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Area Communities Must Focus on Themselves in Order to Promote the Region

The competition among communities and economic development organizations for jobs and investment is as fierce as ever and in many areas of the country, economic development and chamber of commerce professionals are realizing the need to do what every successful company must do - evolve.

Organizations throughout the country are recognizing the benefit of implementing a regional approach to economic, tourism, and community development and in the Crossroads area it is no different.

In August, the University of Houston-Victoria opened the new Center for Economic Development & Entrepreneurship, a state of the art facility with the purpose of developing the Regional Center for Economic Development. By capitalizing on the strengths of the communities throughout the region, the area becomes more attractive to investors and families than if they focused on any one community alone.

In a regional development effort, each community must take it upon itself to ensure they are working to make their community as attractive as possible. Retaining the regional workforce and families, avoiding the "brain drain", and encouraging the best and brightest stay in the region is critical to the economic sustainability of the area.

A critical component in community development and job growth is retaining and nurturing the businesses and people already in the area.

Quality chambers of commerce throughout the country recognize the need to branch out and be proactive. It is imperative to consistently meet with local business and civic leaders across the region in order to identify the challenges that may be inhibiting their growth but identification is only the first step. Chambers of commerce and economic development organizations then must concentrate on providing information, tools and programs around the area to alleviate the issues facing the business community.

Progressive chamber of commerce leaders are constantly seeking new ways to help the companies and industry that are the lifeblood of the community. This process requires asking the right questions, listening to feedback, collaborating with other chamber and economic development leaders to share new ideas, create necessary programs, provide information, and create special events to highlight and promote the area.

Today’s community development leaders must be engaged on many levels to help create an outstanding community. Business retention and expansion programs, leadership development, target industry recruiting, tourism development, and special events - these are some of the initiatives dynamic organizations focus on to ensure their community and region can compete in the ever-changing global economy.

The Port Lavaca Chamber of Commerce has invited economic development leaders from throughout the area to participate in a panel discussion on regional development opportunities. The discussion will highlight the Good Morning Port Lavaca Breakfast on December 15th in the Bauer Community Center at 7:30 am.

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