I love the oft-quoted exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s, Alice in Wonderland:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"

"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to."

"I don't much care where –"

"Then it doesn't matter which way you go.”

A large part of our strategic plan as an organization is to work with EDCUtah's local community members to help them identify where they want to go and how to get there. We are working closely with communities throughout Utah to develop local strategic economic development plans and to put into place a set of tools they can use to execute on the objectives they develop at the grassroots level.

As part of that effort, I had the pleasure of spending some time in Cedar City last week with my colleagues Max Backlund and Katie Warren. We spent a morning with Cedar City and Iron County local elected officials and with other major stakeholders to facilitate a conversation about the region's economic development priorities. From our conversation, I learned a great deal about what the community values. The community wants to build on its existing strengths, to support locally grown businesses, and to attract high wages jobs into the region. In addition to this goal-setting, the community is prepared to put into place ordinances and policies to codify their intentions. That’s the mark of a community who knows where it wants to go and is on the path to getting there. Congratulations to our partners in Cedar City and Iron County for taking this next step to reach your local economic development goals.

One of the best parts of serving in this role is learning what the priorities are amongst our various partners, and then working side by side with them to make their goals a reality. If you’re a local community interested in going through a similar process, make sure to email or tweet at us; we’d love to help be a part of your efforts!