March 29, 2013

The Leadership Temple class of 2013 recently gained insight into economic development in the area. Leadership Temple spent March 12th visiting with industrial companies, small businesses and development agencies under the broad economic development umbrella.

Participants learned how economic development is the process by which a community creates, retains, and reinvests wealth and improves the quality of life. Many define this as industrial recruitment, but that is only one piece of the economic development puzzle. To bring economic health and prosperity to a community requires business retention and expansion, small business, entrepreneurial development, tourism and workforce development. Most importantly, successful local economies are determined by the quality of leaders in a community, how individuals work together, communicate, make decisions, and propel a community forward.

The day began with a focus on entrepreneurial development with a visit to the Central Texas Entrepreneurial Center (CTEC), directed by Vane Hugo. Mr. Hugo explained the CTEC is the starting point for an entrepreneur to receive counseling, support and low- cost office space as they try to grow a new company. For start-up companies, the CTEC is often the first stop but Temple is also fortunate to have diverse group of distribution, warehouse, logistics, healthcare services, education, military facilities, small businesses and software development companies that make up the employers in the community.

Lee Peterson, President, Temple Economic Development Corporation, conducted a bus tour for the Leadership Temple class highlighting the major industrial companies that have expanded or have been recruited in the past few years.

Dan & Mary Ann Jones, of Kwik Kopy and Edward McCaffrey, of Megg’s Cafe shared experiences in owning and operating family oriented small businesses.

WilsonArt and Mars Petcare, two major industrial employers, gave Leadership Temple the opportunity to tour their Temple plants. During the tour, plant employees praised their employers for their culture of safety and quality.

To round out the day workforce development and education was addressed by Temple College Division of Business and Community Education and Charley Ayres, Vice President, Temple Economic Development Corporation. Mr. Ayres concluded with the future outlook and changes in economic development that are taking place in demographics, quality of life as well as ways we can all promote and improve Temple, Texas.