The Sherman Economic Development Corp. held a training workshop Friday for its board and staff members.
Texas Economic Development Council President and CEO Carlton Schwab spent the morning with the SEDCO board and staff, as well as a few representatives from the city government.
“(I was) just trying to get the board up to speed on the ED (economic development) sales tax law,” Schwab said of his goal for the training. “And with Kent (Sharp) coming in, it was a good time to do it.”
Sharp, who started with SEDCO on Monday as its new president, has served on the TEDC board for years and had positive things to say about the training and Schwab.
“Carlton brings a lot of just institutional knowledge about Texas economic development,” Sharp said. “SEDCO makes up one of 800 communities that are doing economic development (in the state). So it helps them (the board) understand from a state level what we’re dealing with. I think he imparts knowledge that I can’t because I don’t work at the state level like he does all day everyday. I learn something from Carlton every time I’m around him.”
One of the things Schwab talked about with the board was the statewide struggle for an available workforce.
“I think its valuable so they can hear those elements that we’re competing against,” Sharp said. “It reinforces that’s not just in Sherman — it’s across the whole state.”
Schwab called Sharp one of the best economic development professionals in the state and said the SEDCO board seemed to respond well to the workshop and had great questions. Board member Scott Bandemir, who was appointed to his seat in October, called the training workshop “wonderful.”
“For somebody like me that’s just getting used to this — being on the SEDCO board — I can only appreciate the training that they give us,” Bandemir said. “It was just a great overview of what we’re doing, so it’s really helped me gain some knowledge.”
Sharp said the special training had been set up by SEDCO staff before his arrival, but he was excited to get to take part in it.
“There’s no requirement for this, but a lot of EDCs do this type of training,” Sharp said, explaining the SEDCO board are all volunteers. “They come into a meeting once a month, so they don’t get as much exposure to the daily tug and pull of economic development deal making. So I think just the fact that they can hear somebody from the outside come in and say ‘Here’s what other economic development corporations are doing.’ It kind of reinforces why they do what they do — why they volunteer their time.”