The Bloomington Normal Economic Development Council has picked the economic development manager from the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park to head the EDC.
Patrick Hoban also has experience with the Decatur EDC and been a commercial real estate developer. The Bloomington-Normal EDC has, at times, come in for criticism for a lack of reporting to area governments. Hoban said that's not how he operates.
"Coordination is key. That's something we have been very successful with in Tinley Park and in Decatur," Hoban said. "It's all about communication. So, it's finding out what everybody brings to bear, what they have time to do, and what their priorities are. So it will take a lot of relationship building in the beginning. But, I'm confident we're going to do that."
Hoban said a key part of the EDC function is workforce development. He said the EDC should serve a concierge function in finding out business community desires and needs and then working with education institutions to provide those workers.
Hoban also embraces regional economic development efforts. He said the goal will be to market regionally and sell locally once the region attracts a business.
"We're really not in competition with each other. It's not Champaign versus Bloomington-Normal. It's really us against Chicago and us against Texas. Whenever site selectors are looking they don't really care if it is between two cities. They just want to know can we support the staff. If we look at the inflow and outflow of where people work and where they live, it's all over central Illinois," said Hoban.
On August 1, Hoban will replace Kyle Ham who left the EDC more than a year ago.
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