OP-ED: I'm Having it Made Here in York — are you?

Katie Mahoney
York County Economic Alliance
Katie Mahoney and her rescue dog Cora.

York County has announced a collaborative brand, “Have It Made Here,” after over two years of work, research, conversations and brainstorming. Recently, the Tourism Grant Committee awarded additional funding to continue this initiative, so it’s brought about the question — are you having it made here?

This initiative brought together partners the York County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Cultural Alliance of York County, Downtown Inc, Main Street Hanover, York County government, York County Community Foundation, and the York County Economic Alliance.

Re-read that list — each of those organizations represents a different, and vital, sector of our community: tourism, culture and arts, York City, Hanover, government, charitable growth, economic development, and business. We all had to agree on one brand. Impossible you may say. But great challenge reaps great reward, and I am honored to be alongside these partners in this choice.

More:York County brand, 'Have it Made Here,' gets financial boost from grants

As any marketer will tell you, a brand is more than a logo, a tagline, or a color pallet. It’s a feeling, an emotion, a story we can each tell. “Have It Made Here” is certainly a nod to our manufacturing success, from Martin’s Potato Chips, to Harley-Davidsons, to robotics, to military tanks, and beyond. It speaks to libations and rolling hills, parks and recreation, trendy restaurants and unique boutiques.

In addition, it’s a story about having your best life made here. For me, it’s about dinner with your best friends on Restaurant Row, or hiking with your rescue dog at Gifford Pinchot. It’s about brunch at Holy Hound (because it’s dog-friendly) and trolling the Facebook page of your favorite brewery waiting for Dimensional Being to be released.  

At the York County Economic Alliance, we hear daily the need for employers to attract and retain employees in York County. One of the most important factors in re-location is what you’re doing outside of work. Whether schools, religious institutions, or sense of community, the ability to “have it made here” in York County is something everyone considers.

That's also true for the local talent, itching to perhaps stretch their wings in a new location, but then realize not every community has a Susquehanna River on one end, and the Snack Capital of the World on the other.

I’m not a York County native. I moved to York at 25, fell in love with the community, and stayed. I have made a career in York, found my passions in life in York, made some of my very best friends here, and adopted the love of my life from the York County SPCA.

With so much to offer in York County, I have to ask – how are you having it made here?

— Katie Mahoney is vice president of marketing and communications for the York County Economic Alliance.