BEST began in 2012 with the 5-year goal of helping companies create 2570 jobs. Since then, BEST has helped over 450 companies grow, which has helped to create over 2,000 jobs.
2015 has been a year of significant change for the organization, beginning with the departure of the Executive Director, Carolyn Stark, in January. As the organization began searching for a new ED, and the organization nears the end of its 5-year funding cycle, discussions arose about the best direction to take the organization.
Being a product of the Great Recession, when unemployment was almost to 11%, the goals of the organization focused on helping companies climb out of the red by utilizing available resources and collaboration with other businesses within the community. Now unemployment hovers around 4% and the needs of the current regional economy has changed significantly, so BEST must also change.
In late October, a task force was created consisting of BEST investors and Chamber Board members. This group began meeting in December to figure out the best course of action for BEST going forward. In the interim, BEST will continue to function as it has been and will continue its business retention, attraction, and industry group work.
Currently, BEST is on track to hit its five year goal in the first quarter next year, much earlier than expected.