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Partnership gets boost

One of the problems with economic development is that much of the work goes on behind the scenes and may not be readily apparent to the public.

That can give folks the false impression that those involved in economic development don’t really do all that much and that the process has little value.

But ask someone involved in a big business deal that brings a major employer to North Texas and you may find out otherwise. Odds are, somewhere along the line, a city’s economic development director or a chamber of commerce official had a hand in attracting and selling the new tenant.

Sure, some corporate executives may decide where to settle their new manufacturing facilities or theme parks or major hotel-entertainment venues by driving down Route 66 and stopping to explore colorful little towns along the way, but they’re probably in the minority.

Most such deals come after long and careful research, negotiations between company executives and ambassadors from various locations trying to land the deal and much haggling with city and county officials about taxes, development fees and other considerations. A lot of factors have to be considered before such agreements are finalized.

But something tells us that a city with an established economic development strategy might have a head start when it comes to attracting new projects and boosting the tax base.

If you’ve got the right people in play, the sales pitch is going to be delivered a lot faster and more accurately, and sometimes, that’s all it takes to get the attention of a corporation or developer that’s wanting to relocate or launch a new project.

That’s why this week’s announcement that the Denton Economic Development Partnership had received accreditation from an international organization caught our interest. The International Economic Development Council (IEDC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising the profile of the economic development profession, named the local partnership an Accredited Economic Development Organization.

The city and chamber formed the Economic Development Partnership in 1987, according to its website. In 2003, the Economic Development Board was created to oversee the activities of both the city and chamber economic development departments.

The local partnership is the 34th nationally accredited entity by the IEDC. It is also the second accredited entity in the North Texas area and the ninth in Texas, said Karen Dickson, vice president of economic development for the Denton Chamber of Commerce.

Both Dickson and Aimee Bissett, the city’s economic development director, said the accreditation is a mark of excellence and lends credibility to joint economic development efforts by the city and chamber.

In our view, that’s a worthwhile accomplishment, and we congratulate those involved for their work in gaining this accreditation.

We’re betting that the designation will help focus new attention on the Denton Economic Development Partnership and its efforts, and ultimately, that could benefit us all.