Ogden City Business Development recently earned the Development Ready Community (DRC) certification after working with EDCUtah to design and execute a five-stage effort to help foster local business and attract major companies.
This designation is a signal to businesses looking to build and grow in Ogden. “It demonstrates that we understand the process for site selection and have an awareness of the community’s assets and how to represent those assets,” explains Brant Birkeland, Ogden City’s Business Recruitment Manager.
Ogden City Business Development Team pictured left to right: Brandon Cooper-Director, David Sawyer-Deputy Manager, Sara Meess-Manager, Mindy Nicholas-Admin. Assistant, Brant Birkland-Recruitment Manager
EDCUtah, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (Go Utah), focuses on supporting quality job growth and capital investment across Utah. Ogden City Business Development works closely with EDCUtah to promote the community, recruit businesses, and create jobs.
Sara Meess, Division Manager with Ogden City Business Development, believes the DRC program is a recipe for success. “It gives everybody involved in the process confidence that we have the same understanding and training regarding key economic practices, like effectively responding to requests for information from a business or working with developers to get sites in our community ready to build on,” said Meess.
The Development Ready Community (DRC) program assists members through five stages of economic development: Community Assessment, Planning, Community Marketing, Training and Preparation, followed by EDCUtah Integration and Support. “They’re all important. It’s like a cumulative process and helps you understand each of those stages, what role they play and why they are important,” says Birkeland. He also states, “EDCUtah uses their resources and puts together a community assessment for us and then you sit down together with them to review it. It was interesting to get their perspective on the data about our community and how we can use that effectively in our recruitment practices.”
The DRC training took two-years, but upon completion, Ogden joins 14 other cities with the Development Ready Community certification. Those communities, including Layton, Brigham City, Syracuse, South Jordan and Cache Valley, strive for a statewide collaboration to keep not only cities strong, but Utah as a whole. Having multiple municipalities DRC certified speeds up the process for businesses to get established due to a commonality of training and analysis.
“Through the program’s training sessions, we have brought together these diverse partners, both urban and rural, large and small, to learn from and build relationships with each other,” explains Alan Rindlisbacher, Director of Community Strategy at EDCUtah. “By doing so, we’re also building unity, and learning that as we grow together as statewide partners, Utah wins through its dynamic and vibrant economy.”
Members of the Ogden City Business Development team see this certification as a demonstration of their commitment to professional development and responding to evolving economic development trends. “This represents our city’s continued efforts to make Ogden the ideal place for business growth and investment,” says Birkeland.
While the certificate hangs on the wall of the Business Development division, the partnership between Ogden and EDCUtah will continue. Meess says of the group, “We value and appreciate our partnership with EDCUtah and their efforts to provide opportunities like the DRC program.”