Home » Lane One on One: Project Pipeline Is Full and Kentucky is Ready

Lane One on One: Project Pipeline Is Full and Kentucky is Ready

Companies today need certainty a community will help them get to market, says Economic Development Secretary Jeff Noel

By Mark Green

Mark Green: Two electric vehicle battery manufacturing facilities under construction are the largest projects in Kentucky history on a dollar basis. How should state residents and the business community view their importance and significance to our economy?

Jeff Noel: The data show now that our state is leading all the others from an EV investment perspective per gigawatt hour. Anytime you are winning and getting out there, it’s fantastic. We as a state are leading in this space. Most importantly, you’ve got to take a step back and say, ‘What does the automotive sector mean to Kentucky, currently as well as for the future?’

For every 16 jobs in this country tied to the automotive sector, one of them is in Kentucky. One of every $11 generated through our state’s economy comes from the automotive sector, and two of every three counties in Kentucky has an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or an automobile facility because of all the suppliers we have. Kentucky currently ranks fifth nationally in foreign direct investment owned and employees, and all that’s tied to the automotive sector. It’s great to be winning. It’s great to be known as the leader, which we are in a lot of areas.

Secondly, our economy is heavily dependent on the automotive sector. Without getting into the politics or whether I agree or disagree, in the last 18 months a couple of things have changed: Federal government policy says by 2030 our goal is to have 50% of all automobiles sold in this country to be electric. Think about that. That’s federal policy. In the last several months, California ratified a law that by 2035 all sales of automotive vehicles in their state must be electrified, and New York has followed suit. It’s great to be the leader whether or not you agree with those policies and laws because New York and California are big consumers of automobiles—probably 18-19% of all sales. And the federal decree is that 50% of all automotive sales will be tied to the EV industry by 2030.

I want to make sure Kentucky is leading in that space. Under the leadership of Gov. Beshear and my predecessor (Larry Hayes)—he’s an institution—we were able to have the kind of investments we made in the project in Bowling Green and in the Bosch (Automotive Steering) project in Florence. It allows our state to be part of the wave of whatever is going to happen, use the scale we have and look out at 2030, 2035—whatever the balance is between EV and combustible sales, we’re going to be well positioned to take advantage.

Maybe more importantly, I hope everybody in Kentucky understands and appreciates that with the state so heavily dependent upon the gas-powered automotive sector, thank goodness we’re going to be leading in the (emerging) EV sector. Hopefully all of our existing suppliers can become part of that transformation, too. Hopefully by then every county across Kentucky has an automotive-type operation. Regardless of that mix, our existing businesses, our existing suppliers are taking advantage of it. Importantly, we’re attracting companies that are going to be unique in supporting the EV industry, that are leaders in their space, to our state and not somewhere else. Without question, the automotive sector is the largest sector of the economy, and we’re leading all other states in that transformation. It’s important for our existing companies and where we want to go into the future.

Being a winner in the EV space is going to help us take care of our existing companies—our state is very heavily dependent upon that. If our strategy is deployed and executed the right way, we’re going to bring in those industry leaders that are unique to the EV space here to Kentucky. Whatever that mix of sales is and will be in the future—leaning one way or the other, or equal, even one moving toward 100%—we have to make sure our state is a winner. Candidly, if it wasn’t for what the governor has done for the attraction of this EV industry, with the change happening I’d be concerned because we depend upon our current combustible automotive sector for our economy. I feel really good about the fact that we can attract the EV, attract those entities unique to the EV, and help our existing automotive suppliers be a part of that transformation.

MG: What economic sectors are currently forecast to grow the most in the next decade?
JN: One of our initiatives in 2023 is going to be an economic development plan for economic developers, by economic developers, to validate what these new industries are and to create a blueprint for execution for economic developers. Then we can play against the same playbook everywhere across the state. I’m not saying it’s going to be the same industries for each region. We want to break down with the consultant, with the input of all the businesses, all the universities in our in our state, to determine the right operational blueprint for economic development. Why are the tremendous successes Kentucky has seen currently occurring in light of the disruptions that are taking place, the geopolitical issues, the recession, what’s happening from an EV perspective, from a recycling perspective? It’s time to take a fresh look at what industries we want to be a part of.

All of that said, I’m a big believer in ‘stick to your core.’ How I look at trying to attract new companies and look at the new kind of companies on the horizon is to first understand your core industries—the automotive, the metals, logistics, agriculture, plastic, medical. You must understand those as our core. Then, what extends the core? As an example, what’s happening in the medical profession with virtual health care? What’s happening in the metals world in terms of new ways of recycling and decarbonization? Those are extending Kentucky’s core. The EV sector—that’s going beyond the automotive sector core. If you think about strategy, about what you need to take care of your core industries, and then what’s happening going beyond the core of those industries and what’s happening in terms of extending those, then you know which kinds of companies you ought to be working with and trying to attract. More importantly, you’re doing it all from within, helping support the existing business space. That’s one of the things you need to be aware of.

Candidly, anything that’s going to be tied to more productivity, more innovation, finding ways of doing, not replacing workers but finding more enrichment of jobs for workers, is going to be the kind of industry that is going to be more fast growing in the future, the ones that we want to bring here into Kentucky.

MG: What are some of the existing in-state sectors that offer strong opportunities to grow from where we are?
JN: A key strategy is always ‘take care of the core.’ All of our existing businesses are our core now. I’m a lover of history, a big believer in traditions. I’m also smart enough to know that none of those stays exactly the same and if they do, you’re going to lose. I want to make sure we’re taking care of our core industries and that the core industries are recognizing they have to move beyond and extend their course because the world is changing so rapidly. I don’t want to think about existing companies that don’t think they’re going to change. I want to work with companies smart enough to realize change is a norm. Therefore, how do you manage change to keep as much of what you love and the great traditions that we have? I want to look to the future, but I recognize the past is where there are a lot of benefits. You have to be able to bridge the two if you’re really going to be running businesses successfully.

You have to do the same from an economic development perspective. Our core industries like metals and the metals consortium are doing so many creative, innovative things. They’re even changing how they’re making metals and what their products are. Take care of your core industries but be mindful of what’s changing in the world and you could help existing companies grow. You can then find those new ones that are looking for new places and bring those in to help bring the right portfolio of companies that complement each other in your state.

MG: You’ve called the position of secretary of economic development in Kentucky your dream job. Why is it your dream job?
JN: I started June 1, 2022. I’m from Kentucky. I worked in the Economic Development Cabinet under the Wilkinson and Jones administrations. I was in the tobacco warehousing business, the real estate business and then I moved to Michigan. For last 18 years I worked for Whirlpool Corp., the world’s leader in the home appliance sector. For those 28 years I was in Michigan, all I thought about was coming back to Kentucky where my home is, where my wife’s family is from and about the Kentucky Cabinet. My experience here was that there is no single group that can create collaboration and create stimulus, create cooperation to help bring about change better than economic development.

I kept listening, kept trying to pay attention to what was going on here, knowing that someday if all the cards aligned properly, this would be the job I would like to have. It’s been that much of a dream for me because I do believe in economic development. I believe in the professionalism of economic development, but more importantly I believe in the outcomes of economic development.

I count jobs. I count investment. I have scorecards you have to meet. We want to bring announcements and expansions and new companies and embed them into the ecosystem of our state, working with our workforce providers, working with our area schools, helping them be a part of the planning systems in the communities, to create better bike and walking trails and better mobility and the things that great communities can offer. Economic development should be about improving the lives of all Kentuckians and not just a few. You keep score based upon expansion, by helping small businesses grow, by the new companies coming in. But the real metric is, are we helping to improve the lives for all Kentuckians?

MG: When you were out of the state for nearly three decades, what are the main insights that outside experience gave you into Kentucky’s position, current assets and liabilities?
JN: I spent time in Michigan under three governors. I was vice chairman of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., which gave me a unique perspective. But it was working for Whirlpool for the chairman that taught me you have to face realities—whatever they are—and deal with them. Realize what levers you can pull, what you can control or what you can’t, what you can influence. When I was in Michigan and came home to see my mom, who’s still here, the family and others, I realized one of the greatest things about Kentucky is our topography. I love our 120 counties and love that no one is any more than one or two generations removed from the farm. What that means is there’s this great, inherent strong work ethic and an ability to solve problems.

When you grow up on a farm, or you’re one or two generations away, and your grandfather or your uncle showed you the farm, how to start the tractor, you find a way to be innovative and be a problem solver. You understand the core reason why you toil—to help make something better. We are a state that is very close to the farm and very close to an essential pride that if you do something for a day you should be proud of it.

Sometimes we in Kentucky don’t realize we have great highways, beautiful terrain, beautiful countryside, we’re centrally located. But at the core, the very best thing we have to offer is our people and this willingness to support one another. If you lump all those together, Kentucky has something most other states and the countries I’ve visited don’t have: We’re big enough to offer everything you need, but we’re small enough to do it in a very personal and rewarding way. Anytime you live in Kentucky and do business in Kentucky, you can look back and say, ‘I’ve made a positive difference by contributing in a great state like this.’

We have great spirit of entrepreneurship in Kentucky: Look at the names in our Hall of Fame for Entrepreneurship, the products people in Kentucky make, the existing companies we have. We have great natural resources and we have protected it.

When Michigan people asked where you’re from and I’d say Kentucky, they would go on and on about how beautiful it is and how they now stop every time they’re going to and from Florida. That is something we can’t take for granted. It’s something that is a genuine advantage for our state and that’s one of the reasons we have strong companies in so many different parts of our state that are international and national leaders.

MG: Where is the economic development market right now? What type projects should Kentucky communities be going after or be ready to respond to?

Lex Com Regional Summit at The Campbell House, Wednesday Nov. 30, 2022 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Shelly Dawn Fryman Mahan Multimedia

JN: What’s going on in the market today is aggressive economic development planning at companies for expansion and new locations; aggressive planning but very cautious decision making and extremely cautious execution. The pipeline is full of companies looking at what they are going to do from an investment perspective. But they’re very cautious about where the geopolitical systems are and the geopolitical issues. They’re cautious about where the economy happens to be. Unless they are in the EV sector, they’re cautious about whether or not they’re going to move forward until they get a little bit more clarity. They want to do all their homework and all of their planning to be ready to move to execution because the pipeline is full of a lot of projects for a lot of reasons. They range from metals, plastics, distribution, you name it.

But the EV space has those laws in place in California and New York and federal policy relative to the percentage mix of EV sales time. This is not anything companies have a choice in. Those investments and suppliers have to come online and have to be a part of this EV transformation that’s taking place. There are two different kinds of projects out there in what I call the economic development world. We’re as busy as we have ever been, but we have to have a larger degree of patience on most projects because they won’t make rash decisions or decisions based on a hard time frame—unless they’re in the EV industry.

Economic developers need to focus on their existing companies and on the community. Community development and economic development are not two different things; they’re interwoven. Focus on the basics: Do what you’re going to do every day, do it well and opportunities will come. Economic developers need to focus on their existing companies, help create the right projects, the right direction, the right vision for the communities in which they reside and focus on developing ‘product’ (property for business and industry) and having sites ready to be shown when opportunity comes knocking.

Importantly, don’t just have product ready; know everything about it and everything about what your community can offer so that when you have that knock on the door—the cabinet calls and says, ‘We have a prospect who wants to come in’—developers will worry less about if it is one of those in-vogue, targeted industries and more about being ready as a community to take full advantage of that opportunity. If they decide it’s a good fit for the community, the organization is going to be able to win that opportunity.

MG: What are the most important factors for companies now that cause them to pull the trigger?
JN: For both local industry and the outsiders who are looking around, what’s more important now than ever is certainty and knowledge; data that shows that whatever it is you’re offering is really there and can be delivered upon.
I hate the term ‘shovel-ready sites’ because what you’ve already done does not describe in full what companies are looking for. They want to know who they’re going to work with to identify their workforce, where will they get the training—not just hear that this is a nice training opportunity we can provide. They want to know down into the detail the kind of training that’s being done. They need to know and understand all the supply chain elements that are in the area. That’s everything from rail routes to pricing, you name it. They want every little detail worked out.

Regarding what’s driving them to make that decision, there’s a long cadre of elements they have to have the answers to. In years past, they didn’t have to have all the answers as well defined as they do today. In today’s world, to make a decision, they need, they want and they must have answers to all their questions. And they need to have confidence in those answers.

Last but not least is speed in decision-making, which is a competitive advantage for our state with how Gov. Beshear has structured this in Kentucky. When you make a commitment, if it’s for zoning, for regulatory approval, you must map out the process. If the company does what they say they’re going to do, you need to be able to confirm you’ll deliver on your end. It’s that kind of keen commitment to speed in decision-making that companies are looking for.

It wasn’t always that way in the past, but the stakes are so much higher. If you’re going to make a billion-dollar investment in anything and it gets into the news media like The Lane Report that a corporation is going to do a billion-dollar investment, all their competitors are going to immediately start taking positions to counter that. They’re going to try to impact the marketplace because it’s that competitive. If I’m going to announce a billion-dollar commitment to making investment, I better be on my timelines and be able to deliver, to start making the products I say I’m going to, because competitors don’t want me to be successful. That’s why local economic developers, state officials and others have to be committed to this team effort and speed to decision-making. The way this administration has created a structure and process to make sure that happens is second to none. I think we’re doing it better than other state.

MG: How is deployment going of the $200 million appropriated in this current biennial budget to help with community economic development?
JN: It could not be better. We just did a review. There are two buckets. One is the current funding round to help support communities with their “products.” As part of that process, independent consultants have been reviewing sites, talking to the communities, talking through the speed of decision-making, talking through all those fundamental elements they need to have etc. Consultants have told us some of these communities just knocked it out of the park. They were so good, so enthusiastic and are offering really great products. We’ll have announcements of those first-round fundings sometime in early spring and immediately start on the next round. A lot of sites are going to come into our portfolio. Not the cabinet’s portfolio; I call it the state taxpayer’s portfolio of sites available for companies to consider. It’s going to be unbelievable. I’m very excited about the opportunity market.

Work is also being done for some much larger sites that might become important. We have another bucket of $100 million that provides discretionary funding. If there’s a project that has a “gap” or something is necessary to make sure all site work is done in an accelerated way to win the project, we can deploy those funds. The Ascend Elements (lithium-ion battery recycling) project in Hopkinsville is one of the first beneficiaries of this bucket. We have a pipeline of projects moving toward their decision-making that we’ve made commitments to out of those funds.

Where we were and where we’re going with this $200 million composite of funding for sites and products, to be able to share to consultants and to provide some projects, it’s an amazing transformation. Our job now is to be able to execute all our strategies to market those sites, get the word out and bring prospects in.

MG: How do Kentucky’s economic development incentive packages stand up against neighboring states and our peer competitors? Most of our incentive programs are a decade old.
JN: I look at some things and say they don’t need to change. You can have some real gemstones that only need repolishing. That would be from the executive branch and the legislative branch. We fully support and thank them for what they’ve done for us as a cabinet already. I believe strongly in the fundamental core philosophy of incentives in Kentucky: pay for performance.

If you’re a sophisticated business person and we share our incentives with you, you quickly realize those are very valuable incentives. As they perform, as they invest, as they employ, as they succeed, their benefits are commensurate with their investments, the jobs they create and the success they achieve. That’s how incentives should be. I feel ours do that extremely well.

We’re always looking at whether we need to polish or tweak here or there. I’m also a big believer that what companies like to see is certainty and stability in incentives benefits, not being the flavor of the month. If a company is looking at doing something in Kentucky and did something five years ago and we took good care of them and it was successful, they want to know they can count on that same fundamental philosophy of pay for performance in the incentives we offer. We have really good ones. We’re always going to be looking at ways to polish them if necessary. And we’re looking at other tools we can bring in, especially as they relate to supporting small businesses, entrepreneurship, innovation; we’re working with federal sources to bring in more tools to help us do that.

MG: Are there any transportation upgrades we need that would help us attract and grow even more?
JN: That falls into a policy area (the cabinet does not handle). But I do know transportation is about the movement of people, goods and information. If you look at it holistically like you should—at air cargoes, at commercial aviation, at river ports, at the highway systems—we’re in a really good spot.

Kentucky ranks No. 2 nationally in air cargo weight shipments, second to Tennessee. Air cargo is doing fantastic. We’ve got great commercial airports; the announcement of the connector into London is another plus in our commercial aviation sector. If I read correctly, 92% of Kentuckians have access to internet service of at least 100 megabytes per second. That’s a strong number. Almost 50% have at least one GB per second. That’s a strong indicator of having good movement of information.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, Kentucky has 371 lane miles of roadway per 1,000 people. We’re way above our surrounding competitor states in terms of that highway infrastructure. We have all kinds of access to the riverports and a good riverport system. The Brent Spence companion bridge is a huge project. An unbelievable project is being put together down on I-69 and Henderson. When the Mountain Parkway is done there’ll be a 400-mile, four-lane road between Paducah and Pikeville. There is the road to connect from Mayfield to Tennessee and the I-Move Kentucky initiative with $180 million for road improvements in Louisville and elsewhere.
I look at what we have going and I get excited. When you have industry-leading metrics across the country to talk about, that’s one of the reasons logistics is such a major employer in Kentucky.

MG: The pandemic showed global supply chains aren’t always safe and reliable. There is a movement to reshore industry and manufacturing and supply chains to the U.S. What are your expectations about what Kentucky might win in this five-year reshoring process?
JN: We’re already winning. Since January 2021 we’ve had an unbelievable run of new jobs and investments. We’ve announced $20.6 billion in investments and 32,000 jobs coming to our state across the next several years. We’ve seen an average wage exclusive of benefits this year of $26.71; that’s up from around $24 in 2021. We’re getting a lot of great companies coming in; lots of high-tech companies. But as it relates to reshoring, I would love to take “reshoring” and throw it out the window.

I hate the word because it sounds like there’s this movement that’s just going to happen. When I was at Whirlpool with nine factories in the U.S., what we experienced and what’s happening now is that pinch points in the supply chain really matter. I don’t call it reshoring; it’s “de-risking.” It’s rethinking. It’s creating new, innovative ways to deal with your supply chain. We as the state need to be focused on why is this de-risking of their supply chain occurring and what do we need to do to help them achieve that?

They’re not just bringing supply chains over without finding innovative ways of making products, or innovative ways of storing and shipping those products. They’re looking for innovation. They’re looking for productivity as part of their de-risking and their restrategizing of those supply chains. Our job is to be sure we have training programs they can be a part of. We have to think about digital strategies because they’re going to be looking to do more automation in their supply chains like never before.

Ultimately, I believe we’re going to get more than our fair share of these opportunities. I’d like to make sure companies looking to de-risk their current supply chains look first to our existing Kentucky manufacturers. We have been working on different tools and platforms we have to better, more instantly connect those companies looking for de-risking. Maybe they already have supply chains in our state that they can take advantage of and grow from within.

I can tell you what kinds of companies are coming (back to the U.S.): They’re big investors, low-volume goods; low-cost labor is what they depend upon. Our job is to go out to those that are more high-value-added, higher volume and have more complexity associated with them. If we can do that, we’re going to get more than our fair share in that realm.

MG: What foreign outreach does the state or the cabinet have currently? Are there offices, personnel, marketing efforts in any specific countries?
JN: We continue to have an office in Japan and in Germany. Those offices cover the regionals in which they’re located. We’re the fifth-largest state in terms of foreign direct investment and we know there are lots of opportunities on the horizon.

With the EV industry, there’s a lot of technology coming from South Korea. We’ve added that to our area of focus and we’re evaluating how we can do better outreach in those countries to get those companies that have technological advantages to consider coming here. We’ve already “announced” some projects and have a very rich (in the works) pipeline of projects from South Korea. We’ve “located” some of those. We are working a lot of projects from Japan that have technology very specialized to the EV industry. Our office in Japan stays very busy talking to our existing Japanese-owned companies in Kentucky, which is an important reason to have that operation there. The same thing for our office in Germany. A lot of our United Kingdom and German businesses—those are the top two from Europe—need to be called on. They need to have the support. It shows our commitment to them for the investments they have made in our state to continue to have those two offices.

What’s happening unfortunately in Ukraine and what Russia is doing and some of the geopolitical issues in China—there are parts of the world where de-risking also is coming. From their business perspective, where will they go? That’s one of the reasons we have a rich pipeline of international projects.

Our foreign marketing strategy includes paid advertising, going to trade shows, reaching out to those companies. Word of mouth also is critically important. I look at the Bosch project, the BlueOvalSK—one of the reasons Hardin County won that project is they had very strong leadership by South Korean individuals who had relocated to Elizabethtown and became part of the recruitment process. Now, another major investment is being made by a South Korean company (Lotte Aluminum and Lotte Chemical). We’re going to do just like we did with the (initial 1985) Toyota announcement. This state reached out and welcomed people from Japan as part of the Toyota investment announcement. We’ve welcomed people from all over the world since.

We need to continue to welcome people, especially focusing on Taiwan because of geopolitical issues with China. We need to do a lot more in South Korea. I think there are going to be more companies in Europe looking for places to manufacture because we have a stable supply source of energy and not all parts of the world have that. I believe there are certain parts of South America that (have companies that) are just right for Kentucky. We share a heritage with the equine industry with lots of parts of South America. Why not find a way of sharing some industrial opportunities in South America?

Every country around the world does acknowledge the U.S. is still the leader. We are the most stable country in the world. We have the biggest market and the biggest market growth opportunity. That’s one reason you will continue to see businesses that want to come here. But we’d better be welcoming them. We need to be ready for them in the local community. We need to have the tools—which we have—to make sure they realize we mean business, and we’re serious about winning their business by providing all the things to make an investment here be successful. We’ve shown time and again over the years that we can do it.

MG: Workforce is a key issue for every part of the state, the nation, the world for all companies. Getting that workforce involves education. Are there education initiatives elsewhere that Kentucky should be adopting?
JN: Gov. Beshear has created a whole array of really important tools, Work Ready programs, scholarship programs, skills initiatives, training centers—like what we’re doing with Bosch (Automotive Steering with 1,200 employees in Florence) and creating a physical space to do the training. Education and Labor Secretary Jamie Link and his people do a great job providing technical expertise. I don’t think we should be offering any new initiatives, but I do think the role of an economic developer is to be a super collaborator.

We’re advertising now for an individual to join our team to be that conduit, that collaborator, that connector with all these workforce training providers and training programs within companies, so they know where to go to get the help, so they know where there are opportunities for filling whatever needs they may have. I want this person to be in a position to help amplify what companies are doing right, because it’s a shared responsibility.

We talk about finding your workforce. It’s not just education. It’s not just the company. It’s bringing those things together. We need to highlight those in terms of what companies are doing really well, including a key element: We have to embed a yearning in young people of a vision for where they want to be and they can see themselves there. We must inspire young people, let them see the kind of jobs that do exist in our state.

This is the best job and I am humbled by being given the chance to have it. I know how lucky I am. I get up every day and I just pinch myself because I’m happy as I can be and super enthusiastic about what the future holds. Economic development only works when there is super collaboration that takes place. Our job is to be those super collaborators because it takes elected officials, business people, local government, economic developers and workforce folks. We have to create this common vision. We have to create this sense of urgency. We all have to do it together.

It’s only going to be beneficial if everybody gets to share it. But if you want to share in those opportunities, you better share the responsibilities it takes to get those shared opportunities. No one entity can do it; you have to be super collaborators. You have to be very inclusive.

Kentucky is headed in that direction. Because I lived outside the state, I know there are other states that wonder, ‘How does Kentucky do all the things it does? How does it get those kinds of things done?’ I truly believe it is because we’re big enough to offer everything you need but small enough to know each other. We can get it done and do it for our neighbors and friends that live in and call Kentucky home.

MG: What would you like those not involved in economic development to better understand about what developers do, how they do it and how it how it benefits them?
JN: One key number is population. How many kids go to a public school helps drive how much funding comes from the federal government to help support roads and infrastructure, making sure that that farmer can get access to what they need from the extension service. If population is a key driver of funding that helps support all of our society and our schools and our people—whatever industry they’re in—then you need to make sure you have the jobs that can attract people and create growth and you don’t lose folks to other states.

Economic development and good community development help bring in new revenues from various sources so our state gets at least or more than our fair share compared to others; it’s all tied to population. Secondly, I’m also a big believer that really good companies need really good people. And really good people need really good communities. If we want companies, you must have good people. If you want good people, you must have good communities.

Today’s farmers need good people; the operator of a pharmacy store needs good people. They need good community. Company and community is so intertwined. We all need each other and we all mutually benefit by having a stronger economy, more kinds of jobs, having growth and opportunity, and finding a way to bring in jobs, grow existing jobs and opportunities. The people coming up through the school system see those opportunities and want to stay in our state to become part of that. That helps a farmer know that their grandson stays in Kentucky because he has found what his dream opportunity in life location could be.

The flip side of it is economic developers don’t make policy. They don’t go out and create systems. They don’t have programs in terms of providing services. Economic developers are just the collaborators. We are part of the process in which policymakers, business leaders and community leaders all set what are going to be the public policy issues by which economic developers have to do their job. Economic developers have to realize they have to work with this group, with that group. We all have to come together and identify a common purpose, identify what we need, identify our shared responsibilities and realize that’s going to get us toward those shared opportunities that we all need and want. At the end of the day, we all need a good economic base, we all need good jobs, we all need good schools and we desperately need good people and good communities, because at the end, it’s neighbor helping each other that creates a quality of life that’s good for everyone.