By: Beth Howell Day, The Smoke Signal
The Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation announced a new campaign “Advance Pottawatomie County” at a gathering held Tuesday in Wamego.
“Advance Pottawatomie County” is a five year, $1 million investment campaign to secure private sector funding to join with the county and other public sector partners to create an adequately funded economic development initiative.
“This is the start of a great community partnership,” said Jeannie Johnson, Olsburg, president of the PCEDC board. “Many people have expressed the belief that we are in a position to enhance and expand existing business as well as attract new business and industry by supporting this.”
Johnson said the PCEDC has identified the potential for growth and the areas of strengths and weaknesses, putting that information into a strategic plan.
“Originally there were nine areas of focus, she said. “A committee redefined them into six core strategies.”
Those six core strategies are:
• Broaden economic development capacity by maximizing Pottawatomie County’s capacity to support the growth of the business sector – both new and existing.
• Developing a robust infrastructure network to provide high quality business and industrial parks.
• Enhance the vibrancy of all communities in Pottawatomie County.
• Elevate marketing efforts to improve the brand of Pottawatomie County.
• Conduct a comprehensive assessment of workforce needs and skills and communicate the results to educational institutions and business/industry.
• Cultivate business opportunities provided by Kansas State University research.
“This is just the beginning,” said Johnson. “We have a great deal to look forward to. We want to bring attention to Pottawatomie County as a great place to live, work, get a great education and establish businesses.”
The campaign in its infancy has been wildly successful. Board member Nancy Burton, along with Johnson, revealed just how well.
“Our goal was $1 million,” said Burton. “To date we have raised $829,600. We hope in the next couple of weeks to say we’ve funded 100 percent of our goal.
“We’re in it for the long haul,” she continued. “We hope this is just the first of many celebrations coming along in Pottawatomie County.”