Boy, how time flies

December 11, 2023Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

It’s been just one year since the Chamber’s 61 year old division, the Abilene Industrial Foundation, transitioned its brand and function to the new Abilene Regional Growth Alliance.

That transition didn’t come easy. We have learned much.

The history of work of the Industrial Foundation has been recognized by many local leaders as the precursor to today’s modern and well-equipped business attraction (industry recruitment) effort.

We’re glad to stand and cheer for the City of Abilene and its Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA). We all should be cheering. The DCOA is racking up wins for our city faster than you can say job creation and capital investment. And it isn’t easy. I’ve been there, done that.

When the AIF stepped into its redefined role just over a year ago, it was with purpose and commitment. Many men and women of our great community helped to engineer the reinvention of the AIF. Our name was among the first to be tweaked.

But so too was the Growth Alliance’s purpose. We no longer have the primary function of attracting industry. But we do have the function of helping to improve the product that is sold to industries when they’re considering a site – our community.

We refer to it as the Chamber’s community development division. We’re laser focused on things like regional growth, non-traditional infrastructure, helping to make a dent in the workforce challenge that confronts us all, help and support for small and emerging businesses, downtown revitalization, and more.

We tend to think of it doing all the things that most people think just happens.

We’re pleased to report to not only you and the more than 75 business and community leaders who helped create LEADAbi, the five year strategy for the Growth Alliance, but also the scores of companies and individuals who have underwritten its implementation.

The ARGA results are included in the organization wide annual report which can be found here. 

Along with that first year of reporting comes a brand new Growth Alliance website, designed to serve as the centralized repository for the information and support you need to run your business. You can check out the site here. Look around – it’s chock-full of information and resources just for you.

Finally, I want to thank the leadership of the Growth Alliance Executive Committee and the dozens of individuals who serve as its Stakeholder Group.

Together, we have a responsibility to do all we can – as businesses and as members of our community – to position Abilene and surrounding areas for success. There are a lot of folks working really hard to make a positive difference at the local level.

Let’s get behind them. Let’s celebrate the wins. And let’s move our great region forward – together.





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