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For Communities

Why Communities Should Become Development Ready Communities (DRC)

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 July 2022, the following cities and counties have "graduated" from the DRC program: Bluffdale City, Box Elder County, Brigham City, Cache County, Carbon County, Cedar City, Davis County, Delta City, Eagle Mountain City, Farmington City, Grand County, Green River City, Kane County, Layton City, Ogden City, Orem City, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, San Juan County, Sandy City, Saratoga Springs City, Sevier County, South Jordan City, Spanish Fork City, Syracuse City, Taylorsville City, Tooele City Tremonton, Wasatch County, 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.

Match Grant Program

EDCUtah public sector investors may apply for match funding for professional development and special projects. Program Purpose - To provide funding in support of specific economic development efforts that will spur job growth and capital investment in Utah communities.

Types of Match Grants:
A man in white work clothes looks surveys a landscape. White text that says Lean more about EDCUtah match grants and a black arrow.

Visit our Match Grants page for more details.

An Introduction to Site Selection

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.

A graphic illustrating the site selection process for Utah communities. Starting at the state level potential residents look at the business climate, state taxes, and the quality of life. Then on the region level potential residents look at operation costs, workforces, and universities in the area. Finally on the city level potential residents look at a specific site and the available real estate in the area.

The Metro 360

Compares 60 factors across all 376 metro areas (MSAs) to identify regional strengths.

The Fifty by Fifty

Research brief analyzes 50 factors across all 50 states to pinpoint Utah's strengths in the national market.

Training & Benefits

Available to public members of EDCUtah, the program provides a structured, comprehensive and efficient methodology. EDCUtah’s Community Strategy team assists members through the five stages of economic development preparedness:

1. Community Assessment

EDCUtah’s community strategy team works with communities to evaluate local industry expertise, occupational concentration, real estate availability, and other site selection criteria. EDCUtah’s research department compares this data to nationwide, statewide, regional, and community-specific data.

2. Planning

Stage 2 of the DRC uses the information and analysis from Stage 1 to create a Development Ready Plan for a community. This plan is a customized approach to a community’s economic development goals, capitalizing on its strengths and planning to resolve its weaknesses.

3. Community Marketing

Stage 3 equips communities with the needed marketing materials to effectively promote to companies and site selectors, both proactively – before an official request for information (RFI) is released – and reactively in response to an RFI. During Stage 3, communities work with EDCUtah to develop marketing materials and tools to use throughout the site selection process.

4. Training and Preparation

In Stage 4, communities receive training on key components of economic development including core courses in the site selection process, incentives process, and RFIs, as well as other elective courses.

Required Training

  • RFIs
  • Incentives
  • Site Selection

Elective Training

  • Real Estate Ready
  • Developer’s Dialogue
  • Infrastructure
  • Website Development
  • Economic Development Partnerships
  • Diversity & Inclusion

5. EDCUtah Integration & Support

In Stage 5, communities gain access to critical support via EDCUtah’s programs and staff. In particular, communities have access to the Community Match Grants Program, the Site Ready Utah program, Global Strategy and Outreach missions and the Business Development staff.

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