When Outsourcing Works

Source: Scott Beyer, Governing, July 2016

Oklahoma City successfully farmed out economic development. ….. Since the beginning, economic development in Oklahoma City has been handled not by a public entity as in many cities, but by the Chamber of Commerce. … This makes sense, given the intersection between economic development corporations (EDCs) and chambers. A typical EDC aims to dictate a city’s growth agenda by determining the industries and locations worth investing in. Chambers collect donations from businesses and then provide them with information, networking opportunities and lobbying. There is enough overlap that merging both organizations would seemingly reduce duplication. That’s been the case in Oklahoma City, says Mayor Mick Cornett. By contracting with the chamber, the city pays solely for services, rather than having to fund its own EDC office and workforce. …..