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March 2015

Success story: Wellston’s Next Chapter

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Workers getting trained at the MET Center

You’ve heard this story a million times. Business locates in American city. Business creates jobs and a boon for the local economy. Life is good until business closes its doors. Unemployment runs rampant. City falls into disrepair. People flee the city. Crime gets bad, which keeps business and people from coming back to city. Sadly for some cities, that is the end of the story. Luckily for the people of Wellston, Missouri, a city located just west of St. Louis, there is another chapter.

In the 1980s, two large employers in the area shuttered their doors. The area began a long economic development process spearheaded by the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, and in 1997 the city opened the MET Center, a strategic partnership created to stimulate the economic self-sufficiency of unemployed or underemployed individuals living in low to moderate income communities of the St. Louis region. The Center provides focused, comprehensive, and accessible career development and assessment services, job training, and transportation assistance.

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Highlight: Guest Column - SAGE Leading Economic Development in San Antonio’s Promise Zone

Jackie Gorman, San Antonio for Growth on the East Side (SAGE) Executive Director

Jackie Gorman, Executive Director
San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside (SAGE)

As executive director of San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside (SAGE), I’m working in what you could describe as economic development petri dish: an intensive experiment in community revitalization in the newly designated federal Promise Zone on San Antonio’s Eastside.  A subset of our Promise Zone is known as EastPoint. Eastpoint is the only area in the country to receive a Department of Education Promise Neighborhood grant, a Choice Neighborhood Grant from the Department of Housing & Urban Development, and Byrne Criminal Justice grants from the Department of Justice.

SAGE is leading the economic development elements of a highly focused effort to see if an integrated approach combining housing, education and economic development initiatives can significantly improve the quality of life in what has been an economically distressed and underserved community. It is the type of work that on most days I experience both the intense frustration and the very real sense of satisfaction that change brings to a community – a challenging environment, but one where I can drive down the street and see the results of our efforts.

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Spotlight: Women in Leadership

We’re at an interesting moment in history for women. The debate about “having it all” or “leaning in” versus “opting out” dominates conversations about women’s contributions to the working world. So much is made about how women balance their career and family (or their decision to forgo one or the other), but less is said about the contributions they make to their organizations. March marks Women’s History Month, and EDA would like to take a moment to highlight several prominent female leaders for what they accomplish within their organizations and communities. Let’s all applaud them for what they do instead of debating how they do it.

Linda Mysliwy Conlin

Jacqueline Davis-Wellington

Tiffany Wilson Karp

Temetry A. Lindsey

Jane Muir

Diane Peters-Nguyen

Jennifer Skjellum

Jeanne Unemori Skog

Tunua Thrash-Ntuk

Esperanza Colio Warren

Dora Westerlund



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Celebrating Women in EDA Leadership

As we celebrate women this month, EDA would also like to take a moment to recognize its women in leadership positions, as well as all the women of EDA who contribute to our important mission. Thank you, ladies, for all that you do to guide the work of EDA: Susan Brehm, Regional Counsel, Chicago Regional Office; Mara Campbell, Regional Counsel, Headquarters; Linda Cruz-Carnall, Regional Counsel, Philadelphia Regional Office; Tene Dolphin, Chief of Staff; Angela Ewell-Madison, Director of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs; Cindy Edwards, Area Director, Denver Regional Office; Rachael Gamble, Regional Counsel, Denver Regional Office; Julie Lenzer, Director of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Angie Martinez, Director of External Affairs; Camille Osborne-Nellans, Operations Director, Austin Regional Office; Breelyn Pete, Director of Public Affairs; Happy Rahman, Regional Counsel, Austin Regional Office; Kristine Skrinde, Area Director, Seattle Regional Office; Mari Sutton, Area Director, Denver Regional Office; Jeanette Tamayo, Regional Director, Chicago Regional Office; Tonia Williams, Area Director, Philadelphia Regional Office.


EDA Hiring Regional Directors in Philadelphia and Austin

Looking to make a difference for distressed communities? Think about joining the EDA team. We are looking for regional directors in our ‪ Austin, Texas and ‪Philadelphia, Pennsylvania offices. Click on the links to learn more.


SBA launches InnovateHER Business Challenge

The SBA is looking for innovative products and services that help impact and empower women’s lives as they navigate the challenges of a changing work and family life. For the InnovateHER challenge, SBA is interested in entrepreneurs to create products or services that have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families, has the potential for commercialization, and fills a need in the marketplace. SBA is asking local organizations to participate as hosts for this Business Challenge throughout the month of March 2015. Each host will select and identify a local winner who will compete for advancement to the finals in Washington DC where they will have the opportunity to pitch to a panel of judges and compete for up to $30,000 in prize money during National Small Business Week, May 4-8, 2015. Visit the SBA Website for more information on the competition. image