The Spokane Area Economic Development Council is asking everybody to help out in the business of recruiting new companies to Spokane.
The EDC has launched a communitywide referral program to generate company relocation and expansion leads for the EDC.
“There’s a wealth of information and contacts right here that could lead to new quality jobs for this community,” said Pete Kerwien, a Washington Water Power executive who has been loaned to the EDC for the current year.
“Often the best recruitment prospects are people and companies already doing business with Spokane-area firms,” Kerwien added. “We’re trying to get local companies thinking about customers, suppliers, vendors and partners that might be considering a relocation or expansion.
“They give us the contact, and we do the rest.”
Frank Tombari, chairman of the EDC board, explained in a recent interview that in the past, the EDC has had the best success in recruiting companies that already have ties to Spokane. Companies that have key people who once lived here or went to school here are particularly good targets, Tombari said.
The initial phase of the referral program is being conducted through Spokane-area Rotary clubs.
Cash prizes will go to the clubs that, between now and the end of the year, generate the most leads overall, generate the most leads that result in site visits to Spokane, and generate the most leads that result in the relocation or the expansion of a company to Spokane. Eleven local Rotary clubs are participating in the contest.
Tombari said the EDC is interested in involving other service clubs, as well as city and county employees, in similar initiatives.
The EDC is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to development of the region’s economy. The agency is funded by 280 private-sector members, along with area chambers of commerce and the city and county of Spokane.
The agency has a goal of creating 5,000 jobs here over the next five years.
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