Chamber subsidiary launches image campaign, development tools
The community's new economic development organization celebrated its official launch Thursday with introduction of a new website, video and economic publication designed to spread the word about Lawton-Fort Sill.
The board of the Lawton-Fort Sill Economic Development Corporation invited city and county officials and community and business leaders to screen the new products in a session in the new city hall auditorium.
Phil Kennedy, chairman of the corporation's board, said the new products are an important step in diversifying the local economy and "now we've got the tools, we can build the house."
Barry Albrecht, president of the corporation, said the new products along with new strategies and procedures are an "acknowledgement that we can no knowledgement that we can no longer do economic development the way we used to do it."
The Lawton Fort Sill Economic Development Corp. was born in the summer of 2011 when Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce members voted to create a new organization that would be responsible only for economic development. It replaced the Lawton Industrial Foundation which had the same board of directors as the chamber with the new corporation; it is a subsidiary of the chamber but has a board of directors named by the chamber, City of Lawton, Comanche County Industrial Development Authority, Cameron University and Great Plains Technology Center. Funding is provided by a contract with the chamber using money raised by the city's hotel-motel tax.
Kennedy said the process began more than a year and a half ago when leaders began looking at ways to improve economic development work by pulling together all the community's resources to seek quality jobs and be aggressive about it.