November 2018

Focus on the Future
This month's newsletter focuses on the future of economic development. The ever-changing economy, increasing pace of innovation, and headline visibility of economic development has us thinking about the decade ahead. What can economic developers do to serve their communities in an even more productive way? What metrics matter? How can EDOs leverage their insights and relationships to make their communities even more economically robust?

These questions are worth asking your staff, board members, and community partners. If the answers don't align with your mission and metrics, then it's time for a refresh.
Next Generation Economic Development:
Thoughts on the Future of our Profession
By: Jennifer Vernon and Amy Holloway

The competitive landscape of economic development is changing and so must the role of economic developers. With our nation’s record-low unemployment rates, there is an assumption that prosperity is widespread. Instead, the current economy has put a fine point on what has been suspected for many years: There is a misalignment of workforce skills with business needs coupled with disparities in income and opportunity. This is just one of the complexities facing economic developers today.

The role of an economic developer is shifting with changes in the competitive landscape.

In Avalanche’s work across the country, we have witnessed more economic developers pursuing holistic approaches to improve their communities’ economic competitiveness. This means expanding their organizations’ missions and metrics beyond sheer job attraction to also include efforts that, for example, enhance talent attraction and retention, improve the business climate for innovation and future preparedness, and strengthen leadership collaboration. 

Visit our blog to continue reading this article and learn about the three roles we believe every high-performing economic developer should embrace in the decade to come.
Guest Star Columnist Ronnie Bryant:
The Three 'I's for the Future of
Economic Development Organizations
Our dear friend and mentor, Ronnie Bryant, Principal of Ronnie L. Bryant, LLC, shares his invaluable insights about future-forward thinking and leadership for economic development organizations in this exclusive article for Avalanche. We believe wholeheartedly in Ronnie's assessment that "now is the time to bring open minds, fresh approaches, and greater diversity to our work in order to reach the highest levels of economic success for our organizations and our stakeholders."

Visit our blog to read Ronnie's article, "The Three 'I's for the Future of Economic Development Organizations."

Speaking of The Future Of...

As economic development strategists, we are voracious consumers of news and producers of original content. We are constantly monitoring news and market dynamics that provide opportunities to economic developers.

Earlier this year, we realized that the stories and stats that inspire us internally at Avalanche could also inspire others. We created a curated website, The Future Of, to share what we believe to be highly relevant content with YOU. The Future Of is designed for busy thought leaders and change makers in our field who are continuously curious but do not have enough time to cull through messy mass media to find meaningful news.

The Future Of   is not about project announcements and traditional fare. It is about sharing articles that should inspire and influence a modern approach to economic development.

Avalanche's mission and passion is to help communities reach greater heights, and we believe that insightful data and intelligence is essential. We are offering a complimentary one-year subscription to The Future Of to anyone who replies to this offer in the next 10 days. Please click here to sign-up.
Congratulations to IEDC's Excellence Award Winners!
We're thrilled to see so many of our fantastic clients receive recognition for their work! A huge congrats to all the winners:

  • Provo, UT – Silver Award, General Purpose Print Brochure for Provo Involved, a new interactive, digital report that summarizes the economic activity of the past year.
  • Onward NRV – Bronze Award, Targeted Industry Brochures that incorporated Onward NRV's new brand into digital and print brochures that offer high-level business advantages for the region's four target industries.
  • Sonoma County EDB – Silver Award, Paid Advertisement Campaign for the #GoSoCo Post Wildfires Shop Local Campaign, which directed shopping dollars to local Sonoma businesses during the 2017 holiday season and was disseminated by nine cities, 15 chambers, and six local papers.
  • Sandoval Economic Alliance – Silver Award, General Purpose Website for their new website that featured regional economic data and an updated design.
  • Columbus 2020 – Gold Award, General Purpose Website that launched in May 2017 and better highlighted the region's resources and strengths.
Celebrating our Clients
Economic Futures Group announces new corporate development strategy - The Spartanburg Economic Futures Group just completed its corporate development strategy, a new strategy that will help Spartanburg attract and retain white collar jobs. Spartanburg also announced that Jansen Tidmore will lead the strategy under the new title Executive Vice President of Corporate and Urban Development. Congrats, Jansen!

Eight of America's Most Digitally Inclusive Tech Cities - Columbus, OH was named one of the Brookings Institution's most digitally inclusive tech cities. The region's tech workforce has seen amazing growth over the past decade (5.3% annually since 2010), and has an impressive startup scene. Way to go Columbus!

10 Best Cities to Live in the USA - Two Avalanche clients made Money's list of the 10 Best Cities to Live in the USA. Jacksonville came in at #9 because of its growing population, impressive tech sector, and quality of life amenities, and Columbus came in at #10 because of its fast growing population, the Ohio State University, and abundance of museums. Congrats Jacksonville and Columbus!
Avalanche in Action
In September, we proudly welcomed our first junior team member into the Avalanche family. Jack Vernon might not yet be ready to lead a strategy, but his smile lights up the world. Congratulations Jennifer and JD on the arrival of your beautiful son!

The addition of a new generation to our team and our work around the country in November has us even more focused on helping communities prepare for the future. Earlier this month, we traveled to Boston to participate in a retreat with the Columbus Partnership where we were inspired by the thoughts of Dr. Larry Bacow, President of Harvard University, on the role of universities in economic development. Our travels to Columbia, SC, and work with the Central SC Alliance secured our belief that regionalism is critical to economic competitiveness. We are thankful for all of the incredible people that we have the fortune to engage with during our journeys.
Jack Vernon, Junior Consultant
Avalanche Consulting
Larry Bacow, President, and
Patti Bellinger, Chief of Staff and Strategic Advisor, Harvard University
Beautiful Fall Foliage, Harvard Yard
View from the Capital City Club, Columbia SC
Leadership Workshop, Columbia SC
Strategizing with Kenny McDonald, Amy Holloway, and John Rees
Top Tweets from Avalanche
Avalanche Consulting: 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. 
Headlight Illuminates Data on Your Community
Headlight Data  is Avalanche's award-winning online data system that enables 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.

Avalanche Consulting, Inc. | (512) 917-3815 |
amy@avalancheconsulting.com | www.avalancheconsulting.com