2018 great for business — 2019 can be better

Last year at this time Shale Crescent USA had one lead and one foreign prospect looking to expand somewhere in the USA. We had discussed expansion with some local companies but we didn’t have much hard data to give them. My written goal for Shale Crescent USA for 2018 was to have three major leads and two local companies expanding or two companies moving to the Ohio Valley. I thought I was aiming high. We focused on this goal as a Team.

Today, Shale Crescent USA has a total of 36 leads, expansions and prospects. Twelve of these are prospects, we are directly working with to come here or expand. We have weekly contact with most of them. Two local companies are expanding others are in process. We blew through our goal.

In March, the IHSMarkit study the Shale Crescent USA organization commissioned was released to the world at the World Petrochemical Conference in Houston, Texas. We had a media call prior to the Conference. The formal release of the study results, telling the world Shale Crescent USA is the most profitable place on earth to build a petrochemical plant, happened on the main stage at WPC in front of 1,400 executives from around the world. For the first time in many years our Region was featured on the main stage at WPC. This was a huge accomplishment. We spent the entire week taking to executive level decision makers.

This year we will be back at WPC. We are known and respected. We are working on Study 2.0 that will be presented at a workshop just before the start of the conference. We will again be a major sponsor and will be having a special lunch event for select prospects and attendees.

Last year, shortly after WPC our marketing exploded. Yahoo Finance picked up one of our articles, added to it and called our Region “A 2nd Petrochemical Hub.” Now the U.S. Department of Energy is saying the same thing in part based on our 2018 Study. “Forbes Magazine” did an article on us. Wally Kandel, Shale Crescent USA Executive Committee member and senior vice president of Solvay, was interviewed by Bloomberg TV’s “Commodities Edge.” The interview went global. Wally was also interviewed by “Chemical Week Magazine,” read by executives around the world in the petrochemical industry. We have had print, radio and TV interviews. We will be working to earn similar media this year.

In 2018, we did presentations at numerous meetings and conferences. We are planning the same for 2019 with a few added conference venues. We have several already scheduled in January. We are planning a major event in the Wheeling area. We are averaging two to three radio interviews a week so far this year.

We are working closely with the companies, foreign and US based, that told us they were coming to “The Crescent.” We are helping the company that visited in December whose vice president said, “The whole trip was awesome! There wasn’t a bad meeting. We need to make the most out of it now.” The process is moving forward. They could be in operation by early 2020.

One of the keys to our success is our marketing. Companies need to know about the advantages the Shale Crescent USA Region offers. We need to create an awareness before companies can decide to come here. We have done over 100 TV and radio interviews. Our metrics tell us that we have had over 250 million impressions from our print media. 20 percent of our website views are from non-U.S. visitors. Visitors aren’t just looking at our website they are spending time on it. We plan to do more direct internet marketing in 2019.

Shale Crescent USA is already working on Study 2.0 for this year’s WPC. We are planning to attend some new conferences. Our marketing has brought us prospects. We are now a sales organization. I’m spending more time working with prospects and leads to help them to expand in the Shale Crescent USA Region than I am with marketing. Both processes are essential. One of my personal goals is to have at least 3 companies announce plans to expand or locate in the Crescent in 2019 and one company to start construction.

Last year was a good year for us to build on. I believe with everyone working together 2019 will be an exciting year as our message continues to reach the world, more companies come to visit and then make decisions to expand here. It is important for all of us to continue to believe in our success and prepare. Our workforce needs to be ready for the additional jobs to come. This is like running a marathon. Race day is too late to start training. Training and preparation must happen over time even when we don’t feel like it.

The vision of Shale Crescent USA is to enhance the quality of life and standard of living for the people of the Shale Crescent USA Region by bringing high wage permanent manufacturing jobs to the Region. The process has started. Good things are happening. Companies are hiring. Wages are increasing. Success and the achievement of a big Dream doesn’t happen in a day. It happens by what we all do day by day.

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Greg Kozera is the director of marketing and sales for Shale Crescent USA www.shalecrescentusa.com. He has more than 40 years of experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert with a master’s in environmental engineering and the author of four books and numerous published articles.

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