The Sherman Economic Development Corp. celebrated Economic Development Week with a big event Tuesday at the Sherman Municipal Ballroom. More than 100 representatives from local businesses and industries, civic organizations and government bodies attended the networking celebration.
“What I really like about a turnout like this is instead of sitting at a table over lunch and meeting somebody on your right or left, this gives folks a chance to walk around, network and just enjoy each other and expand friendships,” SEDCO President John Plotnik said. “We’re delighted this happened.”
The celebration coincides with the International Economic Development Council’s National Economic Development Week, which was created to raise awareness of local programs that create jobs, increase quality of life and further career development opportunities. SEDCO will also be making appreciation presentations to 22 local industries throughout the week.
“What we’re doing for the rest of the week is we’re presenting banners and appreciation plaques to the employees of Sherman,” Plotnik said. “People will always honor a company, but when was the last time people honored the employees that make up that company?”
SEDCO board Chairman Greg Kirkpatrick said the presentations are a way to say a “simply say thank you” to the people at the town’s major employers for everything they do.
Sherman Pipes and Drums, which is made up of first responders from the Sherman Police Department and Sherman Fire-Rescue, kicked off the event with some music and then Kirkpatrick introduced Sherman Mayor David Plyler.
“On the behalf of the city of Sherman, I want to tell you how much we appreciate you, the people that make economic development happen every day,” Plyler said to the crowd. “This celebration is a celebration of Sherman’s growth and a way of saying thank you to our companies, community partners, past and present board members and local, state and regional leadership.”
Plyler also explained a little about what SEDCO offers to the city and its industries.
“As a nonprofit, sales tax-funded Type A corporation, SEDCO offers cash grants for expansion, primary job creation and relocation,” Plyler said after explaining SEDCO is funded through a three-eighth of a cent local sales tax. “These companies include manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, customer data centers and SEDCO will often assist in infrastructure costs to promote primary jobs and more. The core of economic development is jobs and what you might not know is that each primary job creates a number of retail, medical and service jobs, which then encourages more folks to live, work and play in Sherman.”
Plyler also introduced a video recorded by U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe for the SEDCO celebration. Ratcliffe spoke about the importance of economic development and highlighted a number of SEDCO’s recent accomplishments.
“This type of investment in our communities is invaluable when it comes to spurring and maintaining economic growth,” Ratcliffe said. “I’m inspired by folks like you who go to such great lengths to make sure this kind of growth continues.”