Bastrop EDC Earns International Award for Human Capital Program

26 Sep 2017


International Economic Development Council recognizes its community-leveraging workforce initiative, Bastrop Youth Career Day, among world’s best economic development programs

Bastrop, Texas, September 26, 2017 – The Bastrop Economic Development Corporation has received a 2017 Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award (population less than 25,000) from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The honor for Bastrop Youth Career Day, a program in the category of Human Capital, was announced at an awards ceremony Tuesday, Sept. 19, during the IEDC Annual Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. These awards recognize the world's best economic development programs and partnerships, and spotlight organizations and individuals creating positive change in urban, suburban and rural communities.

The IEDC Human Capital Award category distinguishes strategic economic development endeavors that strengthen the skills of the community’s workforce; increase and develop its pool of knowledge workers, including youth in the pipeline; enhance the skill sets of low-skilled and other disadvantaged workers; and/or better integrate and align economic and workforce development activities through systematic efforts to build a workforce system.

“We are truly honored to receive this international award recognizing the creativity and hard work of our staff and community partners,” said Bastrop EDC Executive Director Shawn Kirkpatrick. “It underscores the importance of connecting our future graduates with employers, and our schools to industry and workforce needs in a collaborative way.”

The Bastrop EDC has taken a lead role in bridging the gaps between education and sustainable employment through workforce development. Bastrop Youth Career Day is one of its key community initiatives to advance high school graduates’ workforce readiness while enhancing economic development. The annual event for juniors and seniors couples formal presentations by business professionals with a career fair featuring private- and public-sector employers, post-secondary educational institutions, and recruiters from the armed forces.

This model program gives students a unique glimpse into their potential futures post-graduation and an otherwise-unavailable opportunity for one-to-one interactions with businesses and organizations. It helps ensure that they graduate prepared for college or with high-demand skills that equip them to land rewarding, well-paid jobs. Bastrop Youth Career Day lets students see real-world applications of what they learn in school and the diverse career opportunities available in Bastrop post-graduation. The program also enables employers to identify and recruit work- and trade-ready employees within the community.

Bastrop Youth Career Day is hosted and sponsored by the Bastrop EDC, Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area, the City of Bastrop, the Bastrop Chamber of Commerce and Bastrop ISD. The EDC serves as the central coordinating body and as the conduit to employers and area leaders who want to help students achieve their goals after they graduate. Workforce Solutions provides grant funding as well as onsite job coaching to students.

“The awards process is a thorough, non-biased and multilayered process, and these are extraordinary accomplishments,” said Michael Langley, FM, 2017 IEDC board chair. “On behalf of the IEDC board of directors and the Excellence in Economic Development Awards Advisory Committee, congratulations to the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation. Not only did they work to provide a necessary service to their community, their participation in the awards program sheds light on this stellar project, which other communities can now use as a benchmark.”

About the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation

Established in 1995, the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) enhances the quality of life in Bastrop, Texas by advancing the investment, development, growth and relocation of companies within the area. In addition to providing appropriate infrastructure, it promotes and supports economic development in the community that offers the people of Bastrop sustainable, meaningful and rewarding employment opportunities, and greater access to desirable goods and services. Visit

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a nonprofit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDCs members create high-quality jobs and develop vibrant communities.