Economic Development Library
WEDA holds professional regional economic development conferences each year for educational and networking purposes. Our winter conference is always held in Cheyenne in conjunction with the Wyoming legislative session. The other conference location, which is also our annual membership meeting, will vary each year around the state.
Previous Conference Presentations
Many of our previous conference presenters have made their training materials available to those who could not attend. Related materials and samples have been collected over the years to aid others in economic development. Some of the more recent meeting presentations can be found in the resource library.
WEDA's Economic Development Principles
These principles were developed compiled by the WEDA Board of Directors and the WEDA Legislative Committee, with input from WEDA members, in 2011. This summary statement is based on long-standing economic development principles that have guided WEDA members in one form or another for years. They are compiled here to provide a yardstick with which to measure economic development activities and legislative actions. It is a “work in progress” and will continue to be refined as we apply the principles to the real world of economic development in Wyoming.
WEDA believes that legislative, local and state economic development efforts should provide a consistent strategy to encourage private sector development of companies that provide higher than average wages, create primary jobs, diversify the economy and generate tax revenue. Legislative and economic development policy and efforts should meet one or more of these criteria listed in WEDA's Economic Development Principles.
Economic Development 101
Economic development is an investment in our economic prosperity!
The goal of economic development is to increase the tax base and provide better jobs, thus enhancing the well-being and prosperity of the citizens of Wyoming. In order to reach this goal, the time and resources allocated to economic development programs typically fall under five categories: developing supportive public policy, creating a competitive product (community infrastructure, sites, buildings, business climate, workforce development, and leadership development), the retention and expansion of existing businesses, entrepreneurship support, and recruiting new business.
The basic foundation for all these lies in the public policy established at both the state and local levels.
The Role of Public Policy
Underlying any successful economic development program is public policy. The decisions made by government to invest in education, transportation, natural resources, health care, and social programs all impact a jurisdiction's ability to attract or retain companies, which leads to new jobs and investment.
Governments serve a fundamental role in facilitating job creation and investment by supporting economic development activities through both marketing and site development. Public policy choices made by government entities drive the business climate that determines the attractiveness of a particular locality to business prospects. A pro-business climate, fostered by all levels of government, is essential to continued success in promoting economic prosperity, broadening the tax base and enhancing the state's economic stability and quality of life. Furthermore, economic development leads to enhanced tax revenues for state and local governments, thus providing the funds to support essential government services.
Creating a Competitive Product - Infrastructure, Leadership Development, Workforce Development
Business prospects cannot locate in a community unless the necessary infrastructure is in place. In its most basic form, this includes land with adequate access to transportation, water and sewer connections, as well as modem telecommunication infrastructure and service. This is the "product." As in any marketing environment, you have to have a desirable product that will entice and meet your customers' needs. A good product is sold via a comprehensive, holistic approach that addresses community, regional and/or statewide issues such as transportation, education, business climate, environment, taxation, quality of life, housing, community infrastructure, leadership development, skilled and competitive work force, etc. It is necessary to ensure that sites are ready and available to show to prospects when they have a need to relocate or expand their businesses.
Retention/Expansion of Existing Business
By assisting in the creation of a competitive product, the economic development professional is at the same time enhancing the locale for those businesses already in existence, thus giving them incentive and cause to both remain in the area and potentially expand. These professionals are also a link to programs and services throughout the state that can assist these existing businesses.
America is a land of entrepreneurs. We celebrate inventors, growth companies, new products and new technologies. As entrepreneurs are among our most important sources of new technologies, we should design our economic system to support their growth through training, availability of market research, venture capital, and a conducive tax and business climate.
Attracting New and Expanding Business – Recruitment
A role of economic development professionals is to market this competitive product, identify potential business prospects, develop relationships, package proposals, and close deals that lead to job creation and investment. An important secondary role is to provide appropriate assistance in creating a competitive product. This role increases as the competitiveness of the product decreases.
Elected Official's Guide to Economic Development brochure
ED 101 PowerPoint
You're welcome to use this ready-to-use powerpoint for presentation to your board, officials, and others.
Do-it-yourself Customizable ED 101 PowerPoint
You can customize this same PowerPoint with your local projects for your local presentations.