A trend in local commerce, especially in smaller cities and towns is the creation of an Economic Development Council (EDC), or committee that is responsible for public relations outreach between residential interests, visiting populations and local government. Unsuccessful community economic development efforts usually are centered on popularity campaigns that are far removed from the history and lifestyle of the people living in the development area.
Generous grants and funding has become available for careers in economic development and community improvement jobs in recent years. The introduction of financial resources sometimes causes a distancing between an economic development administration and the citizens who are to benefit from their efforts. The most successful economic development careers always improve on the existing character of a population. It helps an established business community stabilize a collective vision for the future of the community they call home.
Community And Economic Development Jobs In Small Community EDCs
The Economic Development Council chair oversees all appropriations, personnel and financial matters. He or she is responsible for running regular meetings and acting as a liaison between the council and a local government.
This particular community and economic development jobs position is much like the chairperson, but primary duties are in the field.
Like any other committee, the Economic Development Council treasurer keeps accurate records of expenditures and grant income.
The secretary is responsible for creating public documents that can be viewed by anyone regarding the work of the local Economic Development Council.
Economic Development Councils (EDCs) mainly work on grants and are legally allowed to solicit physical and professional help from anyone who is not a member of the council. EDCs are community-based and welcome the help of professionals from all parts of the community.
Purpose and Function of an Economic Development Council
The vast majority of people working on a community economic development level are not elected seat-holders. Therefore, they must go through a standard interview and hiring process. A strong background in budgeting, crew management, resource appropriations, grant-writing and public relations is required for a long-term position with a local Economic Development Council.
Some of the grants and public monies designated as part of an EDC’s budget can either be used for public works, infrastructure, and tourist projects. Other monies can be used for the educational and experiential benefit of employees of the Economic Development Council.
Working in an Economic Development Council
The core of community economic development rests with the hard work and expertise of select individuals who are uniquely qualified to be the voice of a community. An Economic Development Council must never act on the sole interest of its members without input from the local government and residents. Individuals engaged by careers in economic development, or a strong economic development administration must strive to serve the community they are representing and working for.
For further reading on Economic Development Councils, visit the International Economic Development Council website. In addition, find additional resources at Mid-America Economic Development Council, and Southern Economic Development Council.