WE ARE AMERICA’S JOBS TEAM.

America’s future relies on people like you to foster a dynamic economy. It’s a big responsibility, but you are not alone in shouldering the weight. You are part of America’s Jobs Team!

You know—as do we—that the business of creating jobs is hard work, requiring more than just a little bit of elbow grease. You’ve got to have: deep industry knowledge; community and workforce familiarity; an ability to form deep relationships and create unity; perseverance; and the drive to keep growing.

Over the years, the Consultant Connect team has seen many amazing economic development warriors battling for their communities. We are connecting with these fellow community champions to dive into how they got to where they are, what lessons they have learned along the way, and what inspires them daily. We firmly believe that when leaders get better, communities thrive!

Listen to the America’s Jobs Team podcast below, or find it on iTunes.

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Episode 102: Are You Listening and Learning First to Expand Your Toolbox? | Tom Ryan, Pasco Economic Development Council
Episode 102: Are You Listening and Learning First to Expand Your Toolbox? | Tom Ryan, Pasco Economic Development Council 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“The key to leadership is taking the time to listen and learn from others. It is not the easiest trait to learn and it takes time to develop the patience to absorb the information, decipher what is beneficial and implement best practices in day-to-day business activities.” —Tom Ryan When crisis hits or when the economy…

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Episode 101: Do You Want to Cultivate Deal Discipline? | Janel Carothers, Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission
Episode 101: Do You Want to Cultivate Deal Discipline? | Janel Carothers, Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Success is uncomfortable, and I learn more from failures. It’s not always fun, but seeing the silver lining helps me stay centered.” —Janel Carothers Deal chasing is part of the thrill of being an economic developer. But what happens when the chasing gets uncoordinated and ends up eating precious time and resources for projects that…

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Episode 100: Why Is It Difficult to Actually Rely on Others’ Strengths? | Cal Wray, Augusta Economic Development Authority
Episode 100: Why Is It Difficult to Actually Rely on Others’ Strengths? | Cal Wray, Augusta Economic Development Authority 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“There is no question off the table, just ask.” —Cal Wray Today’s conversation with Cal Wray, President at Augusta Economic Development Authority, is a great reminder of why economic developers do the hard work to make our communities better. Cal shares what keeps him passionate about economic development, even when times are tough, and he…

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Episode 099: Can You Be Both Collaborative and Competitive? | F. J. “Josh” Fenn, Henry County Development Authority
Episode 099: Can You Be Both Collaborative and Competitive? | F. J. “Josh” Fenn, Henry County Development Authority 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“I hope to be known as one who left everywhere he has been better than when he found it.” —F. J. “Josh” Fenn Collaborative and yet competitive. Do you find yourself in that statement? Economic development is a delicate balance of both traits. Josh Fenn joins today and dives into how he balances fighting for…

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Episode 098: Are You Struggling to Maintain Momentum with Projects and Timelines? | Sean Maguire, Town of Colonie, NY
Episode 098: Are You Struggling to Maintain Momentum with Projects and Timelines? | Sean Maguire, Town of Colonie, NY 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“My team knows that they can come and talk to me without judgment; it allows us to think of creative solutions to real challenges.” —Sean Maguire Have you had problems pushing timelines forward over the last year? You’re not alone. Today, Sean Maguire, Director of Planning and Economic Development for the Town of Colonie, NY,…

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Episode 097: Do You Struggle Emphasizing the Hard Work That Goes Into Your Job? | Tammy Fields, Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC
Episode 097: Do You Struggle Emphasizing the Hard Work That Goes Into Your Job? | Tammy Fields, Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“I live in a city that has amazing scenic beauty, but I truly believe that quality of life for people begins with a job.” —Tammy Fields Who else struggles with telling their story and emphasizing the hard work that goes into economic development? Tammy Fields, Senior Vice President of Economic Development at the Colorado Springs…

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Episode 096: Opportunities for Continued Learning Are Everywhere | RJ Ball, Empire State Development Corporation
Episode 096: Opportunities for Continued Learning Are Everywhere | RJ Ball, Empire State Development Corporation 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“I see companies shifting their focus and working with economic development in new and unique ways; great companies continue to use adversity to find the path to new opportunity. “ —RJ Ball Today’s interview is full of energy! RJ Ball comes right out of the gates with the same zest that has landed him on…

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Episode 095: The Top Challenges for Economic Developers This Year | Thomas Kucharski, Invest Buffalo Niagara
Episode 095: The Top Challenges for Economic Developers This Year | Thomas Kucharski, Invest Buffalo Niagara 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Economic development is not for the meek of heart.” —Thomas Kucharski If one person is not faint-of-heart, it’s Tom Kucharski. As the fearless leader of Invest Buffalo Niagara, which has grown to a regional power house under his leadership, Tom is also taking the helm of the IEDC Board of Directors this year. He joins…

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Episode 094: When Is the Right Time to Seek New Opportunities? | Kurt Foreman, Delaware Prosperity Partnership
Episode 094: When Is the Right Time to Seek New Opportunities? | Kurt Foreman, Delaware Prosperity Partnership 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“You want to be in something where you feel passionate and like you’re making a difference.” —Kurt Foreman How many times have you wished that you knew what site consultants were thinking and whether you should be hyper-project focused or long term focused? Lucky for us, Kurt Foreman has experience on the “other side” of…

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Episode 093: What Do You Know About Infrastructure-led Economic Development? | Clyde Higgs, Atlanta BeltLine Inc.
Episode 093: What Do You Know About Infrastructure-led Economic Development? | Clyde Higgs, Atlanta BeltLine Inc. 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Being explicit and intentional about telling people who you are, it helps to add comfort for people who aren’t built like you.” —Clyde Higgs Economic development is evolving into an industry with subspecialties. Clyde Higgs talks about how his initial goal to be a hospital CEO and his current role in economic development are really…

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