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Community Leaders Get Ideas For Development

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By Jay Michaels

Gooding, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The cities of Gooding and Wendell are exploring the possibility of working together to develop their communities. A University of Idaho extension educator shared some ideas with those leaders today.

There's a lot more to community economic development than just bringing a new business into town. Before you can do that, you have to lay the groundwork. That means you have to make sure your town complements the business, and why your community is attractive to a given company.

Gooding Mayor Duke Morton "You have to understand the basis of your economy, and you have to understand what kinds of trends are surrounding you, so you can plan for them. You have to do both, it's not one or the other."

Wim Braak, Valley County Extension Educator, says, "Yes, there's help out there. Idaho State has lots of help, Extension is a help. We can bring some pieces of the puzzle up. But as a community, unless you have your vision and you know what you want, it's not going to happen. Nobody else is going to do it for us."

Braak points out that community members have to be willing to actually talk with each other, instead of just arguing. Leaders from both Gooding and Wendell as well as their chambers of commerce were at this meeting. The most important thing is that a community needs to do is to invest in itself and take stewardship of itself. Braak indicates that businesses also need to connect with each other to make sure their community succeeds.

Morton says, "What happens in Wendell affects us, and what happens in Gooding affects Wendell and all the surrounding towns. So if we can build each other up as we go, it's great."

Braak points out that America has succeeded because business owners and leaders were willing to take the initiative and invest, even if they didn't see the results of that investment right away.

Mar. 21, 2013.


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