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2019 Salary Survey of Economic Development Professionals

IEDC's Salary Survey of Economic Development Professionals has remained the industry standard reference for compensation, demographic, and professional activity information. Data from thousands of economic development professionals make this an authoritative report of exacting detail.

The Salary Survey is available digitally. Reports will be sent out as an electronic PDF by default. If you would like a print copy, please make a note in the "Comments and Special Instructions" box when making your purchase. 

Participant price is available only to those organizations that filled out the electronic survey sent out by Readex Research. Participation will be verified before payment is processed.

If you are a participant in the survey and have not received a discount code, please contact Allison Mahnke at amahnke@iedconline.org before purchasing.

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Championing Economic Development

Communities agree that supporting local businesses is crucial to local and regional economic vitality. The means to that end can be hotly contested though - how policies are enacted and implemented, who benefits from the policies, what types of resources are used, and others. As the practice of economic development has evolved and become more nuanced – more scientific, data driven, results-oriented, specialized and broader – it has also come under increased scrutiny from stakeholders including elected officials, media, academia, and even some special interest groups.

The Championing Economic Development paper examines the reasons for skepticism and provides recommendations for economic development professionals on how to address these issues both internally and externally. The accompanying handy, easy-to-use toolkit is a one-stop resource for economic developers to champion their efforts and educate all stakeholders on the work they do, why they do it, and how they do it.

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Economic Development for the Team

Members of the team interact with the full range of economic development clients. They lead important projects. What they don’t know about economic development can limit or even derail success.

Equally important, Board members and political leaders make decisions that push economic development forward or add drag. Their personal frame of reference for economic development is often narrow or completely lacking. Team covers the fundamentals of economic development, our clients, programs, and issues. Stories and visuals make concepts relatable. It is packed with terms and a glossary serving as a quick source on the language of the field.

This 4-color, 240-page book is loaded with graphics, real world stories, examples, and tables bringing complicated concepts to life. An extensive reference glossary makes the building blocks of the profession - the acronyms and language of economic development - readily available to every team member.

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Coping with Adversity: Regional Economic Resilience and Public Policy

Coping with Adversity addresses the question of why some metropolitan-area regional economies are resilient in the face of economic shocks and chronic distress while others are not. It is particularly concerned with what public policies make a difference in whether a region is resilient. The authors employ a wide range of techniques to examine the experience of all metropolitan area economies from 1978–2014. They then look closely at six American metropolitan areas to determine what strategies were employed, which of these contributed to regional economic resilience, and which did not. Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, Washington, and Grand Forks, North Dakota, are cases of economic resilience, while Cleveland, Ohio, Hartford, Connecticut, and Detroit, Michigan, are cases of economic nonresilience. The six case studies include hard data on employment, production, and demographics, as well as material on public policies and actions.

The authors conclude that there is little that can done in the short term to counter economic shocks; most regions simply rebound naturally after a relatively short period of time. However, they do find that many regions have successfully emerged from periods of prolonged economic distress and that there are policies that can be applied to help them do so. Coping with Adversity will be important reading for all those concerned with local and regional economic development, including public officials, urban planners, and economic developers.

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Big Is Beautiful: Debunking the Myth of Small Business

By Robert D Atkinson, Michael Lind. 2018. 368 pages.

Why small business is not the basis of American prosperity, not the foundation of American democracy, and not the champion of job creation.

In this provocative book, Robert Atkinson and Michael Lind argue that small business is not, as is widely claimed, the basis of American prosperity. Small business is not responsible for most of the country's job creation and innovation. American democracy does not depend on the existence of brave bands of self-employed citizens. Small businesses are not systematically discriminated against by government policy makers. Rather, Atkinson and Lind argue, small businesses are not the font of jobs, because most small businesses fail. The only kind of small firm that contributes to technological innovation is the technological start-up, and its success depends on scaling up. The idea that self-employed citizens are the foundation of democracy is a relic of Jeffersonian dreams of an agrarian society. And governments, motivated by a confused mix of populist and free market ideology, in fact go out of their way to promote small business. Every modern president has sung the praises of small business, and every modern president, according to Atkinson and Lind, has been wrong.

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Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America

By James Fallows, Deborah Fallows. 2018. 432 pages.

A vivid, surprising portrait of the civic and economic reinvention taking place in America, town by town and generally out of view of the national media. A realistically positive and provocative view of the country between its coasts.

For the last five years, James and Deborah Fallows have been traveling across America in a single-engine prop airplane. Visiting dozens of towns, they have met hundreds of civic leaders, workers, immigrants, educators, environmentalists, artists, public servants, librarians, business people, city planners, students, and entrepreneurs to take the pulse and understand the prospects of places that usually draw notice only after a disaster or during a political campaign.

The America they saw is acutely conscious of its problems--from economic dislocation to the opioid scourge--but itis also crafting solutions, with a practical-minded determination at dramatic odds with the bitter paralysis of national politics. At times of dysfunction on a national level, reform possibilities have often arisen from the local level. The Fallowses describe America in the middle of one of these creative waves. Their view of the country is as complex and contradictory as America itself, but it also reflects the energy, the generosity and compassion, the dreams, and the determination of many who are in the midst of making things better. Our Towns is the story of their journey--and an account of a country busy remaking itself.

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Beyond the Survey: How EDOs Add Value through Business Retention and Expansion

Business retention and expansion (BRE) is a core practice of economic development, but its execution has evolved considerably in recent years. Reliance on surveying and periodic outreach continues, but where changes are most being seen is in a variety of new value-added models to address business needs. To understand what BRE looks like today, IEDC's in-house think tank, the Economic Development Research Partners, conducted a survey to determine how economic developers are delivering growth-enabling services to local businesses and demonstrating value to stakeholders. The paper presents the results of the survey, modern best practices, how EDOs are measuring the value of the programs, case studies of impactful programs, and recommendations for how to make the most of expansion and retention achievements.

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