Vroom, Vroom – Accelerate Automotive Business in Your Community

We recently launched a new series, “Next Stop: The Future.” For several weeks, we’ll explore trends shaping the future of economic development.

Today, we explore the future of automotive-related economic development.

Perspectives from the Field

Alex Leath is a prominent Birmingham attorney and consultant specializing in economic development who recently offered forward-looking tips on economic development at a TVA forum. Bill Adams and Chris Berryman, TVA target market industry specialists, help Valley communities get ready to win transportation-related deals.

Regarding automotive-related development, Leath, Adams and Berryman all say this: Now and into the future, your place on the U.S. map in the Southeast gives you a built-in advantage; your challenge is to build on that advantage by making your community stand out even more as an ideal location for automotive-related businesses.

Prime Automotive Real Estate

Automotive is big in the Valley. Consider these numbers:

  • 90,000: The number of jobs the sector supports in the region
  • 3,000 plus: The number of automotive suppliers in the area


Announcing a New Professional Learning Lab Webinar Series: Lead CREATIVELY: Who will fund the future?

2015 TVAED_TVW_Color [Converted]-01TVA has an affiliation with the Professional Learning Laboratory, a network of professional economic development trainers and their guests, who offer webinars on topics specifically designed for the economic development practitioner, their staff, and supporters. The webinars are offered at a discount for individuals or groups through the TVA registration link below.

Webinar: Lead CREATIVELY: Who will fund the future?

Presented by: Jeff Shinabarger and Ron Kitchens

Date:  Thursday, May 28, 2015

Time:  11:30 A.M. Central; 12:30 P.M. Eastern

Run Time: 90 minutes (60 minutes for presentation and 30 minutes of Q&A)

 Register Now

What the Webinar Will Cover:

No matter where you are in your leadership, we invite you to join Pro Learning Lab on Thursday, May 28, 2015 to find out how your organization can fund its future. Have a conversation with internationally-acclaimed social entrepreneur, author and business leader, Jeff Shinabarger of Plywood People; and Ron Kitchens, nationally-recognized innovator in economic development, to discuss how organizations with a social mission can become self-sustaining by tapping into the unique talents and strengths of existing human assets. (more…)

To Make Green, Go Green

We recently launched a new series, “Next Stop: The Future.” For several weeks, we’ll explore trends shaping the future of economic development.

Today, we explore sustainable economic development (SED). SED lassoes cleaner energy, environmental stewardship and successful economic development into an interdependent loop.

SED also parallels TVA’s mission, which is to foster sustainable economic development through cleaner, reliable, diverse and low-cost energy and programs to help communities be prepared for economic growth opportunities.

The Case for SED

Companies as powerful as Nissan, Toyota, VW, Walmart, Green Mountain Coffee and Coca-Cola take SED seriously. What’s more, sustainability questions are now more common in RFPs and during site visits. (more…)

Next Stop, Your Future: The Changing Nature of the Economic Developer’s Job

We recently launched a new series, “Next Stop: The Future.” For several weeks, we’ll explore trends shaping the future of economic development.

Today, we explore how the economic development profession is changing.

“Rather than serving as conduits for resources, economic developers will find themselves in the role of systems managers – convening, coordinating and collaborating with different partners,” says a recent International Economic Development Council (IEDC) report.

That means successful next-generation economic developers will be community builders, visionaries and persuaders.

The Community Builder

Successful economic developers will bring all members of their communities together.

As you nurture your “classic” contacts – your board, local mayors, chambers of commerce, etc. – don’t forget to also engage state and regional partners, existing business and industry managers, retail business owners and entrepreneurs, college and technical school leaders and students, young professionals (Millennials) and retirees.

It is also important to tout business and livability assets in surrounding counties that may be the drawing card needed for business recruitment and retention for your community. For example, a community on the outskirts of a metro area could highlight the educational, entertainment, recreational and place making assets located within a reasonable drive to show their community in its best light. (more…)

Product Development Gives Communities the Edge

Collage with construction plans and buildingLast week, we launched a new The Valley Works blog series, “Next Stop: The Future.” For several weeks, we’ll explore trends shaping the future of economic development.

This week, we explore product development, which means having available developable land and buildings ready to show and sell.

Why Product Development Matters

In Area Development magazine’s latest site selection survey, company executives ranked available land and buildings as top project drivers (third and fourth, respectively).

John Bradley, TVA’s senior vice president for Economic Development, called product development a “differentiator” in a recent interview with Southeast Real Estate Business. Bradley pointed out that TVA Economic Development works with communities day in and day out making sure they have products. If they have product, is it in a marketable position? If we do our due diligence on sites ahead of time, it saves prospective companies time and money. “When companies are chasing markets, they don’t have six months to run around and look at every site,” Bradley said.

Community Implications

It’s not enough to have property; communities must also promote their assets.

“A lot of companies are doing desktop analysis before visiting sites,” Bradley added. “So if you don’t have your product and you’re not marketing it properly, you’re going to be left out.”

There’s good news for Valley-area communities: TVAsites.com is one of the single largest land and building GIS-based databases in the country. (more…)

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