View All Posts

Nov 21

What is Economic Development?

Posted on November 21, 2016 at 4:07 PM by Kristi Dozier

You may have asked yourself recently. What is the Chanute Regional Development Authority? What is their goal? What is Economic Development? Why should I care? You are not alone with these questions. Let’s start with the fancy definition. Economic Development is a program, group of policies, or activity that seeks to improve the economic well-being and quality of place for a community by creating and/or retaining jobs that facilitate growth and provide a stable tax base.            

All very important, but as a community, how do we do that? First let’s start here at home. First and foremost, Economic Development is Community Development. Why is that you may ask? Neighborhoods are important; the PEOPLE are the differentiation in our community. Without strong people and strong neighborhoods, a community will (typically) struggle to attract and sustain industry. Accomplishing Community Development requires strong public leadership, including Buy-In from Elected Officials, and vocal POSITIVE community voices. Outlaying a proactive road map with the ability to respond and react, along with collaboration of the City, Main Street, Chamber and the CRDA. Bottom line, Chanute will not attract new elements if the existing residents don’t understand the vision. In doing so, this will increase Public Sector Accountability among officials and staff, increase community accountability, and increase the likelihood of positive, ongoing public support.

Workforce Development is the next wave of Economic Development. Developing our workforce will take Community Investment. These will come in the form of Business to Business Partnerships, Educational Partnerships, along with working with our regional and state agencies to prepare our workforce, both young and old, for the ever changing workplace environment. I feel our current leadership, both educationally and in the industry sector, will work hand in hand with the CRDA to take Chanute to the next level required to keep up with workforce needs. Their passion for Chanute and the improvement of our community is second to none. 

Economic Development is Neighborhood Development. Great Neighborhoods equal a better quality of life, which in turn will lead to Industry/Relocated Employee attraction which will equal a great tax base for Chanute. Ask yourself this, what image do you think an outsider takes driving though Chanute? Would we be proud by the answers? What did they see? Did they see Community Pride? My belief is, as a community, our goal should be to create a well-balanced community to which we are proud to have visitors, both in tourism, and business attraction. The CRDA created the Neighborhood Revitalization Program which has resulted in great investment in properties to assist real estate owners. It will take more programs such as these to continue the movement towards our goals. Along with this, channeling community assets, whether it is our passions, associations, public/private resources, will strengthen our quality of life through social events, public art, markets, community gardens, etc.

Of course, a continuous goal for the CRDA and for Economic Development will always be to attract new businesses to choose Chanute for their next manufacturing plant location, retail location, etc., and by implementing the above goals as mentioned, it will become an easy choice for companies to choose and grow with Chantue. Economic Development will always be an ever changing industry, and the CRDA is committed to remain on the forefront of the industry through continuous education, involvement in State & National organizations, and working together with the community to better ourselves every day. Our message continues to be one of a unified betterment of Chanute, “There is a destiny that makes us brothers, none goes his way alone. All that you send into the lives of others comes back into your own.” - Edwin Markham

Please feel free to reach out to me at 620-431-5222 or . We look forward to being a positive and forward thinking organization for Chanute for many years to come.