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CCEIDA to co-host

conference in Troy

By Regina Grayson

The Crenshaw County Economic and Industrial Development Authority, Inc., is co-hosting a Community Leadership Education Opportunity (CLEO) Conference on Thursday, Sept. 21 in Troy.

CCEIDA is hosting this conference in conjunction with the Pike County Economic Development Corporation.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the Pike County Economic Development Center, located between Troy and Brundidge on Highway 231.

&#8220During this meeting, we will be discussing economic development success stories, and we'll talk about the process of successfully building our communities,” Jim Brook, CCEIDA executive director, said. &#8220Sometimes, what one county can't do, two counties can do.”

&#8220That is just one reason why it is so important that Crenshaw County be well-represented on Sept. 21.”

Brook said that Troy University has had a strong impact on Crenshaw County. Many residents of Pike County work in Crenshaw County and visa-versa, he added.

&#8220This meeting can help bring to light what other areas do to boost their own economic development, while we, at the same time, can offer our own ideas and success stories,” he said.

John P. Hansen, Executive Director of the Economic Development Association of Alabama, the professional organization that supports CCEIDA and approximately 600 others within the state, said, &#8220Everyone is a salesman for the community.”

&#8220Everyone is equally important when it comes to economic development,” Hansen said. &#8220Our elected officials, our business owners, big or small, our business and sales employeesŠ.everyone plays a vital role in building a thriving community.”

Both Brook and Hansen agree that it takes involvement and teamwork among all elected officials and business owners in order to further the economic development process for a certain area.

Brook said that the upcoming meeting on Sept. 21 was a &#8220new approach to partnerships to further grow our economy.”

&#8220We are part of a regional economy now, and we're competing in a global market,” he said. &#8220The textile industry, which used to be the backbone of this area, is gone overseas, and we can no longer exist as an economic island. We really need to capitalize on our companies that are already located here.”

Brook said that anyone who drives through the parking lots of many of the existing industries within Crenshaw County would see &#8220a good number” of license plates that come from out of the county.

&#8220One of our main objectives at this meeting will be to find ways to house those employees, those commuters, and to give them places to shop so they will ultimately make Crenshaw County their home,” Brook said.