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P.O. Box 5190
Kent, OH 44242
Phone: 330-672-4080
or 800-793-0912
International: 001-330-672-4080
Email: mmorgan@neotec.org


NEOTEC Receives Global Recognition for
Excellence in Economic Development

October 18, 2010

The Northeast Ohio Trade and Economic Consortium (NEOTEC) recently received an Excellence in Economic Development Award for their Global Business Development Initiative from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). NEOTEC President and CEO Ron DeBarr accepted the honor on behalf of NEOTEC at an awards ceremony during the IEDC’s Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio, which annually recognizes the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and leaders. The award was presented in the “Responding to Globalization” category for communities with populations of greater than 500,000.

NEOTEC, a nonprofit, multicounty economic development partnership, works to attract business investment in the region by promoting domestic and international trade, and strengthening the region’s distinct advantages as a business location. NEOTEC programs include the International Trade Assistance Center division, which provides export counseling assistance to area companies, and Foreign-Trade Zone 181, a global supply chain management tool that provides cost savings for area companies engaged in international business. “Through our Global Business Development Initiative, NEOTEC is committed to helping create global opportunities for Northeast Ohio companies and attract foreign companies to facilitate our region’s economic growth,” said DeBarr. “We are pleased to be recognized at a global level for these ongoing efforts.”

According to DeBarr, NEOTEC’s programs have seen substantial growth and success in recent years. FTZ 181 covers nearly 5,500 acres at 26 sites throughout the region, and is recognized as one of the most successful FTZs in the country. To encourage economic growth through exports, ITAC staff members have counseled more than 180 small- and mid-sized companies throughout Northeast Ohio since 2007. The staff provides expertise in international trade compliance, procedures and issues, and offers numerous seminars and training events. These export assistance efforts have resulted in increased exports throughout the region, generating more than $2.5 million in export sales and $3 million in cost avoidance in 2008 and 2009.

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) represents 4,500 members, the largest network of economic development professionals in the world. Its annual Excellence in Economic Awards Program honors individuals and organizations in 28 categories for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

“We recognize the Northeast Ohio Trade and Economic Consortium for providing successful strategies to promote new paradigms in economic development in this period of global recovery,” said William Best, IEDC chair. “Our awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in communities. The Northeast Ohio Trade and Economic Consortium is showing that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession and are using innovative and effective practices that can be replicated in other communities."

Responding to the globalization of the world’s economies, NEOTEC developed its Global Business Development Initiative (GBDI) in 2007 to more aggressively assist area businesses with export sales development through its International Trade Assistance Center (ITAC), which NEOTEC began hosting in 2004. From 2004 to 2007, the demand for ITAC’s export counseling services and training events had greatly increased. NEOTEC responded by forming the GBDI to expand the ITAC program through extensive efforts to secure additional partnerships and funding support.

Recognizing that the attraction of international companies was another important step in facilitating the economic growth of Northeast Ohio, NEOTEC expanded the GBDI initiative in 2009 by adding foreign direct investment as a second objective. To achieve both objectives, the GBDI combines global partnerships, international marketing efforts, collaboration with regional, statewide and national organizations, an experienced international trade staff assisting with all phases of export development, and the Global Rapid Response Team, a team of dedicated professionals in a variety of global disciplines who are available to assist international companies with site selection and relocation issues.

NEOTEC is based in Kent on the campus of Kent State University, which partners with NEOTEC in its economic development efforts.

 Ron DeBarr (center) accepts the IEDC's Excellence in Economic Development Award for 2010.