Development-ready communities are more likely to attract and grow competitive, high-value companies. Site selection—identifying sites for a relocation or expansion project—is an expensive and time-consuming process for companies. To make a site decision, companies first select a state based on factors like business climate, taxes, and quality of life. They then select a region, based on factors like operational costs and workforce characteristics; and finally, a specific community is chosen based on site availability, real estate, incentives, etc.
Communities who are “development ready,” or prepared with the right knowledge and assets, can help shorten and simplify this site selection process for companies—and are therefore more likely to compete and be chosen for quality economic development projects.
As of May 2022, the following cities and counties have "graduated" from the DRC program: Box Elder County, Bluffdale, Brigham City, Cache County, Carbon County, Cedar City, Davis County, Delta City, Eagle Mountain, Grand County, Layton City, Ogden City, Orem City, Salt Lake County, San Juan County, Salt Lake City, Sandy City, Saratoga Springs, South Jordan City, Spanish Fork City, Syracuse City, Taylorsville City, Tooele City, Tremonton, Washington City, West Jordan City.
EDCUtah’s Development Ready Communities (DRC) program includes training on key components of Site Selection, RFI development, and Incentives training. During the 2002-21 fiscal year, we held 16 training sessions with 187 attendees. These sessions will continue to be offered for public sector professionals and elected officials who wish to certify as Development Ready Communities.
We have added a number of new training sessions to the DRC program. Though not required for DRC certification the six “elective courses” are beneficial in understanding many elements of the economic development process. The new training sessions are titled Real Estate Ready, Infrastructure and Developers’ Dialogue, Websites, Diversity & Inclusion, and Economic Development Partnerships. This calendar includes all training sessions, and is subject to change.
The first step to becoming a Development Ready Community is to understand the site selection process. Broadly speaking, a company must first select Utah, then a specific region, and then a specific community. At each level there are factors that affects the site selection process.