Long-Term Planning Leads To National Recognition For WEDC

Site Selection, the primary magazine for corporate real estate strategy and economic development, recently named Wooster, Ohio, as the Top Micropolitan Area in America (defined as non-urban community anchored by a town of no more than 50,000 people).

Wooster and Wayne County reached the top spot by recording more corporate facility projects than any other micropolitan area in the United States in 2013. The Wooster area had 27 qualifying projects totaling about $235 million in investments, creating more than 720 jobs and 681,000 square feet of new space.

This is a major achievement for Wooster, a town of about 26,000 located 50 miles south of Cleveland, as well as for Wayne County and the Wayne Economic Development Council (WEDC). This is the eighth time in the past 10 years that Wooster has made the Top Ten, and after finishing second twice, the first time it has claimed the number one spot.

Rob Crider, president of WEDC, credits the county’s economic success to a great diversity of businesses and a spirit of collaboration between the public and private sector. “We are very well aligned in terms of what we are trying to do here,” said Crider.

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This recognition would not be possible without the foresight of local business leaders. About 20 years ago, a group of them came together and forged a strategic vision and plan that has led to economic development and growth. The WEDC was formed in 1991 to serve as the lead economic development organization for Wayne County.

WEDC adopted the investment campaign model for funding its operations years ago, which has provided the necessary resources to achieve its goals and lead it to the prominent position it occupies today.

Convergent is working with WEDC on its newest and most ambitious capital campaign. Our recently completed feasibility study revealed that business leaders have an appetite for even more of the great results that WEDC has delivered over the years and are willing to invest more than ever to get them.

Convergent extends congratulations to Wooster and to WEDC for this major distinction from Site Selection magazine. We are excited to be working with them to continue the momentum and enable them to accomplish even more for Wayne County in the years to come.