The Sherman Economic Development Corp. recently introduced its new president to the Sherman City Council before presenting its quarterly progress report.
SEDCO board chairman Brad Douglass introduced new President Kent Sharp before discussing the two new performance agreements approved during the quarter and two other agreements that were completed. Douglass said the SEDCO search committee screened more than 100 applicants and Sharp was the members’ top choice for the position.
Sharp was chief executive officer of the Development Corporation of Abilene when he was hired by SEDCO, but previously spent eight years in charge of the Gainesville Economic Development Corp. SEDCO’s new president said he and his wife fell in love with North Texas during that time.
“We were always a little bit jealous of Sherman because no matter what we did in Gainesville, we couldn’t keep people from coming over here to shop,” Sharp said. “So it feels good to now be in Sherman and I’m so looking forward to joining the team and getting started.”
During the last quarter of 2018, Douglass said SEDCO’s board approved two performance agreements that will bring 55 new jobs to the area and a total capital investment of $34.8 million against incentives of $1.7 million. The corporation also completed two previously approved performance agreements that had combined incentives of $909,000 and brought a total capital investment of $17.5 million and 40 new jobs to the city.
SEDCO also added the 57 acre Progress Park VII to the city’s available industrial land and made $500,000 in incentive payments to Finisar Corp. for its capital investment in its Sherman facility.
For the upcoming year, SEDCO is planning a renewed push to attract new potential employees to the area.
“In response to concerns from existing employers about SEDCO’s recruiting new businesses to Sherman and that competition for labor, we’re launching a new, completely reconstructed ShermanTxJobs.com website,” Douglass said in reference to the site that was originally launched early last year. “The site will target employees and cities outside the state with high cost of living and low quality of life.”
SEDCO staff said the new website is expected to launch next month with improved analytics and functionality, as well as pictures and video interviews with manufacturing employees in Sherman. The revamped website will also include a “Make the Move” section with information and contacts to assist people in relocating to Sherman.
On Friday, SEDCO will be hosting a Practicing Economic Development Workshop for community leaders and then cosponsoring the Advanced Manufacturing Program mid-year celebration on Jan. 24.
Herald Democrat reporter Richard A. Todd contributed to this article.