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Economic Development is Collaborative Beyond All Else

Posted on by Jessica Inacio

Last month I had the pleasure of participating in the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute, my first week-long course toward attaining my CEcD certification. The CEcD, or Certified Economic Developer program, is an intensive program requiring 117 credit hours for completion, followed by an exam.

In beginning this program, I took courses in business retention and expansion, real estate and reuse, and incentives to start. The amount of experiential knowledge of the course instructors was only amplified by the knowledge of my peers and the examples given by other economic developers pursuing this certification.

We often hear that Connecticut is “competing” with Massachusetts or “competing” with Rhode Island. We talk about states stealing companies from other states and constantly offering more incentives than the other to woo a company to set up camp. This competitiveness became especially obvious after Amazon’s HQ2 application, where not only were states competing but sometimes municipalities were competing against each other as well.

While we sometimes compete to attract a business and attempt to bring economic growth to our state, the profession of economic development is one that is collaborative beyond all else. Here, individuals from local EDOs, regional organizations, utility representatives, and others shared their experiences and suggested solutions that had worked for them. Working together garnishes better results and that is something we are working to bring back home to Connecticut.

Better communication between our municipal and regional economic developers and their efforts and experiences will make Team Connecticut stronger and more competitive as a whole. In 2019 CERC will be working to strengthen #TeamCT.