January 31, 2013

TEMPLE, TEXAS- Many years ago an accomplished organist was giving a concert. (In those days someone had to pump large bellows backstage to provide air for the pipes.) After each song, the audience applauded heartily. Before his final number, the organist stood and said, “I shall now play . . .” and he announced the title. He sat down and adjusted his music. With feet poised over the pedals and hands over the keys, he began with a mighty chord. But the organ remained silent. Just then a voice was heard from backstage: “Say We not I!”

The Temple Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is all about “We”. The EDC calls for a unified commitment from a community. It involves a mindset that goes far beyond a program and becomes part of a community’s character. A strong existing business program is an essential foundation to any community’s economic development, but in many communities it gets little or no attention.

Some of the reasons for this are that an existing business does not receive the attention from the press and the politicians that a new business coming into the community. Many times there are a number of unsolvable problems in regards to business expansion, and keeping up with the broad spectrum of problems and issues can be an overwhelming labor intensive job.

The City of Temple and The Temple Economic Development Corporation have entered a partnership to focus on the needs of not only new businesses but also our existing businesses. With the understanding that 70% of all new jobs in America are created where they are already sited, the Temple Economic Development Corporation and the City of Temple have placed a priority on taking care of Temple’s existing businesses. The concept of “we” is put in to practice in our community through a unified effort to remove obstacles to growth that could have adverse effects on our local businesses and industries. An aggressive outreach program is utilized involving our staff and takes a problem solving approach.

Our outreach consist of meeting the needs of business & industry owners, this is the heart of “We” and the Economic Development Corporation’s mission. In addition to demonstrating a pro-business attitude and an appreciation of each firm’s contribution to the community, the visits with business owners and the analysis of the interview results, allow community leaders to determine appropriate measures for enhancing the region’s business base.

In the long term, the Temple Economic Development Corporation can help make local businesses more competitive by evaluating and addressing their broader needs and concerns. Businesses that stay competitive are more likely to remain in the community and expand. This initiative builds on community economic development plans, while creating a broad-based community coalition that aims to sustain business development efforts.

Aware that our efforts with business recruitment, retention, and expansion depend a great deal on our local leadership, regional partners, school district and utility providers it is important to focus on the “We” and not the “me”. We should be grateful for their vital role in the growth of our community. As long as we can focus on this concept our community will continue to meet the needs of our local businesses and industries and “we” will help to “keep the music playing.” It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you don’t care who gets the credit.

About Temple

Temple, Texas, is a community with a diverse economic base that includes healthcare, distribution and warehousing, and manufacturing as its foundation. Within 200 miles of a population of 19 million, Temple is in a strategic location that is central within the Southwest U.S. marketplace. Visit www.choosetemple.com.