Pasco Economic Development Council | 16506 Pointe Village Drive, Suite 107 | Lutz, FL 33558

Pasco EDC Receives Three Excellence in Economic Development Awards from the IEDC

October 21, 2020


PASCO COUNTY, FLORIDA (October 20, 2020) — The Pasco Economic Development Council (Pasco EDC)  won three awards from the International Economic Development Council for the 2020 Excellence in Economic Development Awards Program. The awards were for the following: a gold award for SMARTstart Pasco a project in the Entrepreneurship category; a silver award for Pasco Ready Sites Interactive Maps, a project in the Digital Media category; and a bronze award for WorkforceCONNECT Pasco, a project in the category of Special Purpose Website. The honor was presented last week at an awards ceremony during the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference.

“Peer recognition by economic development professionals from our industry is a great testament to Pasco County’s and Pasco EDC’s vision for success.   The members of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) are the best-of-the-best in our profession, and we are humbled and honored to accept their awards,” said Bill Cronin, President/CEO, Pasco EDC. “It’s not entirely surprising that the three programs being recognized are funded by the Penny-for-Pasco program as they are some of our most creative programs that give Pasco County and our business community our competitive advantage.”

IEDC's Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world's best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year's most influential leaders. The 35 award categories honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 500 submissions from 4 countries.

“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the very best of economic development and exemplify the ingenuity, integrity, and leadership that our profession strives for each and every day”, said 2020 IEDC Board Chair and One Columbus CEO Kenny McDonald. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing campaigns, projects and partnerships have measurably improved regional quality of life.”


Gold- Entrepreneurship- SMARTstart:

Pasco EDC offers a program called SMARTstart that is specifically geared towards helping entrepreneurs with their start-ups and small businesses in Pasco County. There are three strategically placed Entrepreneur Centers throughout the county each with a business incubator on site. Each site has its own unique benefits and entrepreneurs have access to all of the other centers through one membership fee. There were previously just two Entrepreneur Centers, and we recently added a third location in a very trendy, up-and-coming area which will attract some new types of entrepreneurs. SMARTstart offers a free education series which is open to the public as well as a multitude of other programs that can drill down into every entrepreneur’s needs. We hold a CO.STARTERS license and offer the 9-week training course which works through company business models with a different professional trainer each week of the course. The Microloan Program is a lending program up to $50,000 for companies who are not eligible for traditional funding through a traditional lender.

SMARTstart Program:

  • Private Offices available for members
  • Digital Media Studios (recording equipment for podcasts, and green and white screens for professional product photography back drops)
  • Classroom Spaces
  • Coworking Lounges for entrepreneurs to engage with each other or work independently
  • Entrepreneur Roundtables (entrepreneurs meet monthly and discuss business plans and guide each other based on personal experiences)
  • One center has a commercial kitchen and food packaging and labeling station, this is where our food start-ups incubate and are able to make and package their food to distribute to the public
  • Community garden plots


Silver- Digital Media- Pasco Ready Sites Interactive Maps

These interactive maps were created to support the Pasco EDC Ready Sites Program, which assesses, evaluates, and certifies large tracts of land to prepare properties for industrial development and create a portfolio of project-ready sites for targeted industries.

There are currently 5 interactive maps for the 5 different sites in the Ready Sites Program.

All maps feature:

  • An aerial of the property with the site outlined
  • Options to turn on layers to see actual location of water, electric, wastewater, and reclaimed water lines along with pipe and capacity sizes (gas is shown as either on-site, available, or not available- it is not outlined on the map as a safety precaution)
  • Five Infographics that can be clicked and pop out with information
  • 45-Minute drive time labor force and population 
  • Transportation: mileage to nearby highways and interstates, and distances to Tampa International Airport and Port Tampa Bay
  • Site specific information: acreage, single or multiple owners, if it is divisible, etc.
  • Target Land Use
  • Utilities: water, electric, wastewater, and reclaimed water lines sizes and capacities (gas is shown as either on-site, available, or not available)

Bronze- Special Purpose Website-

The Pasco EDC workforceCONNECT website,, was developed to assist in producing better alignment between the supply and demand for workforce in Pasco County. It provides a detailed and interactive asset-mapping tool for employers to identify specific resources to aid them in finding the skilled workers they need. It also provides a robust catalog of other programs that can assist our employers upskill and/or retain their workforces such as training grants and transportation programs. For jobseekers, the website highlights 14 high skill, in-demand careers with clear articulation paths through local resources. It also features a career assessment tool that asks jobseekers 3 questions about what they look for in the ideal career and highlights which of the 14 careers best fits their interests. This allows jobseekers to explore careers in Pasco and will reduce “brain drain” and bolster Pasco’s workforce. WorkforceCONNECT is one of the first programs of its kind in the nation, designed with the needs of employers in mind, and driven by data.

“I am thrilled the Pasco EDC’s great work has been recognized by the International Economic Development Council,” Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Moore said. “This is a testament to the excellent partnership between Pasco County and the Pasco EDC to make our community the premier place for business.” 

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About Pasco Economic Development Council: The Pasco Economic Development Council is committed to developing Florida's most competitive climate for business growth by providing businesses, that seek to start, move, or grow in the North Tampa Bay area, a comprehensive suite of programs that can help them to reach their full economic potential.  Since 1987, Pasco EDC has fostered a strong partnership funded by corporate and public investors focused on the economic vitality of Pasco County.  Discover more at

About the International Economic Development CouncilThe International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. Learn more at

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