RDA Happenings July 2014
Posted on July 1, 2014 – By Emporia RDA
Congratulations to Fanestil Meats on their recent ground breaking at the new plant site on west Highway 50. We look forward to their continued growth.
Hostess Brands continues to add employees and expand their capacity. At the recent ribbon cutting on July 18th it was announced that a second auto bake line with 50 additional employees to be hired. We are really close to se-curing the warehouse project for Detroit Diesel Remanufacturing on Overlander Street. Simmons Pet Foods is well underway with their multi-million dollar expansion and the creation of over 80 new employees in the future. Birch Communications is increasing their Emporia workforce by more than 130 employees with the recent acqui-sition of Cbeyond.
Hundreds of jobs are being created by these businesses. Construction is occurring and local contractors are work-ing on these projects. The local economy has picked up. The future is quite bright for Emporia, Lyon County and the region.
During World War II there was a slogan “loose lips sink ships”. The slogan implied that a person who had strate-gic knowledge was not to discuss that knowledge in a public setting, because you never know who is listening into the conversation, which would be harmful to the “war effort”.
In the competitive environment of economic development, recruitment and expansion confidentiality is a must. When working with businesses confidentiality is an absolute. First, the private business does not want their com-petition to have knowledge of their expansion plans. Second, the process a business uses for a new location or expansion of an existing business is a process of elimination. Finally, businesses do not want to offend a commu-nity, suppliers or customers during an expansion project.
When a business identifies a community as a potential site for expansion, the business does not want to be identi-fied. The majority of the time an economic development corporation cannot publicly report that they worked or have worked with “xyz” company.
During the site selection process company representatives may visit a community unannounced to get a sense of the community attitude. Those visitors are listening to the conversations in the local restaurants and coffee shops to get a feel for the issues, challenges and attitude of the community.
During the selection process a business will narrow down the list of potential communities to 2 or 3. The tie-breakers are performance-based incentives and the “Lucy factor”. You ask what the “Lucy factor” is, the prefer-ence of the decision maker’s significant other or spouse.
With publicly traded corporations it’s generally the “C-level” executives such as Chair, Vice-Chair, President/CEO, CFO, CAO, etc. who makes a decision based on business factors and the “bottom line”. However, with a privately-held corporation the final decision is made by the majority owner and it could be that a community is perceived rather than the facts.
Client confidentiality is an absolute necessity because a competing community may use the breach of confidenti-ality to their advantage.