EDC becoming invaluable to business community

Allison Baker

Allison Baker hit the ground running when she was hired as the chief business development officer for the Economic Development Council of Parker County, and is ensuring that the organization is an invaluable resource to the county’s business community.

“When this council was created, the goal of where it is today was exactly what I envisioned this to be,” Parker County Judge Pat Deen said. “I see it as continuing to grow and new members are coming in continuously showing that it’s a proven tool to bring high-wage job growth and getting cities in the county to work together. That’s really the key of this, bringing the cities together and aligning a county vision. That was the goal of this and we’re going down a path and achieving that.”

Baker came into the EDC in an interim for the position in November 2018, but was then officially given the full-time position of chief business development officer in January. Baker comes from a background of corporate training and marketing and has been involved in the local community.

“I have served on the planning and zoning commission for the city of Weatherford and I was the treasurer for a few different organizations in town, so I have served on a number of committees and boards and have been relatively active in the community,” Baker said. “I was lucky enough to be chosen to sit as interim for those couple of month and as soon as I got in this office, I realized the possibilities and the excitement around Parker County, and I put my hat in for this job because I simply couldn’t pass it up.”

Baker said the bottom line is that they want to see Parker County grow, but stay true to its roots and its traditions.

“People look at growth in Parker County in different ways — those who don’t want growth and those who do. Regardless of your perspective, everyone wants that growth managed and the EDC intends to do our very best to manage the growth that’s happening here,” Baker said. “We want to see Parker County grow in a way that’s beneficial to companies that are already here, in a way that will help our neighborhoods develop in a positive way, that will help our communities develop in a positive way and that will support the infrastructure, the growth that we’re experiencing, all in a positive way.”

The EDC of Parker County was established in 2017 and Baker said they are proud that they have rebranded and are expanding.

“We’re working very closely with Weatherford College and their corporate college, we work closely with the Texas Workforce Commission and Workforce Solutions of North Texas. We are making sure that we are an invaluable resource to our business community in providing the data they need, the resources they need, the information and anything else we can do to help support the growth of existing businesses in Parker County as well as bringing in new industries,” Baker said. “We are very active on social media now on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, and we would love for people to get more involved with us.”

Baker said the EDC is working on a number of different projects at this time.’

“We have potential companies that have come to Parker County looking for opportunity. We have one Australian company who has committed. It will start on a very small scale, but he has committed to come to Parker County and it’s agricultural equipment. They’re going to start with assembly here and hopefully expand into production in the next few years,” Baker said. “With the sister city relationship [with Toowoomba, Australia] — the sister city trip everyone took back in February — this is one of those companies that we met with when we were in Australia. We actually have another Australian company in town right now that would be a pretty massive opportunity for us — we’re talking in the range of 100-plus jobs with that one. We have another opportunity just outside of Springtown that should bring us around 125 jobs and they’re all good-paying with benefits jobs. What we’re looking for here is high-wage job growth.”

Baker could not reveal the names of the companies at this time until everything is official and finalized.

“I think in looking at where the Economic Development Council has originated and where it is today has evolved. It has now gained an immense amount of trust in the community and is now a proven tool to bringing high-wage job growth to the communities,” Deen said. “Allison has brought a new level of energy and enthusiasm to the council and I have worked closely with the board, and with her, on lead generations.”

For more information about the EDC of Parker County, follow them on social media or visit parkercountyedc.com