April 2018
WHAT GLOBAL CITIES SAY: 
REFLECTIONS ON THE SXSW CITIES SUMMIT
 
By Tony DeLisi, Vice President
 
This year, the SXSW Conference in Austin hosted its first-ever Cities Summit - signaling the ever-growing importance of local leaders in shaping our common future. The Cities Summit convened civic leaders and urbanists from across disciplines and the globe to discuss, strategize, and form coalitions to address our most pressing issues.
 
When Avalanche learned that our headquarters city was hosting the Summit, we were eager to participate in the conversation. It did not disappoint. Over two days, we met passionate thinkers and heard inspiring stories about communities stepping up to address the common issues of our time.


SURVEY SAYS... 106 EDOs WEIGH IN ON PROSPECT ACTIVITY AND THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY
 
Avalanche's 9th annual Economic Development Activity Index wrapped in March, and the results point to mostly sunny skies in the year ahead: 
  • 65% of respondents reported an increase in expansion projects in 2017 and 56% indicated an increase in leads. Even more favorably, 45% said that layoffs and closures were down since 2016.
  • Prospect activity for manufacturing operations hit a 6-year ED Index high. Two-thirds of EDOs said that manufacturing was up in 2017 compared to 2016. Other top prospects include distribution, health care, building materials, industrial machinery, and automotive.
  • A whopping 96% of respondents stated that workforce availability has become a more important factor in the site selection process over the past year, which confirms what we're sensing on the ground. (We can help!)
  • 65% of respondents believe that their local economies will be much better or better in 12 months, while 46% believe the same about the national economy.
How do these results reflect what's happening in your community? Stay tuned to future newsletters for more results and a deeper dive into the data. 

AVALANCHE MAKES THE NEWS IN WEST PALM BEACH 
 
Our kick-off trip to begin an Economic Development Study in  West Palm Beach, FL was featured on their  local news station! Click on the video below to learn more about the strategy we're facilitating for this vibrant community, and watch Tony, Noelle, and Chris Roog's smooth moves on camera. 



CELEBRATING OUR CLIENTS

Jacksonville was featured in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce article about smart cities initiatives. Jacksonville's plan to convert the Skyway from a monorail system to a testing ground for autonomous vehicles was featured as an example of creative urban planning. Go Jax!

Northeast Florida made the news again when it announced that JinkoSolar, a Chinese solar energy company, will be opening its first U.S. factory in Jacksonville. JinkoSolar selected Jacksonville because of its partnership with another Northeast Florida solar company, NextEra, and ease of transportation through the Port of Jacksonville. JinkoSolar's facility is expected to create 200 jobs over the next few years. 

New Geography released its list of Fastest Cities for Job Growth in 2017, and 3 clients made the top 20! Jacksonville came in at #5, Charlotte at #6, and Atlanta at #16. Congratulations! 




If you have news that you would like to share with our network,  email us a link  and we'll help you spread the word.

AVALANCHE IN ACTION

April brought team Avalanche to Northeast Florida and Jacksonville to continue working on  Elevate Northeast Florida, the region's next 5-year economic development strategy. The trip was action-packed, including our secon d steering committee meeting, workshops in all seven NEFL counties, a very, very quick trip to the beach, and a rousing TEDx discussion facilitated by the brilliant Cathy Chambers. Also, Jennifer and Noelle visited the Trinity River Authority's offices in Arlington and Livingston, TX,  where they led stakeholder input sessions for a new organizational strategy and toured the Lake Livingston Dam.

 
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OUT AND ABOUT IN 2018 
 
NextGen Talks is less than a month away, and the rest of our speaking engagements will be here before you know it! If you're attending any of these events, we would love to connect with you.
  • NextGen Talks  Asheville, NC, on May 16-18 - NextGen Talks is an opportunity for economic development and site selection leaders to discuss trends impacting the industry today. Amy Holloway will facilitate an interactive workshop on "Practical Tools for Tackling the Talent Challenge."
  • ACCE Annual Convention Des Moines, IA, on July 18 - Avalanche will moderate a discussion on chambers' roles in re-engaging displaced and disengaged workers. 
  • Ag & Animal Science Conference Willmar, MN, on September 25 at the MinnWest Technology Campus - Tony DeLisi will speak about economic development trends and innovation in the animal and food manufacturing industries.
TOP TWEETS





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AVALANCHE:  RESEARCH, MARKETING, STRATEGY
Avalanche Consulting  is the nation's premier economic development strategist. We are the best in the business at translating complex information into strategies, marketing messages, and motivation for action. We are deeply driven to make a positive impact and seek clients who are equally inspired to energize their economies. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Avalanche was established in 2005 and has assisted more than 150 communities across the US and abroad. 

LET HEADLIGHT ILLUMINATE DATA ON YOUR REGION
Headlight is Avalanche's award-winning online data system that enab les economic and workforce development organizations to produce data-intensive websites on their region's economy and workforce, allowing them to better serve prospects, site selectors, and their community. Data can be aggregated into one central website or  embedded into your organization's existing website.


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