Fox files: ‘Collaboration’

EDCUtah partnered with the St. George Area Economic Development group earlier this month to host a prominent industrial site selector for a familiarization tour of the area.

It was fantastic to spend some time highlighting Washington County’s economic assets with a few of our key partners in the area. I always enjoy these events, as I find I learn a tremendous amount.

I’ve written before about some of the exciting developments in the St. George area, including the conversion of Dixie State University into a poly-technical institution complete with a new innovation plaza, the Tech Ridge development at the old airport site on the bluff, and of course the Clyde Companies’ Desert Color master planned community.

Although our site selector guest was impressed with the developments in St. George and their trajectories, what stood out to her immediately was the level of “intergovernmental cooperation” in the region.

I remark on that for a few reasons. Collaboration matters to site selectors and their clients because it can be the difference between a project successfully launching and hitting its milestones, or a project failing to gain traction. Collaboration is also the mark of a community’s willingness and ability to solve problems. In smaller and more remote communities collaboration allows for outsized outcomes.

But, let’s be honest, every community in the country markets themselves as being excellent collaborators. I would guess that site selectors hear the old “collaboration is our secret sauce” line on most of their site visits. Therefore, site selectors have honed an ability to cut through the marketing noise and they have a sense for determining whether or not that phrase is backed up with actual constructive working relationships.

I was very encouraged by our guest’s ability to immediately sense that there was a great cooperative relationship between the cities, the county, the educational institutions, the private sector, and the statewide economic development groups. I believe that built confidence in our market and our ability to service clients.

Thanks to the St. George Area Economic Development group for your partnership and for collaborating with us on this terrific visit.