Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Arizona Makes Changes in Economic Development Effort

My firm has done a fair amount of work in Arizona. Coordination of ED effforts is important to the state's future economic development success. Alignment with a set of shared ED priorities is very important, especially priorities that encourage quality growth and help manage development to avoid outstripping the state's natural resources. Here is what AZ Gov. Janet Napolitano hopes to do.

The State of Arizona is launching a new economic development initiative to coordinate existing ones and revamping another effort in moves that Gov. Janet Napolitano said will help advance and unify current programs.

Napolitano said Thursday the new Arizona Economic Resources Organization will be a nonprofit board that acts an umbrella organization over all other economic development activity. She says AERO will coordinate those activities and set strategies for the state by providing recommendations and guidance.

Also, an existing nonprofit organization, the Arizona Global Network, is being expanded, Napolitano said. (Note: Earlier this year we did a peer review of the effort and gave it favorable marks for its progress.)

The AGN's focus is on promoting the state, recruiting new companies and establishing strategies for foreign investment.

“Our goal is to attract and grow businesses in Arizona to keep us economically strong,” Napolitano said. “We want the next Fortune 500 and high-growth companies in our state, and are committed to collaborating on diversifying and modernizing our economy.”

AERO will work with the three state universities and collaborate with the state Commerce Department, the Greater Arizona Development Authority and other entities, she said.

Napolitano's office said AGN's members includes all economic development organizations, higher education representatives, the Department of Commerce and other entities.

Source article.

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