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Legislature Accepts 2015 Tompkins County Economic Development Strategy

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Legislature Accepts 2015 Tompkins County Economic Development Strategy

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Legislature voted to accept and pledge to participate in strategies that will lead to fulfillment of the 2015 Tompkins County Economic Development Strategy, prepared on behalf of the County in a two-year process by Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD).  The strategy represents an update of Economic Development Strategies adopted by the Legislature in 1999 and 2006, and carries forward to guide local economic development over the next five years.

Martha Armstrong, Vice President and Director of Economic Development Planning for TCAD, provided a detailed overview, including the process by which the strategy was developed and its key points – including vision, values, goals, and strategies.  The economic development strategy, she noted, represents a partnership among local governments, community institutions, and the private sector to increase quality job opportunities for local people; strengthen the tax base; and improve quality of life.  Its high-level goals include strategic investment into community infrastructure and district development to attract private investment; developing a labor market where aspirations and qualifications of the workforce are aligned with employment opportunities; and strengthening, expanding, and diversifying key sectors to foster job creation.

View the full presentation at www.tompkinscountyny.gov/files2/EDStrategyPresentations2015.pdf.

The approval vote was 11-1, with Legislator Carol Chock voting no.  (Legislators Martha Robertson and Nate Shinagawa were excused.)  While she expressed appreciation for the work that produced the strategy, Chock suggested that the resulting strategy was too traditional, may not be fully consistent with County goals (as opposed to TCAD’s) and something “bolder” may be needed.  Others voiced praise for the County’s economic development efforts through TCAD, Legislator Mike Sigler calling Tompkins County “one of the few bright spots of the state” and credited the County’s economic development team for a lot of that.