2015 AEDC Annual Report

Our vision, the basis of our Live. Work. Play. (LWP) initiative, is to make Anchorage the #1 city in America by 2025. Through this process, we will improve our community and make Anchorage a more competitive city that attracts and retains a talented workforce, a critical need if we are to draw new business investment to Anchorage in the coming years. This vision is supported by our more than 230 Investor companies, as well as the more than 200 volunteers and 158 partner organizations collaborating through LWP to make our city the best it can be.

The LWP initiative made noticeable progress on many fronts. The LWP Narrative survey was completed, surpassing expectations with over 1,275 responses, and used as the basis for the revision of the LWP aspirational Narrative for Anchorage. Our Areas of Focus have made progress in implementing a number of initiatives, including: the Green Dot bystander intervention program, the completion of Phase I in creating a new local arts council, a new wayfinding plan for the city’s parks and trails and comprehensive proposals for changes to city planning policy. These all-volunteer committees are the power behind LWP, striving to deliver real improvements in the quality of life in Anchorage.

In January 2015, AEDC hosted our largest Economic Forecast Luncheon to date, selling out with more than 1,600 attendees. During Alaska Entrepreneurship Week, AEDC hosted the 3-Year Outlook Luncheon, which achieved its first sell out status. AEDC held several new events to strengthen and promote our community, the most notable of which was the Rally For Our Troops. In February, Army officials were in Anchorage to gain an understanding of how a reduction of 2,600 Army troops on JBER would impact the community. AEDC and Visit Anchorage led a citywide group to organize the event. The resulting tour, community rally and listening session were immensely successful.

Throughout the year, AEDC provided over 20 economic reports, assisted over 160 businesses and supported many local startups and small businesses. Our Business and Economic Development Department provided roundtables for two new industry focus areas, which have resulted in continued collaboration and innovation for these sectors. AEDC was also proud to launch a new online video series, Where to Startup, providing insight, knowledge and resources to entrepreneurs throughout the state.

In partnership with the Alaska International Airport System and the Municipality of Anchorage, AEDC worked to establish the Alaska AeroNexus® Alliance (launching in February 2016). As part of a collaborative effort, AEDC is working to attract investment from industries reliant on air transportation, including pharmaceuticals, automotive electronics and third-party logistics providers.

In October, AEDC’s leadership of the IEDC Annual Conference host committee came to fruition. With over 1,300 attendees, 40 concurrent learning sessions, eight learning labs and over 60 exhibitors, the IEDC Board has recognized this conference as a “landmark” event for their organization. The conference had an estimated $2.5 million economic impact on Anchorage and Alaska and brought over 100 (estimated) site selection industry representatives seeking new locations for investment.

Overall, 2015 was a strong year for AEDC and the Anchorage community. This is all the more important as we enter the uncertain landscape of 2016. Thank you to our 2015 Board of Directors for their time and energy last year, and to all of our Investors for supporting the mission and vision of AEDC. Together, we can weather the difficult times ahead while seeking new ways to diversify our economy as we all work together to build a bright future for our city and state.

Download the full report (PDF file) here: 2015 AEDC Annual Report