Lesson 2: Introduction to Industrial Development

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Choosing a New Location for your Company

There are many considerations when choosing a new location. Access to suppliers and consumer markets, utility infrastructure, real estate, labor force, incentives, and transportation alternatives are just a few of the major site selection criteria that companies must evaluate.



Railroads have long been leaders in creating and growing American communities. Most of the United States developed only after rail lines were constructed, providing connection between regional nodes of commerce and outposts in today’s rural America. Since the creation of the North American rail network, railroads have been responsible for helping locate many of the country’s manufacturing companies to the communities in which they now call home.



For rail-served companies, transportation providers like OmniTRAX and Class I Railroads employ knowledgeable professionals who can assist you in making its site selection decision. Industrial Development representatives work at the intersection of customer and community to ensure rail customers are siting their facilities in welcoming communities that seek to embrace rail-related growth. These representatives work closely with the communities to understand available sites and connect prospects to community leaders who often assist a project to completion.

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Working With Railroads

Railroads work to create an inventory of sites along their rail lines that are rail ready or certified, working with third parties to complete the initial due diligence and help with speed to market and cost savings for customers. A few have gone as far as owning industrial parks specifically designed to welcome rail shippers looking for industrial zoned property.



Working With Industrial Development Representatives

Industrial development representatives are responsible for educating the communities in which they operate on the value and benefits of rail and rail-related growth. Rail-served companies employ manufacturing jobs that are higher paying and stickier to the communities.

As a customer advocate both inside the railroad and in the community where a company is looking to locate, industrial development representatives shepherd prospects through the railroad site design process. They lead working teams with operations, sales, engineering, environmental, real estate, and many other departments to identify the optimal layout and service plan for the customer.



Coming Up...

This series of articles discusses how railroad industrial developers work with local, state, and private economic development organizations and officials to identify, assess and market sites for companies needing rail service. It will present factors that make a site optimal for rail service while offering case studies and engaging content of successful industrial parks and unique ways railroads use supply chain analysis to help companies make the best site selection decision.

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