A new 2020 comprehensive economic development plan for Jim Wells County was adopted to spur growth and jobs.

“The focus of the EDC is to help expedite new economic growth and new job creation in Jim Wells County,” said Pete Trevino, ex-officio board member as county judge. “The EDC serves as the vehicle to work directly with local businesses and industry, prospective new employers, government, education and workforce officials to ensure that we attract new investment and foster new job creations as quickly as possible.”

The EDC retained J.J. Johnson, chief executive officer of Econogine, LLC, a consulting firm to assist the board. Since February, the firm has conducted an extensive county-wide evaluation. Johnston met with several dozen community leaders from business to government and education entities.

The EDC planned the retreat meeting and developed a new vision and mission statements including ways to retain and expand existing businesses, attracting new businesses through marketing and promotion and organizational development within the EDC.

The board set several goals and objectives to implement new strategies running through the year 2020. The EDC will continue to revisit and modify the plan as the market evolves.

Some Business Retention and Expansion strategies include:

Identify local employers at greatest risk and opportunity

Establish visitation schedule to contact employers

Develop a (Business Retention and Expansion) BR & E questionnaire

Organize and schedule key employer interviews

Conduct needs and opportunities assessment

Modify and expand list of incentives offered based on needs and opportunities

Present findings and recommendations to key ED partners

Develop and present customized offers and assistance

Schedule meetings with key local primary employers

Define roles of BR & E team members

Provide team training prior to first interview

Measure and report progress

“The new Economic Development Plan supports my vision for improving the quality of life for our residents,” City of Alice Mayor Ike Ornelas said. “We will work closely with EDC, the Alice Chamber and several local, state and federal organizations to construct new projects that will help diversify the economy of Alice.”