What is SWEDA?
SWEDA was formed in the late 1990’s, after community leaders realized having a part-time development authority wouldn’t attract the industry Springfield/Washington County needed to stay vital, much less grow.
“We had a volunteer board with no special training and no experience except the school of hard knocks,” said Chuck Polin, chairman of SWEDA, “We realized that if we really wanted to make a splash, we had to have a full-time economic development director.”
That required bringing Washington County into the fold, for the original board was just for the city of Springfield. The county leaped at the chance, and SWEDA was born.
The agency has three main tasks: recruit new industry, retain existing industry, and provide workforce development. Over the past 10 years, the community’s industrial base has diversified and those efforts will continue.