Blanding City hires a full time Economic Development Specialist
by Kara Laws
Blanding City has officially hired Pratt Redd as the first ever Economic Development Specialist.
For the last year, talk of economy development has come up in Blanding City council repeatedly, almost more than any other topic. Many residents and community leaders feel the changes to our small economy need to be guided.
Knowing the city did not have enough man hours to address the changes, Blanding City Council approved a new full time job, which started July 1. For the first time ever, Blanding City will have an Economic Development Specialist.
This specialist will work directly with local and incoming businesses to help them grow, guide them through regulations, and help them find the resources that they need to thrive.
Councilwoman, Cheryl Bowers stated, “I believe with conviction that if we don’t have a position that is dedicated and focused full time on Blanding and what we want to see for our future, that the tourism environment could spiral while our well rounded economic growth could be stunted.
“The recent developments with Bears Ears and the world wide media coverage created a crucial point in our economic future, that could not be left unchecked,” Bowers stated.
Other council members agreed with her and they worked to make room in the annual budget for this new employee. In June, after a lot of thought, application reviews, and interviews, Pratt Redd was chosen to fill the position.
Pratt Redd grew up in Blanding. After graduating high school, he attended Southern Utah University where he received this BS in Marketing with an emphasis in economics.
Redd is excited about his new position with the city and says he is most looking forward to, “working directly with Jeremy Redd and the employees at the city.”
He is excited about their passion and relationship with the community. Redd is excited to join a workforce that works so hard to please the community and hopes that he can do more of the same.
While Redd stated that he doesn’t see any huge issues in the local economy right now, he does think there is always room for improvements and hopes to dedicate time each week to finding problems and working to resolve them.
He feels that his main role, in this new position, will be to “help [businesses] with their needs and develop plans to better their business.” He plans on taking some time and getting to now all the businesses owners throughout the next year.
Redd said he would like to see new businesses come into town that would be “great employers for the community and provide people with lasting jobs and careers.”
He also hopes that Blanding can attract new businesses that improve the quality of live for local residents.
“Blanding is unique and special, we all know it,” Redd stated, “That’s why we live here, that’s what makes us passionate about our home.” Part of what makes us unique is our community. Redd feels that the community is a vital to local businesses thriving.
He is excited to start working with the community, the businesses, and the city employees. Blanding is changing and it can be very exciting.
Redd is ready to step into this vital role in the shape of our changing community and Blanding City is ready to take more control of our economic direction.