Abilene, Texas - The Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) announced the recipients of its annual Community Economic Development Awards (CEDA) for 2016 with Abilene at the top of the list. The awards will be presented at a special luncheon to be held Thursday, October 20th at the TEDC’s Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
The CEDA program recognizes exceptional contributions of TEDC member cities toward the economic vitality of their communities and the State of Texas through creativity, leadership, and partnership in the achievement of business retention, business recruitment and community improvement.
The CEDA committee received applications from 30 member communities across the state and awarded them by population. Nominees were judged on five criteria for a specific economic development project that included: innovativeness, transferability, community commitment and leverage, measured objectives, and secondary benefits.
"Our Community Economic Development Award is one of the ways in which our organization honors the excellent work done by our communities, their leaders, and their economic development professionals," noted John Osborne, 2016 Chair of the Texas Economic Development Council.
"Each community nominated achieved excellence in economic development and substantially improved the economic base of their respective regions. The recipient communities in each population category were recognized for extraordinary accomplishments in meeting the criteria set forth in the nomination process," Osborne added.
The TEDC provides information, education and legislative services to its members to foster the expansion of existing businesses, the location of new firms and the development of strategies that promote a positive business climate in Texas. With more than 850 members, TEDC is the largest state economic development association in the nation.
2016 CEDA Recipients
Population 100,001+: Abilene
Population 40,001 to 100,000: New Braunfels
Population 15,001 to 40,000: Seguin and Terrell
Population 5,001 - 15,000: Athens
Abilene was awarded the State's highest recognition, competing against seven other communities in the 100,000 plus population category including Tyler, Round Rock, Frisco, Pasadena, Brownsville, Lubbock and San Antonio.
"There were some big names in the 100,000 plus category. I am elated that our economic development program in Abilene has received this award. This is a really big win for Abilene," said Mayor Norm Archibald.
Abilene was nominated based on its successful efforts to bring Prairie Dog Pet Products to the community. "This $30 million, 215 employee project involved all of our partners including the Abilene Industrial Foundation, Abilene Chamber of Commerce, Workforce Solutions, and the City of Abilene. Prairie Dog Pet Products represents a successful collaborative effort to bring capital investment and quality jobs to our community," said Kent Sharp, CEO for the DCOA.
"I know the effort our staff and all of our economic development partners have put into this project this last year," said Dave Copeland, Chairman of the Development Corporation of Abilene. "This is the first time in the 21 year history of the CEDA that Abilene has received this distinguished honor."
"This is an incredible recognition for Abilene and a testament to all we have to offer new business," said Justin Jaworski of the Abilene Industrial Foundation.
Prairie Dog Pet Products is currently finishing out construction on a building at Five Points Business Park. The building is owned by the DCOA and played a crucial role in recruiting the pet product maker to Abilene. The project is expected to be fully operational in early 2017.