Economic Gateway is an innovative Web system for retaining and attracting business and industry to its area

Golden Shovel AgencyDIGHTON, Kan. (CitizenWire) — The Northwest Kansas Regional Energy Collaborative (NWKREC) is the first organization to choose Economic Gateway, an innovative Web site system featuring a site selector map, as its new online tool for retaining and attracting business and industry to its area. The first of its kind in the industry, Economic Gateway is a joint venture between Minnesota-based Web development firm Golden Shovel Agency and Applied Data Consultants, Inc. (ADC), an Eau Claire, Wis. geographic information systems (GIS) company.

The NWKREC is a regional economic development group with a focus on promoting wind and other renewable energy as a means of increasing economic development in its region.

According to Ron Kresha, president of Golden Shovel, the two companies came together to offer a comprehensive economic development solution at an affordable price.

“The Northwest Kansas project really brings together the best of Golden Shovel Agency and Applied Data,” said Kresha. “This unique solution of a superior regional Web presence coupled with state of the art GIS and site selection technology will propel the 22 counties of Northwest Kansas into the forefront of innovative economic development.”

Unlike other systems that focus solely on either Web design or site locator tools, Economic Gateway combines both into one system at a cost that is affordable for organizations of all sizes. The end result is a fully functional, custom designed economic development Web site complete with a site selector map and a suite of economic development Web site modules.

In addition, because it employs a Software as a Service (SaaS) subscription model, the Web system will never become antiquated because upgrades will continually occur as they are developed. As such, there will be no need to update the Web site or site selector tool in the future – it will always be state-of-the-art, saving organizations both time and money.

Economic Gateway is ideally suited for rural groups due to the cost savings, but is scalable for more urban areas as well. It unites the region with its member organizations and allows them to share resources while maintaining individuality.

Jim Ward, President/CEO of ADC, said as a small business owner with a vested interest in economic development, he is pleased to offer a solution that will help economic development organizations to compete in a global economy.

“The community development and wind energy solution for the Northwest Kansas region is a step into the future for economic development regions throughout the nation,” said Ward. “Not only will the region as a whole benefit from the increased exposure and GIS technology, but none of the counties will be left behind. This type of cooperation simply is going to bring the region together and make Northwest Kansas more competitive.”

While NW Kansas is the first group to sign on, others are in process. The NWKREC will also have a wind farm GIS map to aid people in the wind farm industry in gathering information about available sites and area resources.

The new NWKREC Web portal will be featured at the official launch of Economic Gateway at the Mid-America Economic Development Council (MAEDC) Competitiveness Conference and Site Selector Forum, which will be held Dec. 5-7, 2010 in Chicago.

For more information on Economic Gateway, visit: .

About Golden Shovel Agency:

Golden Shovel Agency brings over 10 years of experiencing combining Web technology and design expertise to present communities in their best light. Golden Shovel is located in Little Falls, Minn. Information: .

About ADC:

ADC is a GIS and Web development firm headquartered in Eau Claire, Wis., with branch offices in Nebraska, Colorado and California. It focuses on creating geospatial solutions for clients throughout the nation. Information: .

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