Southeast Developers Attend Site Selectors Guild Gathering

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Orlando’s Hilton Hotel was the scene for a unique meeting of national location consultants and economic development leaders in January. Included among the first-ever Site Selectors Guild Conference’s 150 attendees were five county and regional economic developers from Southeastern North Carolina. “We had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with consultants and learn more from them about what we need to do to keep them informed about what’s happening in our communities,” says Jim Bradshaw, executive director of the Brunswick County Economic Development Commission. “It was a very worthwhile conference.”

The event included a keynote presentation by a guest from The Economist magazine. Panel discussions addressed topics such as incentives, consultant-client relations, regional competitiveness and industry-specific opportunities in areas such as consumer foods, data centers, aviation and energy. “Presenters talked about what industries are looking for and how we need to prepare our communities for projects,” Mr. Bradshaw says.

Founded in 2010 by twelve global location consultants, the Illinois-based Site Selectors Guild forges bonds between businesses needing guidance on facility placement and site-selection firms. The group also promotes knowledge sharing between consultants and economic development organizations at the local, state and regional level. “Without the efforts of economic development professionals it would be virtually impossible for site selectors to do our job,” says Don Schjeldahl, a vice president at The Austin Company and a Guild official.