Community Development Department
Phone: (636) 583-3600
The Community Development Department, is, in a nutshell, responsible for “selling Union.” Specifically, this means the development, implementation and promotion of programs and activities that support economic growth and development in Union.
While many believe this means bringing new business and industry to Union, a key part of economic development is supporting the businesses that are already here.
Community Development can be defined as the process of helping a community strengthen itself and develop towards its full potential. This department works as facilitators, working in partnership with local people and organizations to meet identified needs.
Community development activities are led by James Schmieder, Assistant City Administrator/Community Development and Wanda Parsons, Economic Development Specialist and Business License Coordinator.
James has been with the City of Union since January, 2015. He has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a Bachelor's Degree in History from Truman State University.
Wanda has been with the City of Union since 2006 and has a diverse background in administrative support, information technology, marketing and real estate.
Following is a partial list of responsibilities of the department.
- Business Retention: Maintains close relationships with business community, organizes networking events, provides guidance to industries on expansion projects, funding, infrastructure needs, etc.
- Recruitment of New Business and Industry: Attends trade shows, works with regional and national economic development groups and industry site selectors.
- Marketing and Promotion: Design and dissemination of a variety printed and online material marketing the City of Union and available industrial tracts in the City of Union.
- Research: Research and dissemination of local economic indicators and reports, including census information, labor statistics, and more.
- Public Relations: Publishes the City’s newsletter “Talk of the Town”. Maintains the city’s online presence via several websites and facebook.
In addition to the above, the Community Development Department is also responsible for processing business licenses, managing the Farmers Market and other projects as needed or assigned.