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OPED: What is economic development?
The York County Economic Alliance is York County’s chamber of commerce and economic development organization. While “chamber of commerce” is a globally recognized term, “economic development” appears to have a wider and sometimes less consistent interpretation.
Economic Development Week kicks off on Sunday, May 8 so this is an ideal time to share our interpretation. YCEA’s vision is “to be York County’s recognized resource for leading business growth and economic development.”
The Alliance’s approach to economic development is consistent with federal and international economic development organizations. The U.S. Economic Development Administration says that economic development creates “the conditions for economic growth and improved quality of life by expanding the capacity of individuals, firms, and communities to maximize the use of their talents and skills to support innovation, lower transaction costs, and responsibly produce and trade valuable goods and services.” The International Economic Development Council describes economic development in terms of objectives that most commonly includes the creation of jobs and wealth, and the improvement of quality of life.
The YCEA definition is much simpler. At the most basic level, our definition of economic development is based on strategic objectives that center on creating and retaining jobs while stimulating investment in York County.
You can see the results with the expansions of companies like Apio, Target, Wyndridge Farm and Legacy - all of which are creating and retaining jobs and investing in York County. You can see the impact that our initiatives like Creativity Unleashed and Careers in Two Years have on attracting, retaining and cultivating talent in York County.
The goal of our projects and initiatives is jobs and investment. Simply put, the YCEA leads economic growth, connects companies to resources, fosters networking opportunities, and advocates for businesses and community to create a prosperous York County.
For more information about economic development, visit the YCEA website at www.ycea-pa.org- Or better yet, join us at one of our many activities throughout the county and experience economic development firsthand.
The mission of the York County Economic Alliance is to lead economic growth, connect local businesses to resources and each other and advocate for business and the community to create a prosperous York County. For information on becoming a member of the York County Economic Alliance, contact Katie Caples at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ycea-pa.org.