Cooper Bebo is the newest face to the On Hand Development Corporation Board Of Directors. Cooper was selected by the On Hand Board at the most recent board meeting on Thursday, September 12. Cooper is taking the seat of Connie Schroeder who served on the board for nine years.
Last week, I attended a community engagement workshop in Webster, SD hosted by Dakota Resources. At this two-day learning workshop, myself and my economic development peers, learned about how to get the community involved in projects and how to ask the powerful questions that need to be asked. We heard three case studies from Webster, Rosyln, and Bristol and what’s working in those communities. We walked thru the process of the World Café and how to start up group conversations that make a difference. We took a tour of Webster and Rosyln and talked to their leaders.
That question we hear a lot around here. It’s not an easy, quick answer. So, if you have a minute, I will answer this complicated question to the best of my ability.
So first, what is Economic Development? Economic development isn’t an easy field to justify. Economic development is defined by Wikipedia as the process by which the economic well-being and quality of life of a nation, region or local community are improved. This definition doesn’t explain the nuts and bolts of economic development and how it can effect change in a positive way on a big scale. Because the scope is so broad, it can be extremely difficult to separate what the tangible goals of economic development are. And unfortunately, our office can’t produce doodads that can be measured, and some wonder if money spent on economic development is really worth it. We believe it IS really worth it. We have projects, businesses, employees, and increased sales tax to prove it.