PASCO COUNTY, Fla – The Pasco Economic Development Council (Pasco EDC) is proud to announce that it has received nine awards from five economic development organizations to close out the fiscal year.
The awards recognize numerous marketing initiatives and strategic partnerships, including a social media campaign that reached over one hundred thousand people and demonstrated a 300 percent increase in engagement during its first year.
Industry professionals evaluate thousands of submissions from across the state, nation, and globe.
At its annual conference held in Dallas, Texas on September 19, 2023, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) presented Pasco EDC with four awards in the category of population over 500,000.
- A gold rank, the highest honor, was awarded in the Innovation in Economic Development Week category for the Economic Development Week Social Media Campaign. Pasco EDC created a robust campaign sharing its mission and day-to-day activities during IEDC’s Economic Development Week from May 8-12, 2023. In a five-day period, the campaign generated over 1,600 engagements across Pasco EDC’s social media channels and reached over 15,000 people.
- A silver rank was awarded in the Digital Media category for the Workforce Wednesday social media campaign, a social media campaign created to promote the workforceCONNECT program and post every Wednesday on social media platforms. From when the campaign began in November 2021 until November 2022, engagements increased by 334 percent.
- A silver rank was awarded in the Multimedia/Video Promotion category for the “10 Years of SMARTstart” campaign which promoted the SMARTstart program’s 10-year anniversary supporting local entrepreneurs. Some of the statistics shared and celebrated during this time included over 500 jobs created, over $2 million distributed microloans, and over 550 program participants since the program’s inception in 2012.
- A bronze rank was awarded in the Magazine & Newsletter category for Pasco EDC’s Program Newsletters, a yearlong email marketing campaign specific to each program with different audiences. The newsletters have a different design and content based on the program needs and have out-performed industry standards.
The Florida Economic Development Council (FEDC) honored Pasco EDC with two awards at its annual conference in Orlando, Florida, on May 9, 2023.
- The 2023 Toni Jennings Workforce Development Professional Award was presented to Turner Arbour, Senior Economic Development Manager, Pasco EDC. The award has recognized 16 people since 2007 and Arbour is the youngest professional to receive this high honor.
- The Innovative Partnership Award recognized the partnership between SMARTstart and the Santander Consumer USA Foundation (Santander). Utilizing a grant, SMARTstart created a video testimonial campaign featuring SMARTstart participants who received a scholarship from Santander to help them gain access to tools and resources to grow their business. The videos had over 164,100 impressions across all social media channels and since the video testimonial campaign was created in 2021, incubator membership has almost doubled from 23 to 41.
In conjunction with the Pasco County UF/IFAS Extension and the Pasco County Board of County Commissioners, Pasco EDC obtained two partnership awards for the East Pasco Incubator Kitchen (EPIK).
The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council and the National Association of Counties presented these awards. The East Pasco Entrepreneur Center and EPIK provide entrepreneurs who are launching food enterprises with a space to manufacture and cater food products. Since the beginning of the partnership, 45 food-related enterprises have been founded.
Through its workforceCONNECT program, Pasco EDC launched a campaign dubbed “CONNECT with Your Future” in 2022. The campaign featured employee testimonial videos from local Pasco County businesses.
The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) recognized this campaign in the “Promoting Diversity in the Workplace” category. The videos were viewed by over 100,000 individuals, with 18% of viewers landing on the Career Pathways campaign landing page.
“It is humbling to see our work honored by so many of our industry peers in economic development organizations, from state level to international,” stated Bill Cronin, Pasco EDC President/CEO. “I am so proud of our team and their hard work on the projects that have been recognized, #PascoProud.”
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