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Economic Development- It’s Giving you More Than Just a Job

06.06.2014

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A few weeks ago, our marketing manager attended a social media forum in our community. The following post is what she took from the event.

"I’ve been working with social media for a long time. In all honestly, I’ve used it pretty much my entire life. When I was in middle school I kept an online journal, and updated it every day. Once I entered high school I became a Myspace fanatic, I joined Facebook when you still needed someone with a college email address to invite you, and I created a Linkedin profile before I even had anything to put on my resume. I’m by no means calling myself an expert, but at this point the basics of social media seems conditioned in my DNA. So when I attended the social media forum, presented by PPL, I wasn’t sure what I'd take away from the day.

While I recorded lots of tips and information and was able to network with many colleagues, there was one thing that stuck with me even now two weeks later -and in all honesty, it has nothing to do with Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter. The one thing that was said over and over again was to utilize social media as a way to tell your audience what your economic development agency was doing for your community.

“What do we do for our community?”

Let’s face it, unless you work in economic development, you probably don’t know too much about it.  I didn’t until I began interviewing for my first position, and I can assure you if you ask my family what I do their eyes will glaze over and they’ll start stammering about websites, businesses and available spaces- basically they’ll lead you to believe I’m a digital real estate agent who runs a Twitter account.  

The fact the work I do is so tough for people to put into words could lead someone to believe one of two things. One, economic developers don’t do much of anything. Or two, they do so many different things it’s impossible to explain in a sentence.  Let me be the first to say, if the first option was the case, and you were able to collect a paycheck, there would be many more people lining up for the jobs.

Yes, economic development organizations work to bring businesses, and subsequently more jobs, to our region. Yes they work to find funding and incentives for new businesses.  Yes, they work to market their region, county or city as the best place to run a business. But these groups do more than just that.If you were to measure the success of an EDO by the amount of projects they closed, you’d be severely disappointed.  However, what economic development agencies achieve is much more, they create. They’ve helped create that community you live in, they’ve helped make a city so special the shops, boutiques and stores you frequent decided your neighborhood was the perfect place for them to open shop.  All of these events wouldn’t happen, all these stores wouldn’t sprout up and all those people wouldn’t call this area home if there wasn’t a shot at success."

Basically, economic development agencies work to shape that town into the place you call home. 

If you're interested in opening a business in Northeastern Pennsylvania, an economic developer may be able to assist you, contact Penn's Northeast



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