Friday, April 30, 2010

2010 busy so far for county development (Marc Saluk)

From a development point of view, things have been busy in Darke County so far in 2010. Much of the activity is not visible to the public eye due to confidentiality issues. However, there is a significant amount of work occurring involving the researching of possible future initiatives, the building of relationships that will favor the county in the long-run, and a substantial amount of communication and planning with business and communities throughout the county. There are also currently ten projects of varying sizes for various county businesses, and prospective businesses, being handled by the economic development (ED) office that will, hopefully, shortly yield results. All of these activities are laying important groundwork for a sustainable period of planned growth for our county and for excellent service to our existing businesses and communities.

The number one program in development that will help the county reach all of those goals is the soon-to-be-implemented BusinessFirst! program. BusinessFirst! is a web-based technology that both serves as a database for county businesses and as a means to follow-up on their needs, and provide long-term information for the county to plan with, as well as detect emerging trends and needs. It’s very difficult to fully encompass what this comprehensive tool can do in just a paragraph but, in essence, the program will drastically help improve the county’s service to the existing industrial base and to the business community as a whole. BusinessFirst! will shortly be rolled-out in conjunction with the Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), the commissioners, and several county cities and towns. The program is run regionally out of Montgomery County and its value to the county was first brought to the attention of the CIC by Darke County Chamber of Commerce President Sharon Deschambeau, who kept the hope of employing the program locally alive while the economic development office was in a transitional phase last year. You will hear more on this program as it is implemented over the next few months.

On other fronts, the economic development office has seen substantial interaction with the business community over the course of 2010. There have already been twenty company visits so far this year, which is an ambitious pace for any ED office in the State. There has been enough feedback and requests for assistance from these meetings that I can firmly say that these visits have generated a significant amount of beneficial interaction with these businesses and created opportunities for the ED office to be of service. Most importantly, the communities throughout the county have been doing a lot of this work alongside the ED office. Obviously, this is of huge importance as we try to lay the foundations of our business retention and expansion program for years to come.

The ED office is also actively researching and investigating several important topics that have played, or will shortly play, a huge role in the development of this region of the state. Experts have come through the county to talk about renewable energy, defense contracting, and agribusiness, to just name a few. We will always seek to build our initiatives with sound input from the local communities and the wealth of information out there for those who seek it. As always, if you’ve got any of that input, we’d love to hear from you! The office number is 548-3250- call any time with feedback or questions.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured Posts

/* Track outbound links in Google Analytics */