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Posted on Oct 31st, 2018

Broome Talent Task Force Series: Stacey Duncan

Binghamton Business News

Person: Stacey Duncan

Job Title: Deputy Director Community & Economic Development The Agency

Implementing a 3-year Workforce & Talent Attraction Strategic Action Plan is “challenging…and incredibly rewarding,” says Stacey Duncan, deputy director of community and economic development at The Agency.

The challenge, Duncan says, is changing a decades-old perception that there are no real job opportunities in Broome. The reward she adds is that “as a group we are just hitting our stride and that will make us unstoppable.”

That group is the Broome Talent Task Force, which the Agency created in 2017 following a comprehensive data analysis of the workforce now and over the next 5-10 years.

The results were, well, less than positive.

"The study confirmed...we've got work to do,” said Duncan. “Our challenges aren’t unique, but it’s critical we address them if we want to create a resilient economy.” Those challenges include an aging-out of the current workforce and a loss of prime-age workers to fill jobs now and in the future.

The Task Force is a collaborative of economic development, industry, education and non-profits that developed the 3-year workforce strategy. The effort is also demonstrative of the changing role that The Agency is taking on in Broome. Duncan added that over the last five years, The Agency has engaged a comprehensive approach to economic development that includes workforce, housing and transportation development.

Duncan thinks that this makes good sense strategically. “We have a good vantage point to direct a lot of these efforts and bring community partners together,” she said. “We are working with businesses and investors both locally and from outside of the area.”  Using a sports analogy, Duncan likened her and the Agency’s role in the implementation of the workforce strategy as "a litlle bit like a point-guard". “We can direct plays, but we absolutely cannot succeed without every other player.”

"Quite often the first question we get when meeting with companies or investors is - do you have the workforce? {Prior to this effort}, I’m not sure that we always knew the answer,” Duncan said. She added that the information share that has happened among the Task Force members has opened up new partnerships and opportunities for training, education programs and to learn more about each other. “We’ve gained so much knowledge on the work that industry and partners like Broome Tioga Workforce, SUNY Broome, and area school districts are doing to provide opportunities. We’ve have truly dedicated professionals in our community.”

It's a community that Duncan has called home for most of her life. Duncan grew up, and resides in Endwell, where her children are active participants in Maine Endwell’s athletic and academic programs. She was in high school in the mid-1990’s and saw first-hand how the morale of the community changed with the departure of IBM and Singer Link. Duncan’s father was a mechanical engineer at Link and she said a favorite memory was going to the annual Christmas party at the facility in Kirkwood. “Imagine walking into a room stacked ceiling high with wrapped Christmas presents. It was pretty awesome,"  Duncan said that in many ways, it was that era in Broome’s economic history that made her want to contribute towards its resurgence.

One of the biggest challenges for the Task Force’s is to change the perception that there is no opportunity in Broome, noting that there are more than 4,000 open positions. “But it’s more than just the actual job postings,” Duncan said. “It’s the fact that you can work successfully in any field and live in a really cool place.” This idea is what prompted the Agency to create the Broome County…a good life™ program at the same time that the workforce study was being conducted.

“Those values..are intrinsic to all of us – being available for our kids, getting to do work you are passionate about, having access to nature, arts, recreation – that’s the good life – and that’s what we’ve always wanted to communicate whether it is with a potential company or to our own community.”

The Good Life program is the main communication vehicle for the Task Force’s workforce strategy and the Agency created the “Jobs.Now.Broome” campaign to promote the myriad of jobs currently open among all industry sectors. She added that the Agency will continue to direct the implementation of the Task Force’s 3-year plan. “Success is seeing new investment in Broome’s economy. That is at the core of everything {The Agency} we do."

For more information on the Broome County…a good life program, the Jobs.Now.Broome campaign and the Broome Talent Task Force, visit