Washington State University a finalist for two economic development awards

The Business Climate blog reports today on the finalists for the University Economic Development Association’s “Awards of Excellence.” As Business Climate’s Bill McMeekin writes,

The presence of a higher education institution, or better yet more than one of them, has long been viewed as a key component of a community’s business climate. And with the desire of communities to attract talent, develop workforces and promote entrepreneurial growth, the linking of universities and economic development is more true than ever.

Colleges and universities, private-sector companies and economic development organizations are partnering in more frequently and in unique ways to create economic opportunity and leverage the synergies that town and gown collaboration can bring.

UEDA named WSU as a finalist for two awards: Leadership and Collaboration for “Washington Rural Pathways to Prosperity Conference” and Talent Development for its “Teen Mentoring Program.”

Here’s how UEDA describes the awards program:

The UEDA Awards of Excellence Committee selected 18 finalists from the nominations to present at the organization’s 2015 Annual Summit in Anchorage, Alaska in September. “Our program is unique in that it is entirely peer driven,” said Gene Merrell, associate vice president for economic development at the University of Idaho and this year’s UEDA Awards of Excellence Chair. “These finalists will be judged and recognized by the attendees of the Annual Summit. Being recognized by such a diverse spectrum of economic development professionals provides further validation of the efforts of these initiatives,” Merrell added.

The UEDA Awards of Excellence are designed to accelerate economic development by recognizing cutting edge initiatives and promoting their adoption by other institutions and communities. Award categories include: Community-Connected Campus; Innovation & Entrepreneurship; Leadership & Collaboration; Research & Analysis; and Talent Development. Criterion for judging includes initiative replicability, scalability, sustainability, impact, and originality.