EDA Success Stories
Jimmy Ryan, President, Shelton Economic Development Corporation 1984-2016
March 1, 1975 was a day to remember in the Lower Naugatuck Valley in Shelton, CT.
The former BF Goodrich plant was blown up in what is still remembered as on of the largest cases of industrial arson in the United Sates, in history. Nearly three thousand jobs were lost and many of the older workers never returned to work. Unemployment in Shelton and the Valley remained very high for many years as the City of Shelton worked to diversify it's economy and create a viable plan for the revitalization of historical downtown neighborhood.
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Jane Muir, Director, Innovation Hub at the University of Florida and EDA UF Tech Connect
Florida began investing heavily in a more disaster-resistant “innovation economy” a decade ago as a necessary transition from a traditional dependence on population-dependent industries such as tourism, construction and real estate. The state's efforts have been hampered by natural disasters and severe job losses resulting from the mortgage crisis and the economic recession. While unemployment rates in the state have improved during the recovery from the Great Recession, which ended in June 2009, the economy has taken a slow path toward full employment — and it’s not there yet. The EDA, however, has helped Florida to make the move toward that “innovation economy” by providing funds for an incubator built for that purpose.
In January 2012, EDA funds helped build and open the Innovation Hub at the University of Florida, a business incubator located in Gainesville, Florida, that has had a significant statewide impact. In the three and a half years since that opening, the incubator’s client companies have created 760 jobs and generated more than $50 million in private investment.
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John E. Corrigan, Former Philadelphia Office Regional Director 1972-82 and 1985-98, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations 1982-85
This year marks the Fiftieth anniversary of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (PWEDA).
I feel privileged to be asked to share my thoughts about EDA and its accomplishments.
Although it has been 17 years since I left EDA, the work that EDA has done is fresh in my mind and close to my heart.
When I began my career in economic development in the late 1960s, there was no formal economic development profession. Development around the country was led by utility companies and real estate professionals. There have been many changes over these last fifty years. Of course, one of the big changes was in our economy. It changed from an industrial economy to an information economy and then to a service economy. That had a large impact on the kind of economic development projects that were built.
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