Wynne finishes Competitive Communities Initiative

by George Jared ([email protected]) 559 views 

Wynne is the latest city in Arkansas to complete the state’s Competitive Communities Initiative (CCI) in conjunction with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. The CCI evaluation is used to ensure that Arkansas communities are prepared to successfully compete for jobs and investments.

“CCI was developed with specific goals in mind so that our communities – and our state – can do everything possible to raise salaries and quality of life for our citizens,” Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said. “Through CCI, Wynne’s community and business leaders have gone through the process to objectively demonstrate how well-prepared they are to attract jobs and investment to their area. I urge all our community leaders to learn more about the program and how it could help them.”

Wynne is the ninth community in the state to receive CCI designation. Each CCI community has learned how to identify ways they can be more competitive in their economic development organizational structure, economic development funding, workforce, and product readiness. Most communities have opportunities to become more competitive in one or more of the areas.

Best practices in the field of economic development were used to determine the standards for the Competitive Communities Initiative. An evaluation program is implemented at the community level to provide for a third-party assessment and recommendations for improvement.

“We are very excited that Wynne has earned the CCI designation,” Wynne Economic Development Corporation CEO Cody Slater said. “In today’s economic landscape, it’s more important than ever to identify your community as risk free and ready for business. Earning this designation will help Wynne demonstrate that we are as capable of competing for economic development projects and investment as anywhere else in the state and region.”

“CCI is a wonderful achievement,” Wynne Mayor Jennifer Hobbs said. “We would like to thank our partners at AEDC, Entergy Arkansas, the Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, and many others who helped the community earn this designation. CCI is about putting your community in a competitive position for jobs and investment. With this accomplishment, and many other small victories over the last year, Wynne is as ready as we’ve ever been to step up and not just compete – but to win, in the near future.”

A team of evaluators from AEDC and its partners uses the information to help communities better understand any gaps or weaknesses that could negatively affect economic growth; learn from best practices and receive guidance from economic development professionals; educate community leaders on their competitive standing and readiness; and utilize the outcome of the evaluation in improving their success in attracting investments and jobs.