Regional economic opportunity summit to be held

March 19, 2013 09:19 AM
Municipal officials and Economic Development professionals from the West Central Illinois region will meet in Galesburg to discuss opportunities for job creation and how  and which resources can be brought to bear on those opportunities. The Regional Economic Opportunities Summit, hosted by the EBI Network and Carl Sandburg College will allow area officials to describe the economic challenges they face in their community and what they see as business opportunities they can assist.
Galesburg City Manager Todd Thompson explained, "Our Economic Development team has previously met with many of the attendees individually, but this is a good time to bring the group together to identify the opportunities, explain the options available for assistance and to form a consensus on other issues such as marketing the region, networking and sharing of resources. We’ve had a number of regional successes and believe we can do more. This is a good forum to continue on this momentum."
Among the regional successes is the recent Indonesian Trade Mission, where, according to Global Strategies Director Gary Camarano, "Several of the businesses we brought over there are engaged in completing deals. One of our trade mission participants is negotiating a potential $5 million contract. Obviously that’s great for the company directly involved, but will have additional benefits for local companies in the supply chain. A deal like that will have indirect benefits important to other businesses."
Cesar Suarez, Galesburg’s Economic Development Director is excited about the prospect of being able to work with the region’s municipalities. Mr. Suarez said, "We have assembled a team and forged relationships that are now ready to blossom. This meeting will help to formalize these relationships, identify opportunities and match them with the resources - both technical and financial assistance – that will result in more completed projects throughout the region. We’re here to assist the private sector and this summit will help accelerate that goal."
Regional approaches to economic development are seen as necessary and have gained favor recently, not only in the U.S., but internationally. To effectively compete in today’s economy, many believe regions need to collaborate and share resources to assist promising projects that will help businesses compete globally and in the long run create family sustaining jobs. Projects the group identify and agree to assist will be announced in later communications.
For more information, contact Gary Camarano at 309/371-0474.
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