KEDC earns excellence awards for podcast, business retention

Kerr Economic Development Corporation won Silver awards in “Over The Fence Podcast,” a project in the Digital Media category, Industry Workforce Roundtable, a project in the Partnerships w/ Education- al Institutions category, and Kerrville Together website, a project in the Special Purpose Website category.

KEDC also won a Bronze award for its Business Retention and Expansion, a project in the category of Business Retention and Expansion Initiatives of the International Economic Development Council. The honors were presented on Oct. 15 at an awards ceremony during the IEDC Annual Conference.

“KEDC is honored to receive recognition from IEDC for our programs and marketing initiatives. Our goal coming into 2020 was to build and foster regional relationships while continuing to grow and assist our local businesses. These awards recognize these efforts. We are thankful to have support from and collaboration with our outstanding local leadership, regional EDO’s, and State representatives. They have each played a significant role in the successes we have seen within our region in 2020,” said KEDC BRE Manager Theresa Metcalf.

IEDC's Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world's best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year's most influential leaders. Thirty-five award categories honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 500 submissions from four countries.

•    Digital Media – “Over the Fence Video Podcast” - The purpose of Over the Fence was to create a platform to allow the Kerrville community to connect and receive important first-hand business insight during a crucial period of time in a fun and meaningful way. It was also part of the adaptation in the BRE Initiative that allowed KEDC to continue to connect with local businesses. Over the Fence is now transitioning to a more regional initiative and will begin to host economic development experts and heads of various regional ED organizations.

•    Partnerships in education - KEDC Industry Workforce Roundtable – This initiative began by inviting the Texas Workforce Commission to speak at the Hill Country Economic Summit which was a gateway for an in-person meeting with Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing, All-Plastics, Kerrville State Hospital, and James Avery Artisan Jewelry.

These partnerships and meetings with local industry leaders and Alamo Colleges led to the award of two Skills Development Fund grants and one Texas Enterprise Fund award totaling $1.3 million.

This initiative is now being adapted as an inclusive recovery and resiliency roundtable bringing together prior and current top sales tax revenue generators and our regional partners to collaborate on best practices and future proofing strategies.

As we look towards a larger inclusive and diverse business community, we will also be inviting those businesses that have been under-represented.

•  Special Purpose Website – Kerrvilletogether.com - Kerrvilletogether.com was designed and created for the purpose of business retention and information during the COVID-19 crisis. It was a tool to build collaboration and create a simple way for the entire community to easily and quickly find all pertinent information related to funding, workforce training and retention, job opportunities, economic data, business guidance, state and local operating guidelines, open businesses, and opportunities to virtually connect. Kerrvilletogether. com is a resource for the community that will grow and change as the dynamics and needs of our community change with the COVID-19 crisis. Its mission is now focused on recovery and resiliency. I would like to thank our local collaborators, who were involved in providing information and resources for Kerrvilletogether.com. City of Kerrville, Convention and Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce.

•    BRE Initiative - COVID-19 forced KEDC, as an organization, to think quick and pivot.

“Kerrville Together” became the mantra not only at the Kerr Economic Development Corporation, but the entire business community as well.

During the economic crisis Kerrville Together was the cherry-on-top of KEDC’s BRE initiative, which started in 2017, and was a culmination of a body of work that has helped create and retain jobs.

As part of the BRE Initiative in 2020 KEDC:

•    Created and managed the Kerrvilletogether.com website;

•    Successfully launched the first Annual Hill Country 40 Under 40 Event;

•    Worked in participation with P2P to obtain the required petition signatures, to legalize alcohol sales for local businesses in Precinct 2;

•    Created and hosted a COVID-19 Webinar Series;

•    Co-hosted the Office of the Governor Small Business Webinar Series;

•    Founded an Industry Roundtable;

•    Produced “Over the Fence” video podcast;

•    Participated in Weekly Live Community COVID updates;

•    Developed Business surveys to gauge the economic impact of local business.

Founded in 2010, KEDC’s mission is to retain existing jobs and create new job opportunities in Kerrville and Kerr County, which helps benefit the Hill Country quality of life.

“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the very best of economic development and exemplify the ingenuity, integrity, and leadership that our profession strives for each and every day,”said 2020 IEDC Board Chair and One Columbus CEO Kenny McDonald. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing campaigns, projects and partnerships have measurably improved regional quality of life.”

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