She Has Led the Nation's Largest Promise Zone Since 2015
Erica Henderson, who has led the St. Louis Promise Zone since late 2015 and was recently promoted to its executive director, was presented with a business development award at the annual North County Inc. (NCI) leadership breakfast on Friday, May 18. The honor is presented to those whose efforts have positively affected the economic development and business climate in North St. Louis County.
According to the NCI staff, Henderson was chosen because of her extensive community and economic development work with at-risk communities due to disinvestment and lack of neighborhood stability. Henderson’s tireless work with the Promise Zone was considered. Her partnership with NCI was also noted as local businesses in North County continue to grow and become more stable.
The St. Louis Promise Zone was designated in 2015 and is the largest of the 22 zones across the country. It includes approximately 200,000 people, 28 municipalities, 25 zip codes, 11 city wards and seven school districts in North St. Louis City and County. Henderson and her team represent 150 regional agencies that are reforming, revitalizing and breathing new life and energy into the St. Louis region.
The Promise Zone works with federal, state and local policy makers and community leaders to execute its six goals — increase economic activity, increase workforce readiness, improve educational outcomes, improve health & wellness, reduce serious & violent crime and develop sustainable communities.
Since its inception, the Promise Zone has been successful with attracting approximately $70 million in federal investments through its partners in addition to the $1.75 billion investment of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in North St. Louis City. It has also seen more than $4.48 billion in anticipated infrastructure development and $475 million in completed real estate developments.