Economic Development Week: Focus on Leadership Development

Economic Development Week: Focus on Leadership Development Main Photo

10 May 2024


Economic development can take many forms, and for Economic Development Week, May 6-10, we’ll be sharing some of the ways in which EDSAC applies economic development practices to the needs of businesses and the community.

Program: Leadership Skagit

Need: A group of community leaders over 20 years ago identified the need to develop their leadership skills further and grow the next generation of civic and business leaders. Their goal: To create informed, engaged community members at all levels who would actively participate in leadership roles throughout Skagit County. Out of that identified need, EDASC and its partners, Skagit Valley College and Washington State University, created Leadership Skagit.

Impact: Community Leadership Programs can be found in every corner of the country, and they are run by a wide variety of organizations. Here, Leadership Skagit is a program of EDASC, the region’s economic development organization. Why does an economic development agency run a leadership development program?  

It’s simple. Leadership is vital to our community’s success and progress. Well-developed leaders bring a community together to address its deepest challenges. They solve problems, identify and nurture the next generation of leaders, and create a tighter weave in the fabric of our community’s support system.

EDASC’s role: Leadership Skagit is a program of EDASC in partnership with Skagit Valley College, which provides the curriculum for this experiential learning program. EDASC provides the funding above and beyond what is covered by the program’s tuition, devotes staffing and resources to program operations, and oversees recruitment, fundraising and alumni engagement.  

Economic development perspective: A thriving economy and healthy community depends on leadership development. In fact, an entire day of the program is devoted to “Economic Vitality,” introducing participants to some of the county’s businesses both large and small as well as sharing the role EDASC plays in supporting our local economy.

That is why our region’s businesses, like HF Sinclair, support Leadership Skagit. We are grateful to our sponsors and want to thank HF Sinclair for its tremendous support over the years, and for taking the lead as the Transformational Sponsor of the Leadership Skagit.