With the exception of one actionable item, Monday’s scheduled meeting of the Seminole Economic Development Corporation Board of Trustees was more of a roundtable discussion of matters that are pending before the group. The lone exception, however, will influence, to some degree, how the city markets itself.
A two-year-old marketing relationship with the World Economic Development Alliance (WEDA), one that was forged by a previous SEDC Executive Director, is one that involves primarily e-mail marketing campaigns that are designed to connect communities with companies that are considering expansion or relocation. It is a system that, in current Director Chris Jones’ opinion, has been largely ineffectual for Seminole.
Jones recently unveiled a slightly different approach that has the same desired effect, but uses more advanced digital publishing technologies to match communities with company prospects. With the company’s guarantees of an amendment to its contract that will allow the SEDC greater access to data gathered, the Board approved a new relationship with the Irving office ofMultiview Marketing. The vote also effectively dissolved the relationship with WEDA.
Jones also gave the Board a rundown of planned Economic Development oriented trade shows and conferences thathe plans to attend, that he feels could have a potentially positive impact on Seminole Business prospects and fit in with the manufacturing elements of his recently developed Strategic Plan.
Those include an October 10-12 Business Aviation Conference in Las Vegas, with a focus on the manufacturing of airplane components, and the annual conference of the Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) in Houston on October 18-20.
Other events on Jones’ schedule include the FABTech conference in Chicago on November 6-8. Jones’ target is the metal fabrication industry and the potential creation of welding “clusters”, or the development of a skilled pool of welders in the workforce. He will also attend the ICSC Texas Conference in Dallas on November 8-10. The purpose of the conference is to unite property owners, developers, retailers, real estate brokers, lenders, property asset managers and product/service providers with municipalities.
In his effort to forge a stronger business alliance with Gaines County government, Jones’ Executive Director’s report included Monday morning’sappearance before the Gaines County Commissioner’s Court. Jones hopes to build an alliance between County and City government and business interests in order to facilitate an economic development arrangement with Angelina Tank Company, which plans an expansion to Gaines County.
In her first Workforce Coordinator update, Kristi Duncan reported a recent visit to Odessa College, with whom the SEDC has established a workforce development relationship. Duncan also has plans to begin a series of visits to area businesses.
Board member Michel Powers conducted the meeting in the absence of Board President Kevin Petty.