HCED is excited to celebrate Economic Development Week from May 8-14. Economic Development Week was created by The International Economic Development Council in commemoration of its 90-year anniversary as the largest professional membership organization for economic developers.
Economic developers are charged with generating economic growth, creating better jobs for residents and facilitating an improved quality of life. The industry remains as complex, challenging and rewarding as ever.
The Holt County Economic Development's (HCED) mission is to “enhance and promote economic vitality and a strong sense of community for existing and future businesses in Holt County.” HCED’s beginning is an example of the entrepreneurial community-building spirit that unites Holt County’s cities, villages, townships and rural citizens.
In the mid-2000s, several leaders across the county embraced an opportunity to participate in HomeTown Competiveness, a community development initiative that focuses on leveraging existing community assets. The relationships formed through this inaugural county-wide leadership program led to an uncommon meeting among community leaders.
The main topic was the possibility of taking a regional, collaborative approach to community and economic development rather than working competitively. The skepticism and doubt carried into the meetings were gradually overcome as leaders recognized one another’s collaborative attitudes, expressed pointedly in statements such as “we’re all in this together” and “what’s good for others in Holt County is good for us.”
The open conversation allowed leaders to empathize with one another’s shared concerns about the future and surface ways that working together might bring tangible benefits. They also built momentum for the creation of a new organization that would help catalyze such thinking in an ongoing way: Holt County Economic Development.
Since 2007, Holt County Economic Development has been helping bring new and expanded businesses, new jobs and new households to Holt County. Ongoing relationships and dialogue across communities has become commonplace. The HomeTown Leadership Institute is in the middle of its 12th class, with continued interest and participation in the institute as a vehicle for deepening citizen engagement. Throughout the County, there’s evidence of a shared ethic that “we’re all part of something more important than ourselves.”
In honor of Economic Development Week, Holt County Economic Development invites everyone to celebrate business owners, entrepreneurs, students and each of our citizens that make Holt County a great place to live, work and play.