The City of Scottsdale received a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for its 2015 project in the category of Business Retention & Expansion – Single Event for communities with populations of 200,000-500,000 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

City of Scottsdale & ASU SkySong also received a Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award for its 2015 project in the category of Partnerships with Educational Institutions for communities with populations of 200,000-500,000 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

The honor was presented at an awards ceremony Monday, Oct. 5, during the 2015 IEDC Annual Conference, which was held Oct. 4-7, in Anchorage, Alaska.

“From localized community projects, to large scale endeavors, economic development efforts have played a vital role in the global economy,” said JoAnn Crary, CEcD, Chair of the International Economic Development Council and President of Saginaw Future Inc. “As we address new and longstanding challenges, these efforts continue to take on even greater importance. The award serves as a salute to pacesetting organizations like the City of Scottsdale for leading the charge.”

The 2015 South by Southwest Talent (SXSW) Recruitment mission was the first major activity of the Scottsdale economic development team’s “Work Scottsdale” talent recruitment initiative. This initiative combines a web page dedicated to attracting talent and facilitating workforce relocation at which included the creation of an online Job Portal (in partnership with allowing candidates to directly search Scottsdale-based opportunities. In concert with this web page, a messaging campaign inviting corporate partners to promote working in Scottsdale through social media, submission of testimonials; and the creation and publication of a ‘Relocation Guide’ for new recruits was also created to increase market penetration.

Two Scottsdale companies – Vanguard Financial and Nautilus Insurance – joined the city at the exhibit booth promoting Scottsdale as a premier location with a high concentration of strong employers for living and working. Representatives met with hundreds of potential candidates. As a result of this event, 65 resumes were obtained and distributed to more than a dozen interested firms. Post event, Vanguard Financial reported having hired two applicants within six weeks from the original pool of applicants.

Due to positive response from leading Scottsdale employers, the Scottsdale economic development team has continued implementing the “Work Scottsdale” initiative creating a collective synergy amongst key partners to address employment needs of the region.

A different way of thinking about goals and strategies for economic development in external markets, this strategy is a first of its kind in Arizona to focus municipal efforts on workforce attraction, and has the opportunity to impact regional and statewide initiatives.

The development of SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, is a public/private partnership between a local municipality and a leading higher educational institution which addresses and impacts real estate development, economic growth, technology transfer and entrepreneurship. Located in south Scottsdale, Arizona, at the major intersection of Scottsdale Road and McDowell Road in the City’s Los Arcos Redevelopment District, SkySong is a creative solutions-oriented model designed to revitalize a geographic area while offering regional impact with a focus on entrepreneurial development. The partnership is between the City of Scottsdale, Arizona State University, and the ASU Foundation for the New American University for the development of a 1.2 million sq. ft. commercial project also housing university business units and entrepreneurial programming. The City acts as the property landowner, the ASU Foundation as the development partner, and ASU as the programmatic and economic development operational partner. It is estimated that at full buildout by or before 2038, SkySong’s overall economic impact will total $9.2 billion.

“The outstanding partnership among the City of Scottsdale, ASU and the ASU Foundation has allowed us to positively impact local, regional and global businesses in an invigorating and inspiring physical location,” said Sethuraman Panchanathan, Senior Vice President of the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU. “SkySong has already proven its value to the community, and we look forward to its continued growth and impact on the economic development of the City and the metropolitan region.”

Recipients of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards demonstrate to an experienced panel of judges that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession. They are recognized as the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban and rural communities.