What’s your Economic Outlook?
Posted: November 25, 2013
Recently, I attended the Pike County Economic Summit, which was sponsored by Pike County Economic Development Authority and Pike County Chamber of Commerce. There were several presentations by economic development officials and a County Commissioner who shared with the local community what is occurring with regard to jobs in the county.
The forecast is sunny for job growth in Pike County. In the past year, our county economic development authority and local municipalities have worked to create more than 600 jobs for Pike County. With a current unemployment rate of 10%, new job growth is important to reduce that rate and provide employment opportunities for the residents of the county.
Part of the success in attracting businesses to Pike County has been the willingness of state agencies and the county to work together to speed up the approval process, according to the county commissioner.
The Commissioner also noted that with few local employment options, families separate when children graduate and move away to find work. “At this time, we do not even give them an opportunity to stay,” the Commissioner noted. “But what I see is a new, bright future where development of new businesses will give this county new life.”
However, community economic development is not just about the development of buildings that house new businesses in our communities. It is building on the local assets to improve your local economy by assisting businesses to prosper and local residents to improve their income. Community economic development is about developing the talents and skills of the people who work for these businesses, the owners of these businesses and people who become the customers of these businesses. Community economic development means rebuilding the prosperity and livability of the entire community for the benefit of existing residents and businesses.
In order for community economic development to be successful, there needs to be a local community effort to work together with local businesses, banks, government at all levels and chamber of commerce to involve the entire community.
Pike County has started to address the need for employment opportunities for our community.
However, the economic development initiative needs to include not only the local economic organizations, but also include community leaders that can work together to improve the economic situation of local residents and local businesses and enhance their community’s quality of life.
If Pike County and other communities in Pennsylvania want to improve their economic climate for all residents, they need to work together as a community to achieve that goal.