Site certification has gained importance over the last several years as states, utilities and railroads create certification programs. And given the competition for economic development, as more communities do it more want to do it.
But what if you can’t afford to “certify” your site?
Simple, you can do your own due diligence as if you were the project. Why? Because site certification was really born out of economic developers not being prepared and knowing their available sites as integrally as they should.
Below is a simple template we use in the early stages of competing due diligence for our private sector clients. And, if you have this information on hand, I’m confident that you’ll save yourself a lot of time the next time your asked to respond to a site selectors RFP.
Basic Industrial & Commercial Site Assessment Template
The gold rush is on. Site certification is the new “shovel ready” and more and more economic development organizations and utilities are scrambling to “certify” their site(s).
But is site certification worth it? Maybe.
The value of site certification depends on two critical factors.
First, what is being certified? Because there is no national standard for site certification, site certification has no quality control. Therefore some certifications are mere labels stamped on a site, while others represent a significant effort that was completed to verify that development of the site as intended can be achieved under defined conditions. As you can imagine, the latter is a higher standard than the former.
Second, what will you do once you have the certification? In other words, what is your marketing plan for getting out the word that you have something that very few others do? If you spend tens of thousands of dollars on truly studying and certifying a site, you need to consider in advance establishing a commensurate budget for marketing and promoting what you have.
Want an example of a great site certification program? Look at the State of Iowa