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Examiner
  • Jim Devine: Regional collaboration is vital

  •  As president and CEO of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council, I realize that the community I represent is just one piece of a larger regional economic and community development puzzle. As an integral member of the Eastern Jackson County business community, LSEDC plays an active role in advocating for r...
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  •  As president and CEO of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council, I realize that the community I represent is just one piece of a larger regional economic and community development puzzle. As an integral member of the Eastern Jackson County business community, LSEDC plays an active role in advocating for regional concepts, approaches and programs through our involvement with the Eastern Jackson County Development Alliance. After all, a rising tide lifts all boats.
     A collaborative effort between the economic development organizations in Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, Independence, Oak Grove, Grain Valley, Grandview, Raytown and Jackson County, EJCDA works to elevate the image of the entire region. Through this regional collaboration, EJCDA has identified and addressed mutual challenges and issues facing the region and has developed several solutions designed to offset the marketing powerhouse on the Kansas side: the County Economic Research Institute. With limited resources and funding, we continue to advance the vision of Eastern Jackson County as a region of excellence through collaborative initiatives that benefit all of us.
     Of course, these regional initiatives feed into LSEDC’s mission to attract and retain business by partnering with allies to create and market a high quality of life and pro-business community. A pivotal organization that helps make Lee’s Summit – and Eastern Jackson County – a great community in which to live, work, play and learn, LSEDC was built on a solid foundation of teamwork. As a public/private partnership among business leaders, city and county government, education and pro-business and civic organizations, LSEDC has:
    •  Provided assistance in more than $1 billion of investment and 10,000 new jobs in 25 years.
    • Assisted an average of $60 million of new capital investment, 500 new jobs and 160,000 square feet of new buildings over the last 10 years.
    • Actively assisted nearly 60 local companies to expand in Lee’s Summit
    • Staffed local and regional collaborations to provide leadership to The Eastern Jackson County Development Alliance, Lee’s Summit Realtors’ Roundtable, Eastern Jackson County Realtors’ Roundtable, Lee’s Summit Civic Roundtable and the CEO-only Lee’s Summit Gateway Business Alliance.
    • Sponsored or co-sponsored more than 20 seminars for Lee’s Summit and Eastern Jackson County firms.
     To maintain regional collaborations that benefit our communities, the economic development organizations in Eastern Jackson County rely on the support from the broader region. In addition to marketing our individual communities, it is crucial to continue our efforts to attract and retain business in Eastern Jackson County. Commercial growth and development benefits the entire region and Lee’s Summit is fortunate to be one complementary piece of the regional puzzle.
     Jim Devine is president and CEO of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council. For more information about LSEDC, visit www.leessummit.org or call 816-525-6617.
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