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City's Econ. Dev. team members attend training conferences

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Economic Development Specialist Jenn Marsh, left, and Executive Secretary Jennifer Murphy Aubin (Courtesy photos)

ROCHESTER - Two members of the city's economic development team recently attended in-depth training sessions that will help them in their roles.

On Nov. 1-2, Executive Secretary Jennifer Murphy Aubin attended the two-day Real Estate Development and Reuse course in Phoenix, Ariz., hosted by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). There she expanded her expertise of the fundamental skills economic developers need, including sessions on markets, site analysis and financial feasibility.

The courses also emphasized the importance of working with diverse stakeholders to foster successful redevelopment in the types of areas that Rochester features, from downtown settings to industrial parks. Since returning home from her trip, Murphy Aubin is connecting with her counterparts from places like Kansas, Colorado, Arizona and Washington, to solicit feedback on best practices for real-world questions about development initiatives in Rochester.

"The opportunity to connect with other economic developers is invaluable, and share proactive strategies to cultivate and attract successful developments throughout the community, while maintaining the unique character of Rochester," Murphy Aubin said. "I'm grateful for the city's commitment to our office and the work we do, which will ultimately benefit our businesses and stakeholders."

In late October, Economic Development Specialist Jennifer Marsh attended the IEDC's Leadership Summit in Chapel Hill, N.C. At the summit, she had the opportunity to network with peers from communities both large and small and solicit feedback on the work Rochester is doing to overcome economic development challenges.

"One big takeaway for me is that many of the strategies discussed during the sessions were reflective of work we've already begun undertaking here in Rochester to strengthen our downtown and attract businesses and development throughout the city," Marsh said. "That said, I learned a lot from both the courses and my discussions with other economic development leaders and have built lasting relationships that will only enhance what we are doing."

Both Murphy Aubin and Marsh are working toward becoming certified economic developers, and their participation in these programs represents progress toward that goal.

"IEDC courses are intense in the way that they prepare professionals to understand that complexities of economic and community development and the concerns of entrepreneurs of all sizes and industries," said Economic Development Manager Karen Pollard. "This training provides a competitive advantage for the City of Rochester because we're uniquely equipped with a well-educated staff to be direct points of contact for businesses to get support, so that they thrive and grow in our city."

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