"County committed to regional job growth | ABC Newspapers"

Job growth is critical to the economic well-being of not only Anoka County, but the region as a whole.

That’s the view of Anoka County Board Chairperson Rhonda Sivarajah and the rest of the board, which is why the county board has decided to spend $75,000 to become part of the Itasca Project and its offshoot, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership (REDP).
The Itasca Project, which focuses on a regional approach to economic development, formed the REDP “to be a value-added resource to all economic development organizations and activities in the region,” according to REDP website.
REDP is a private-public partnership (501C3), funded by business, institutions and government, whose mission is to stimulate economic growth and prosperity and a resultant higher quality of life for the Twin Cities metro area, the website states.
The county board discussed during a work session last year whether or not the county should participate in REDP and the decision was made to move forward, according to Sivarajah.
The Itasca Project efforts demonstrated a need for “one voice” and that one voice will be the Minneapolis-St. Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership (MSP-REDP), Sivarajah said.

According to its website, there are four specific activities that the MSP-REDP will lead or partner with existing organizations.
1. Set a strategic vision.
• Create the regional strategic vision for economic development.
• Define the tactical economic development agenda to guide resource prioritization.

2. Brand and market the region.
• Create a regional brand to reflect the strategic vision.
• Market the region’s vision and brand internally to align regional stakeholders.
• Market the region to external site consultants, companies and potential clients.

3. Retain current businesses in the region.
• Conduct local business check-ups and solve company specific problems.
• Connect businesses to, and raise awareness of, state and local resources.

4. Attract businesses to, and expand businesses in, the region.
• Serve as main contact for site consultants and relocating businesses.
• Provide one-stop shop for regional data, permit processes, real estate information, etc.
• Serve as project manager for local expansions and new attraction efforts.
• Connect companies with local resources and incentive programs.

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"Regionalism isn't dead, just delayed (editorial) | al.com"

THE ALABAMA Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce and the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce won't be merging after all. A vote to combine the two fell short of the 75 percent requirement this week.

But though the results were disappointing, this doesn't mean that regionalism is dead among the chambers of commerce in south Baldwin County.
Far from it.
In the meantime, the chambers can continue to work together on issues when it is advantageous to do so. South Baldwin County leaders have already reaped the benefits of combining efforts in the wake of the oil spill.

The most visible evidence of such cooperation was the Coastal Resiliency Coalition and its "war room," where leaders from various communities came together to hash out the many problems stemming from the BP disaster.

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