Economic development -- the quickie version

Tom Jackson
Mar 23, 2010


Erie County Economic Development Corp. has posted the new Strategic Action Plan to its Web site. You should read the whole thing, but you can get a quick version by looking at the report's list of strategies.


(AngelouEconomics says these steps should be taken first)

1. Educate public officials and other key decision makers on the importance and value of regional collaboration.

2. Sign an economic development compact to work cooperatively to implement one of the priority recommendations identified in the report.

3. Conduct an economic impact study to demonstrate the return on investment obtained by public jurisdictions through the operations of ECEDC.

4. Hire a full-time Director of Business Retention and Expansion.


5. Form Target Industry Teams for each chosen industry to develop a focused effort on cluster development in Erie County. (Remember, the target industries are advanced manufacturing, logistics & distribution, health services and business & professional services.)

6. Bolster efforts to support the expansion and retention of existing industries. Make these efforts the primary focus of economic development activity.

7. Facilitate development of a new airport to support the economic development potential of NASA Plum Brook.

8. Develop a strong support system for entrepreneurs and small business innovators in manufacturing.

9. Support efforts in Northwest and Northeast Ohio to develop Ohio into a hub for wind energy and wind turbine production.


10. Retool and support the Young Professionals group in Erie County to become a key driver in the region's efforts to retain and attract young people.

11. Support and enhance efforts to improve connections between the private sector and the local education and workforce development system.

12. Develop a new ECEDC Web site with robust capabilities including community profile, target industry profiles, available real estate and top-level design.

13. Focus recruitment efforts on direct contact with key company decision makers.

14. Develop a coalition to inventory the workforce assets of Northern Ohio.

Most of the report elaborates on these 14 goals.

Meanwhile, the ECEDC board will meet Tuesday morning to discuss adopting the report.



Where are the timelines and action plans? This looks like the usual stuff with no accountability for implementation without action plan responsibilities being clearly outlined.

What is needed are nontraditional approaches that include tax policy adjustments and incentives for workforce development using private enterprises rather than being reliant upon the failing local school systems who have fallen woefully short on workforce development.

This is a disappointing plan given the tough times that the city and area communities have experienced over the last decade. Had it not been for expanding retail driven by traffic from the water parks, the county would have collapsed by now.

Tourism provides the opportunity to showcase potential sites and attributes of the area when combined with some aggressive tax policies including elimination of the city income taxes and a drive to lower property taxes by shifting the tax burden to the tourists. Go and learn what was done in Las Vegas and Orlando...


If you read the full report, there is an implementation guide that answers your question below.


This report looks like a push for a NASA Plum brook Airport to draw development interests to the area, something that was already in the works as is the case with the wind turbine hype.

The report does not contain any tax policy incentives or break the mold strategies.

If we are engaged in tourism, why don't we benchmark against tourism areas that have created tax incentive approaches to attract businesses and residents like an entertainment tax used in Las Vegas and Orlando?


Your blog and Sue Daughtery's are the only ones worth reading. Thanks for making it worth my while to read them.


Changes in tax policy are very difficult to implement. They take tons of political will. You may also be unaware that some very significant changes in tax policy have occurred in Ohio recently; the business property tax has beencompletely eliminated, an absolutely huge incentive for manufactureres in particular, and the corporate income tax is being phased out. People don't realize that thisreally is a huge deal that puts Ohio in unique company . How many states can you name that have no corporate income tax? (hint:there are a handful) how about biz property tax? (there are only two)