process, product development,business recruitment and business retention/expansion opportunities, and board roles and responsibilities.
Bob Smith with the Alabama Department of Commerce and Brooks Kracke with NAIDA described their roles in business recruitment in their respective territories. Both discussed their history with the Shoals and the positive view their organizations have on the region.
A common theme among all the presenters was the importance of workforce and having a good story to tell. They all noted that one of the area's biggest strengths was the regionalism found in the Shoals. Other positive attributes mentioned included the culture, brand, and community livability of the Shoals.