As published on July 18, 2017 in the New York Real Estate Journal.
As an economic development organization, we’ve always sought to connect ourselves to this area in deep, lasting ways. Our goal is to be the dynamic catalyst, partner and investor in Broome County. Our mission is to deliver significant benefits, job opportunities, development sites, and an overall enhanced quality of life to our home.
Since our rebranding in April 2015, however, we have also strived to connect ourselves to Broome County in ways beyond growing and developing our area’s economy—though we are always circling back to our main purpose. We want to become a constant and positive force in the community, conveying clear messages of both hometown pride and a community ripe with investment opportunity.
Economic development is about a lot of things, such as identifying the right building or site, access to transportation, a vibrant workforce and a financial package that makes a project work. It is also about an unapologetic pride in our community, our businesses, and in our people. We strive to inspire this confidence and excitement when we promote Broome County as the “perfect size for opportunity.”
In 2015, we called on those, both in Broome County and beyond, to “Thrive Here. Thrive Now.” This message was aimed at helping everyone in and around our area to see the different ways we truly thrive, such as the flourishing network of small businesses we have all over the triple cities, or the acclaimed higher education system here with SUNY Broome, Davis College and the nationally-acclaimed Binghamton University all within twenty minutes of each other.
In 2016, we made it clear that “Economic development is a conversation.” Though there are many moving parts in any deal negotiated, loan assisted with, or site selected, we wanted to assure all of Broome County that economic development is picking up a phone and letting us know what your needs are. A conversation starts with an idea or a thought, but can end with a new investment or dynamic project.
For example, the Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. Regional Distribution Center in the Broome Corporate Park began with a need for better access to markets and has resulted in an incredibly rewarding and dynamic project for our region. The DSG, Inc. Distribution Center includes a total investment of more than $100 million and will create approximately 466 jobs over the next five years. We worked with the company and several state agencies to put together a $30 million incentive package to move the project forward. All of that hard work paid off as the project is currently underway. We had the honor of receiving the 2017 Large Project of the Year Award from the New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC) for this in late May.
Since last November, we’ve been guided by the mantra of our “Broome County: A Good Life” program, created as a signature piece of our economic development efforts to retain and attract talented and skilled workers to Broome County. This area is a place where you can have the ideal personal and professional-life balance. Because Broome is good. And good is a choice. We had the pleasure of receiving the 2017 Best of Class Award from the NYSEDC Marketing and Promotional Materials Award Competition for the workforce and talent attraction website
(www.broomeisgood.com) connected to this campaign.
As we’ve stated before, however, our message is ever-evolving. Growing from the idea of “A Good Life” in Broome County, we are now striving to “Define Our Economy.”
We think economic development, especially in our area, is defined by countless things. Investment. Workforce. Talent. Startups. And so much more. We are at the beginning of a very exciting time in Broome County, where knowledge, vision and opportunity are colliding to create impactful partnerships and dynamic economic opportunity.
We know all of these things—and more—define Broome County’s economy. Broome County truly provides a good life and it is a privilege to support and grow our economy. With the support of our outstanding Board of Directors, our development team has pursued a bold path to understand our workforce, housing and transportation needs so that we can continue to expand our existing businesses and attract new business to our area.
Great results require great partners and we are proud to work with the multitude of organizations that believe in Broome County, like we do. There is much work to do, but together we are unstoppable. We can’t wait to continue to define our economy and hope you will help us do so #defineyoureconomy #Broomeisgood #thrivenow.
Kevin McLaughlin is the executive director of The Agency: Broome County IDA/LDC, Binghamton, N.Y.