Refining Our Role in Economic Development

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You may already know that the Garland Chamber of Commerce has been in town helping local businesses succeed for 120 years, but did you know that the organization has also been directly involved with the economic development of Garland for 20 of those years?

In 1995, the Garland Economic Development Partnership (GEDP) formally connected the City of Garland, the Garland Independent School District and the Garland Chamber of Commerce in an effort to combine resources and build a sustainable economy. For two decades, the three entities have been able to make a unified effort to attract, recruit and retain businesses for the collective best interest of the community. This uniquely structured-organization has been directly responsible for the growth of more than $1.5 billion in new commercial tax base and the addition of more than 18,000 jobs.

Over the last 20 years, the Chamber has been largely responsible for marketing the Partnership and communicating with real estate brokers, developers and site selectors to convey the advantages of doing business in Garland. However, as the economy has grown and evolved, the model for the Partnership has as well.

Following the City’s recent creation of an economic development department, in July 2015 the City and Chamber made a presentation to Garland City Council, which revealed a refined model for the Partnership that allows each entity to play to its specific strengths. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect from the Partnership moving forward.

Chamber Responsibilities

  • Workforce Development: The Chamber will act as a liaison between local employers and educational institutions to facilitate the training and continued education of a qualified workforce.
  • Small Business Development: The Chamber will drive local small business owners to specialized resources and programming focused on long-term growth and sustainability.
  • Retention: The Chamber will work to maintain a clear understanding of manufacturers’ needs and facilitate growth opportunities through active engagement.
  • Internal Marketing: The Chamber will be the trusted source of timely, relevant information regarding opportunities for involvement and growth in the existing local business community.

City Responsibilities

  • Recruitment and External Attraction: The City will proactively engage the development community in regards to opportunities in Garland, focusing on “good fit” investors for the community.
  • Redevelopment: The City will develop programming focused on enhancing catalyst area efforts, engaging retail owners, and offering project-specific customized incentive packaging.
  • Expansion: The City will work to fully understand and appreciate issues inhibiting local growth and move quickly and strategically to implement solutions that facilitate expansion.
  • External Marketing: The City will enlist the community to help build simple, effective and accurate messaging that celebrates Garland’s unique assets.

The third partner, Garland ISD, will work primarily in collaboration with the Chamber to gain employer feedback that will help facilitate career preparation in curriculum and the development of dynamic programs such as the student career expo and job shadow day.

The Garland Chamber of Commerce is excited about the evolution of the Garland Economic Development Partnership and our newly refined role in the service of our business community. This focused approach allows each partner to dedicate the maximum amount of time and resources to accomplishing the tasks we are each most suited to undertake. As we move forward into a new decade of economic development, we hope you’ll continue to support the efforts of the Partnership and stay engaged with us as we continue to pursue our mission to act as the catalyst for positive change in the greater Garland community.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Will the Economic Development Steering Committee Remain in Tact?
    Yes. Though the function of the committee may change, each partner agrees that there is great value in remaining regularly informed and engaged with economic development activities.
  2. I’m an Economic Development Investor, What is My Money Now Supporting?
    You can be assured that your investment with us is still supporting economic development efforts. We’re creating more robust programming around workforce development, business retention and small business development. Essentially, you’re helping our existing businesses, like yourself, gain access to a greater pool of resources than ever before, facilitating sustainable success.

Re-engage with the Chamber Staff

Has it been a while since you checked in with us? Some of our roles have changed and there are a few new faces in the office. Take a moment to meet our staff and watch our video introductions!

Chamber Staff 

Learn More About Workforce Development

Mark Hays, Vice Chancellor of Workforce & Economic Development for Dallas County Community College District, joins the Chamber as speaker for the Chamber Luncheon on Aug. 31 at 11:30 a.m. Learn more about what DCCCD is doing to support local workforce development at this informative luncheon.

Register Now

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