Growing up my entire life on the west side of Binghamton, it was common to hear distain for the area from many citizens inhabiting my community. As a child, I was not aware of the immense opportunity Broome County had to offer, and thus found myself in the same negative mindset concerning the area as those around me. After growing up and experiencing our location for myself, I gained a new perspective about Broome County. My time at The Agency only further solidified the new and positive outlook I had for the area.
Before coming to The Agency, I had little prior knowledge about the industrial development aspect of keeping my community moving forward. During just the first few days at The Agency, I was already able to see some of the amazing projects that were set to be completed in the next few years. It is truly remarkable to see the amount of work that goes into constructing a single building, or redeveloping land for flood relief. Outside of the sheer intensity of the planning work that goes into these projects, there are many other players who The Agency must work with in order to approve projects, finalize plans, and start breaking ground. It was extremely beneficial for me to sit in on some important phone calls and meetings to see how various players interact in order to achieve the same mission.
Projects aside, The Agency showed me what it truly means to be a proactive and involved member for the community. They provide learning opportunities for the younger generation to appreciate the area and look forward to growing up here, through their K-10 workgroup. They work with school districts from all over the county to highlight the many positive features of the area, and that Broome County truly is a place where they should want to be. Not only does The Agency provide learning programs for local students, many administrators and superintendents from the local schools districts are very involved with the work of The Agency. I think this is extremely beneficial for younger children to learn about why the area has so much potential for their future, as I remember thinking negatively of the area as a child.
Another main goal of The Agency is to improve and continue growing the labor force locally. I was able to see how they actively do this, by getting a first-hand experience with The Broome Talent Task Force. The BTTF is a collaboration of industry, education, economic development, and non-profits coming together to create a vibrant and innovative workforce in Broome County. It combines key members from a variety of large local industries to collaborate in order to promote the ever-expanding local employment market. The main goal of the BTTF is to highlight six targeted industry sectors that provide the highest levels of employment in Broome. Those industries being Health Care, Manufacturing/Production/Design, Transportation & Warehousing/Distribution, Skilled Trades, Education, and Information Technology.
Almost all aspects I have just spoke upon are wrapped up into to one campaign called “Broome County, a good life”. This amazing movement displays exactly why Broome is the perfect place to live, learn, work, and play. These aspects are referred to as the “Core 4 Elements of a Good Life”. Broome provides just that… a good life. The Agency actively promotes community growth, events, and employers throughout the area, in order to assist in the continuing area growth for Broome County.
During my four weeks at The Agency I was truly amazed at how hard everyone involved works in order to complete projects, educate the community and the next generation, and work to help fill the nearly 4,000 open jobs in Broome County. The area faces challenges such as an aging population, a shrinking labor pool, skill and training gaps, and high property taxes, but The Agency has made tremendous strides to encourage current residents to stay, and potential residents to make the right choice by coming to Broome.
Needless to say, my time at The Agency was just as educational as it was fun, and I have gained an entirely new outlook on my local area, and cannot wait to grow my future here!
For more information regarding The Agency and the Broome is Good campaign, refer to the following links:
The Agency - https://theagency-ny.com/
Broome Is Good - https://www.broomeisgood.com/media/