7 Named To New Saratoga County Development Board

May 22, 2014

By: Dennis Yusko
Via: timesunion.com

Columbian Spring: Saratoga Springs, NY By Steve Strummer via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to create a local development corporation that will lead economic development efforts in the county.
The Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership unites economic development efforts under one umbrella, county leaders said. Its formation was recommended by TIP Strategies of Austin, Texas, which elected officials hired to create the county’s first Economic Development Strategic Plan. County supervisors adopted the plan in March.
The partnership will be managed by 15 board of directors serving two-year terms. County supervisors will appoint the members. Seven were approved on Tuesday to oversee organizational tasks, including adopting bylaws, hiring staff and recommending additional directors from the community. The seven are: County Economic Development Committee Chairman Jack Lawler (R-Waterford), county Economic Development Committee Vice-Chairwoman Anita Daly (R-Clifton Park), county Industrial Development Agency board member Art Johnson (R-Wilton), Brendan Chudy, senior manager and deputy director for GlobalFoundries, Omar Usmani, executive partner of the Aeon Nexus Corporation, Penny Hill, associate dean for Hudson Valley Community College’s Training and Education Center for Semiconductor Manufacturing and Alternative and Renewable Technologies (TEC-SMART) facility in Malta, and Ray Callanan, chairman of the Saratoga County IDA.
The partnership will implement the county’s economic strategic plan in the coming months with a focus on business and industry, tourism and agriculture. It recommends expanding into advanced manufacturing, research and development, clean technology, financial business process outsourcing and specialized distribution. “Catalyst projects” include increasing workforce training in manufacturing technology, improving strategic infrastructure, developing stronger business retention and expansion programs and better marketing and outreach initiatives to target industries, building a strong small business and entrepreneurial support network and more effectively leveraging recreational activities to enhance economic development efforts.
“Today’s vote to create the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership is a significant moment in our effort to launch a forward-thinking economic development entity that will address the needs of local industry groups and economic development stakeholders,” county Board of Supervisors Chairman Paul Sausville (R-Malta) said. “The partnership will reinvigorate economic development in Saratoga County and work cooperatively with the entire community.”

OneRedmond Second Annual Investors’ Meeting Set For June 18

May 2, 2014

Via: Redmond-Reporter.com
Registration for OneRedmond’s second annual investors’ meeting will open on Thursday. The meeting will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 18 at the Redmond Marriott Town Center (7401 164th Ave. N.E.).
Special guest will be Jon Roberts, principal of Austin-based TIP Strategies. Roberts, an internationally recognized economic development professional, will address the changing economic development environment both nationally and on the Eastside. TIP is intimately familiar with the regional economy having prepared strategies for OneRedmond and the Prosperity Partnership covering the Seattle Metro area.

KABA Speaker: Companies Must Keep Up With Shifting Norms, Advancing Technology

April 4, 2014

By: James Lawson
Via: Kenosha News

Jon Roberts, of TIP Strategies, delivers the Keynote speech during KABA’s annual meeting at UW-Parkside on Wednesday. (Kenosha News Photo by Sean Krajacic)

Companies that do not keep up with rapidly advancing technology can find themselves on the path to failure.
As a result, the communities in which they reside could be left with fewer jobs and an outward flow of skilled labor talent, according to Jon Roberts, keynote speaker at Wednesday’s Kenosha Area Business Alliance annual meeting.
Although Kenosha County’s population has grown since 2005, the income gap is widening because skilled talent is leaving the area for communities in other regions of the country, Roberts said told the more than 300 in attendance.
Roberts, a principal with TIP Strategies, an Austin, Texas-based consultant, said many of the people who have left the area over the past several years have not only moved to warmer climates, but to areas where advanced technology jobs are more readily available, such as southern California, Arizona, Texas and Florida.
Those who left the Badger State earned more than those who came into the state, he said. According to Internal Revenue Service statistics, the outbound income per capita was $21,100, and the inbound income per capita was $19,300 in 2010.
Economic plan
Roberts’ firm was hired in 2008 to assist in developing an economic development strategy plan for Kenosha County.
The plan, “Kenosha First: An Economic Development Strategy for Kenosha County: The Next Phase” incorporated input and ideas from various parties throughout the county. It was a response to KABA’s desire to learn how public and private entities could help stimulate private investment and employment.
A TIP study revealed that Kenosha County has a high concentration of manufacturing, retail trade, corporate management, administrative and waste services, educational services, health care and social assistance industries. It also has a high concentration of accommodation, food services and pubic administration jobs.
Meanwhile, Kenosha County has a low concentration of professional and technical services, finance and insurance, transportation and information services jobs.
Rapid changes
He said that nationally, manufacturing jobs have dropped from 26 percent to 9 percent over the past 30 years.
Technology is changing so fasted, Roberts said communities that want to diversify and maintain a steady, balanced economy have to attract other types of companies to retain and attract talented employees.
Disruptive technology, rapid industry and product changes that render some products and processes obsolete can have a negative impact.
“It can affect the supply chain, social norms and the labor pool,” he said. “In the supply chain, entire business units cease to exist, and secondary providers disappear.”
He related how many watch manufacturers went out of business when the digital watch come onto the market.
All of the old technology behind the traditional watch would not suffice anymore.
Meanwhile, one company, Omega, created a niche.
Changing norms
Social norms can change, he said. “There’s culture shock around traditional behavior and trusted institutions.”
He gave an example of how when he was a young man, he treasured his ’65 Mustang. “Today, kids don’t care about cars like that.”
The labor pool changes because there can be a “massive disruption in the number of workers and skill sets they require,” he said.
He asked, “What does disruption mean for economic development? If productivity doesn’t bring job gains, what are we incentivizing?”
What’s next for Kenosha?
Roberts suggested a rethinking of economic development.
That means creating a brand for Kenosha by linking place to talent and innovation, creating a culture of change, embracing technology, rethinking entrepreneurship and improving urban linkages.

County Economic Plan Calls For New LDC With Potential Annual Budget Of $500,000

March 19, 2014

By: Paul Post
Via: The Saratogian

Front Street, Ballston Spa by P_R_F via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)Front Street, Ballston Spa by P_R_F via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

On Tuesday, March 18, 2014, the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the adoption of the Economic Development Strategic Plan prepared by TIP Strategies, Inc.
BALLSTON SPA, NY >> Saratoga County’s new economic development plan calls for creation of a Local Development Corp. whose operations would have a budget costing up to $500,000 per year.
The organization, governed by a board of directors and led by an executive director, would be charged with carrying out all aspects of a countywide strategy for jobs creation and growth.
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday adopted such plans formally, nearly a year after severing ties with Saratoga Economic Development Corp. that previously handled these activities since 1978.
“This is Saratoga County’s plan,” said Supervisor Jack Lawler, of Waterford, county Economic Development Committee chairman. “This will be the true north for Saratoga County’s economic development for years to come.”
In addition to an executive director, the LDC would be staffed by a program coordinator and administrative assistant. However, there are no immediate plans for creating an LDC office, which would be subject to supervisors’ approval at a later date.
Lawler said recommendations for the LDC’s structure will likely be considered at the board’s next meeting in April.
“We have a couple options about what that might look like,” he said.
Another possibility, similar to an LDC, would be creating a public authority to oversee economic development.
The $500,000 the new initiative might cost annually is considerably more than the $300,000 to $400,000 the county had been giving SEDC.
“Economic development is too important to the taxpayers of Sartoga County without trying to put the necessary investment of resources into that effort,” Lawler said.
The new strategy would put considerable emphasis on agriculture and tourism in addition to business and industry. SEDC is primarily focused on the manufacturing sector.
County officials said last year that SEDC had not spurred enough job creation apart from GlobalFoundries at Luther Forest Technology Campus, an accusation that SEDC President Dennis Brobston strongly denied.
Brobston said Tuesday that SEDC is busy helping existing firms such as Mechanicville-based Polyset Company, which makes specialized silicones, expand exports overseas to places such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai. “We’ve been over with them,” Brobston said.
The new county plan, prepared by Austin, Texas-based TIP Strategies Inc., involved input from all supervisors and stakeholders representing key segments of the local economy.
“We took very seriously what you told us,” said Jon Roberts, TIP managing director and principal. “We also had to take seriously what the data told us.”
Last June, the county issued a request for proposals seeking a firm to create a new economic development strategy. TIP was hired in September and spent five months working on the plan, which included three visits to Saratoga County, getting input from local business and elected leaders, and touring key sites such as Luther Forest.
One visit was highlighted by three days of focus group meetings with people representing different sectors of the local economy such as agriculture, tourism, education and manufacturing.
While preparing its plan, TIP sought and considered public input obtained from an online questionnaire. The firm also met with representatives of National Grid, chambers of commerce, the county Industrial Development Agency, TEC-SMART, Empire State Development and the Center for Economic Growth.
Brobston said he met with TIP officials twice, to share information, although he was not invited to Tuesday’s formal adoption of the plan.
The LDC, once established, would be responsible for working with local government, business and economic development groups as members of a Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership. Board members would come from private business, higher education and economic development agencies.
An executive committee, of up to seven people, would include county supervisors and non-elected officials chosen from the board of directors that could have as many as 21 members. Additional advisory boards would be formed to help the board of directors work on specific projects.
The county’s new Economic Development Strategic Plan may be viewed at: www.saratogacountyny.gov.

Saratoga County Officials To Vote On Economic Development Plan

March 18, 2014

Via: The Saratogian
The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider a resolution adopting the first-ever countywide Economic Development Strategic Plan at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
The plan was prepared by TIP Strategies, Inc. of Austin, Texas, in consultation with every elected supervisor, dozens of stakeholders representing key segments of the local economy, and members of the general public who submitted their suggestions on a project website, a news release said.
“Tomorrow’s vote marks the culmination of five months of collaborative work focused on reinvigorating economic development efforts in Saratoga County,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Paul Sausville. “The forward-thinking recommendations contained in the Strategic Plan will guide those efforts for the next five to ten years.”
Waterford Supervisor John E. Lawler, chairman of the board’s economic development committee, called the adoption of a plan “the first milestone” in positioning the county to “compete and grow for the next decade and beyond.”
Last year, the economic development committee began developing the plan, sending out request for proposals in June and reviewing the bids in July. TIP was hired Sept. 17, 2013.
The firm made three visits to Saratoga County over the course of five months, hosted meetings and conference calls, and received input from every major stakeholder in the local economy. The first visit in October featured meetings with key stakeholders identified by the county and tours of major sites including the Luther Forest Technology Park.
The second visit in November featured three days of focus group meetings with individuals representing the various sectors of the local economy, including agriculture, tourism, education/work force development and the county’s major employers. Those meetings also included the two chambers of commerce in the county, the county Industrial Development Agency, the Center for Economic Growth and the county Economic Development Corp.
TIP issued a preliminary report at the November board of supervisors meeting and launched a website featuring a community questionnaire designed to encourage additional public input.
TIP’s most recent visit to the county, in January, included individual meetings with every elected supervisor, an “opportunity workshop” presenting a progress report and soliciting additional feedback from dozens of prior focus group attendees, and meetings with additional regional stakeholders including TEC-SMART, National Grid, and Empire State Development.
Before the vote, TIP Managing Director and Principal Jon Roberts will make a public presentation on the Strategic Plan and solicit additional feedback from the board. Draft versions of the plan were previously approved, with suggested improvements, by the Law & Finance Committee on March 12 and the Economic Development Committee on March 5. Like those committees, the full Board will also have the opportunity to suggest improvements to the draft plan right up until the time it is adopted.

Chester County To Chart Its Economic Future

February 18, 2014

By: Bob Carville
Via: Daily Local News

Visionary Partners who are funding VISTA 2025 include the Chester County Board of Commissioners, The Vanguard Group, The Hankin Group, DNB First, West Chester University, Chester County Intermediate Unit, Chester County Industrial Development Authority, Delaware County Community College, and the Chester County Economic Development Council. In addition, an Executive Alliance made up of key stakeholders from the public and private sectors will serve as a steering committee and provide guidance as the process moves forward.

UWCHLAN, PENNSYLVANIA — More than 40 Chester County businesses, health care and educational institutions and non-profit organizations Thursday joined Chester County Commissioners to launch what organizers say is a unique public-private partnership.
The goal is to help guide economic development efforts in Chester County for the next 10 years.
The guiding philosophy of initiative, VISTA 2025, will be “to maintain a balance between progress and preservation that ensures continued economic prosperity while protecting the valuable natural resources that define Chester County,” a news release from the Chester County Economic Development Council says.
Officials said the effort dovetails with the county’s comprehensive land-use plan, Landscapes II, which calls on civic leaders to develop an over-arching economic vision for the county to prosper while preserving its endearing characteristics. It addresses growth management and preservation strategies in collaboration with public, private and corporate citizens.
“VISTA 2025 seeks to maintain and build upon Chester County’s position as one of the leading counties in the country in areas such as best place to raise a family, health of its citizens, household income, low unemployment, and a range of other demographic and economic data,” the news release explains. “The last few decades have seen the emergence of a strong, vibrant and diversified Chester County economy, an economy that VISTA 2025 seeks to maintain in the future. That economy has brought family sustaining jobs to the County and provided the resources needed to support a high quality of life in terms of open space preservation and other amenities.”
Commissioners’ Chairman Ryan Costello attended Thursday’s news briefing for the partnership he will co-chair. The name VISTA 2025 was selected because it serves as an acronym for the elements of the strategy process: Vision, Ideas, Strategy, Teams, Actions. The word vista also describes a view of the distance, in this case looking and planning for the future of Chester County’s economy, organizers say.
“VISTA 2025 will enable us to put in place a coordinated strategy to maintain a strong county economy now and in the future, while ensuring we preserve the natural resources that make Chester County such an attractive location to live, work, and operate a business,” Costello wrote in a news release.
“Chester County is ranked as the No. 1 county in Pennsylvania in a number of areas, including the health of our residents, percentage of residents with bachelor’s and graduate degrees, median household income, and wages. Our goal is to take advantage of the opportunity to build on our competitive strengths, identify emerging economic trends, and renew our focus on work force development efforts in key sectors to enhance continued economic growth in Chester County.”
The VISTA 2025 initiative is being coordinated by the Chester County Economic Development Council, a private, nonprofit, economic development organization promoting smart growth in Chester County and the surrounding region. To help guide the process the council has hired TIP Strategies, a nationally recognized consulting firm that focuses on strategic economic development planning. The project is being funded through a combination of public and private contributions.
Tom Fillippo, president of Devault Foods, is also a VISTA 2025 co-chair.
“This is an exciting opportunity where the private and public sector are working together toward a common goal of ensuring Chester County has a strong economy represented by diverse sectors that will enable the region to withstand economic downturns and events that may impact specific sectors,” Fillippo wrote. “This is not just about maintaining Chester County’s high rankings in various economic areas, it is also about positioning the county for the future.”
Organizers say VISTA 2025 will:

  • examine trends that are likely to impact Chester County’s economy in the next decade;
  • identify opportunities and strategies to leverage the county’s many significant assets;
  • identify locations for future economic development;
  • determine incentives and tools that would assist with attracting investment;
  • examine existing policies or regulations that may create barriers to desired growth; and
  • look at how Chester County can best manage its existing talent and work force skills.

Community input is an integral part of the process and will be generated through out the preparation of the economic development strategy, organizers said. Key business, agricultural and nonprofit sectors will be solicited for input and views through a series of targeted focus groups.
As information, opinions, and data are collected and analyzed, the public will have opportunities to comment on draft recommendations on the VISTA 2025 economic development strategy.
In addition, a VISTA 2025 Website will be established to share updates with and solicit input from the public and stakeholders. Primary work on the VISTA 2025 economic development strategy will take place over the spring and early summer 2014 with an anticipated completion in mid to late summer.