South Central Region Hailed as the Commonwealth’s Model Region for “ENGAGE!”

The Adams Economic Alliance and PA CareerLink Adams County offices

By Robin Fitzpatrick

Partnerships are tightly woven into the fabric of our organization. Community redevelopment efforts with the support of the County of Adams, municipal outreach with the AC Office of Planning and Development, Destination Gettysburg and HACC are but a few of the community efforts gaining momentum through the power of partnership. But today I’d like to highlight a partnership that hits close to home—literally!

Our office, located in the Adams Commerce Center, is shared with PA CareerLink Adams County. For almost 15 years, our two organizations have benefited immensely by working side-by-side. It was under the administration of Governor Tom Ridge, that the state had a vision of a “one stop shop for businesses” and was encouraging economic development corporations (EDCs) and CareerLinks to partner and co-locate wherever possible. The timing was right and we established offices together with shared meeting space.

Although both of our offices are state-related, we work under different departments. Our Adams Economic Alliance office answers to the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) while PA CareerLink Adams County is governed by the Department of Labor and Industry (L&I). Our functions overlap in many ways, including workforce development.

“Events have been an ongoing way that we’ve partnered,” says Alan Dudley, Administrator, PA CareerLink Adams County. “We’ve had a lot of job fairs over the years,  we’ve hosted seminars on unemployment compensation, seminars for job seekers such as how to apply for federal jobs or state civil service jobs. One of nice things about working with AEA is they are very quick and willing to use their networking and social networks to promote our co-sponsored events. It shows a joint presence to the community.”

Of the 63 PA CareerLinks, there are others that operate under similar partnerships including the Franklin County CareerLink and EDC.

Everything old is new again! Today, our South Central PA region is being hailed as a “best practice” region for the rest of the Commonwealth to follow, as we all implement a program called ENGAGE! We look forward to a renewed partnership with PA CareerLink.

A partnership between L&I and DCED, ENGAGE! is similar to a business calling program that ED professionals used during several administrations. It included two main components: a direct engagement/face to face meeting with the highest level C position in a company and use of a customer management system (Executive Pulse) software program to create and manage a database. The ED professional would identify key employers with whom to meet, schedule a meeting, meet and tour the facility, follow an interview outline so that everyone doing these visits across the Commonwealth sought the same information, enter data into the system, assign partners (like SBDC or World Trade Center, etc.) goals for helping the company based on the identification of their needs. There was follow-up with the company to make sure the partners reached out to them as asked, and later follow-up to make sure their needs were met.

ENGAGE! is basically this same model except now we are partnering with L&I Business Services Team. They’ve always gone to visit with primary employers in the region, but have focused on HR professionals and workforce data. They will now be trained to ENGAGE the business in the same manner as the EDs do. This partnership will allow us to meet with twice the number of businesses than we were able to do before.

ED folks will hand over the business management to the CareerLink folks if we find that workforce is their primary issue; CareerLink folks will hand business management over to us when they find they have more than workforce issues. We all have access to the database and can see whose been visited and what they said.  It’s a much better way of communicating with one another and keeping track of our efforts so there is no duplication of effort nor is anything lost in the abyss.

Our South Central PA region of EDOs have been working together like this for many years, similar  to that of the SCPaWorks (Workforce Investment Board) connected to our six regional PA CareerLinks! And we’d like to think the bonds between our organization and PA CareerLink Adams County—as well as the similar bonds established in Franklin County—are part of the equation.

Robin Fitzpatrick, President of Adams Economic Alliance, can be reached at 717-334-0042. The Adams Economic Alliance (AEA), is comprised of three organizations: The Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), the Adams County Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA) and the Adams County General Authority (ACGA). For more information, see adamsalliance.org, or follow AEA on Twitter (@AdamsAlliance), Facebook (Facebook.com/AdamsAlliance) and LinkedIn (Adams Economic Alliance).

 

 

 

 

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February 1 Annual Update on County’s Economic Development Initiatives

Sidney Willoughby Run, 730 Chambersburg Rd, Gettysburg, is the site of the ACEDC Annual Membership Meeting set for February 1, 2018.

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, January 11, 2018.

By Robin Fitzpatrick

Every year we are honored to showcase one of Adams County’s many thriving venues by holding our annual membership meeting at a new and exciting location. This year, on February 1, it is very appropriate that the Annual Membership Meeting of the Adams Country Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) will be held at Sidney Willoughby Run, Gettysburg. We are especially proud of their success, since ACEDC played a role in welcoming their flagship restaurant located in East Berlin.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend on February 1, to learn more about the county’s economic development initiatives, the nonprofit organization’s 2017 accomplishments as well as objectives for 2018. ACEDC is one of three organizations under the umbrella of the Adams Economic Alliance (AEA). Reservations for the event are required and due by January 16.

Overall, Adams County’s economy has made progress over the past year. Unemployment is at an all-time low since 2007. At the same time, we have seen increased development and expansion of several key industries such as the plastics industry and agribusiness. Ongoing land development plans assure continued growth and industry diversification. All are signs of a healthy economy.

Our benchmarks also continue to grow. Between 1996 and 2017, AEA has generated the following economic activity within Adams County:

  • $29.7 million+ in public investment via low-interest loans and grants from the Commonwealth
  • $80 million+ in private investment via local commercial financing

ACEDC oversight is provided by a Board of Directors comprised of community and business leaders, along with numerous committees and committee members. We are very grateful for the years of service and leadership provided by Board Chair Barbara Hartman, Realtors Association of York & Adams County. We are equally excited to announce that Michael Cogliano of Wellspan Gettysburg Hospital will be ACEDC’s new Board Chair.

Several committees of the ACEDC have worked diligently over the past year to bring forward bylaw amendments for the membership’s consideration on February 1, a copy of which was included in each 2017 investor’s invitation for the event. The amendments focus on leadership and board succession for the organization.

Funding is provided by several key sources including members, termed “Investors.” We cannot begin to express how appreciative we are, for the many individuals, municipalities, nonprofits and businesses who have already committed to being 2018 Investors. We appreciate your support of Adams County’s economic development, supporting current and future businesses of all sizes, their recruitment, relocation, expansion and ongoing support services.

The February 1 Annual Membership Meeting will be held at 5 pm at Sidney Willoughby Run, Gettysburg. Tickets are $45 and include networking, an update on ACEDC’s activities, plus an array of hors d’oeuvres prepared by critically-acclaimed Chef/Owner Neil Annis. A cash bar will be available. To RSVP, please call 717-334-0042, ext. 0, or email your response to office@adamsalliance.org. The RSVP deadline is January 16.

Robin Fitzpatrick, President of Adams Economic Alliance, can be reached at 717-334-0042. The Adams Economic Alliance (AEA), is comprised of three organizations: The Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), the Adams County Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA) and the Adams County General Authority (ACGA). For more information, see adamsalliance.org, or follow AEA on Twitter (@AdamsAlliance), Facebook (Facebook.com/AdamsAlliance) and LinkedIn (Adams Economic Alliance).

 

Tis the Season: Investing in Adams County

This column was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, December 14, 2017

By Robin Fitzpatrick

Last year (2016), Americans gave more than $390 billion—yes “billion”—dollars through charitable giving, a figure that was up 4.2 percent from 2015. Who made up the largest segment of givers? Individuals were responsible for 72 percent of those gifts! Corporate giving stood at $18.55 billion, an increase of 3.5 percent over the previous year.*

Tis the season for giving! Many of us, whether individuals or businesses, are compelled to give monetary gifts during the holiday season to support the causes that mean the most to us. Quite often, when you’re donating to national charities with local chapters, you hear the phrase, “Your donations stay local and support your local chapter.” For many of us, it’s important that our dollars make an impact locally on our own community.

Here at Adams Economic Alliance (AEA), we too are in the midst of our giving season, but with several distinctions: Instead of calling it “giving,” we approach financial contributions as “investing.” Gifts from both individuals and businesses are investments in the financial vitality of Adams County—investments that benefit all. Our members are truly “investors” and all dollars certainly do “stay local” to benefit Adams County. Continue reading Tis the Season: Investing in Adams County

Advocating for a More Robust Business Environment

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, October 12, 2017:

By Duane Kanagy, Manager of Communications/Community Services, Adams Electric Cooperative

We have been asked why Adams Electric Cooperative supports the Adams County Economic Development Corporation (now part of the Adams Economic Alliance). Here is why.

Part of what the Alliance is doing right now is talking to local municipal officials, and anyone else who will listen, about the economic profile of Adams County. They, and other business organizations, are advocating for a strategic plan that identifies the strengths of this area and outlines ways that will increase economic opportunities for all ages and skill sets. Continue reading Advocating for a More Robust Business Environment

New Ag Business Slated for Historic Gettysburg Farm, Thanks to Low-Interest Financing

Brown’s Ranch, recently purchased by John Boyer

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, September 14, 2017:

By Kaycee Kemper

Since our last column, our organization has announced a new name and identity, so first I want to address this exciting news! Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) was the lead organization of three partner organizations under the same roof, with the other two being the Adams County Industrial Development Authority and the Adams County General Authority.

Now all three organizations are collectively known as Adams Economic Alliance! We are excited and hope you share our excitement over the simplicity (and lack of confusion!) of our new name. Have no fear, Robin Fitzpatrick and myself are still both here, working as President and Vice President to deliver economic development services to businesses and organizations in Adams County.

One of our newest projects involved the purchase of the 232-acre farm known as “Brown’s Ranch” bordering the Gettysburg National Military Park’s Confederate Avenue. It was our pleasure assisting and welcoming John Boyer of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, as he purchased the ranch to locate a new agricultural business in Adams County. Boyer, who grew up in the agricultural industry and studied animal science at Texas Tech, was searching for three years, for the perfect Pennsylvania property to launch a cow calf operation, when he discovered Brown’s Ranch.

Financing was a collaboration Continue reading New Ag Business Slated for Historic Gettysburg Farm, Thanks to Low-Interest Financing

Press Release: Adams Economic Alliance: New Name, Branding Unveiled for Three Partner Organizations

GETTYSBURG, PA (September 7, 2017) – Adams Economic Alliance (AEA) is the new umbrella name for three Adams County organizations—the Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), the Adams County Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA) and the Adams County General Authority (ACGA). A new branding campaign incorporates the new name and logo, and was first unveiled to members and community leaders at an Investor Appreciation Reception the evening of September 7.

“The primary goal for comprehensively branding the three organizations together is to simplify our identity to the public,” says Robin Fitzpatrick, AEA President. “All three organizations deliver economic development services to the businesses and communities of Adams County. Now, we can be known collectively as one organization—Adams Economic Alliance.” Continue reading Press Release: Adams Economic Alliance: New Name, Branding Unveiled for Three Partner Organizations

Press Release: Historic Gettysburg Farm Acquired Via Adams County Economic Development Funding

“Brown’s Ranch” Developing into Beef Cattle Operation

 GETTYSBURG, PA (August 16, 2017) – A low-interest loan facilitated through Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) and Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) helped secure the purchase of a historical 232-acre farm in Adams County that’s being developed into a cow calf operation.

“I’ve been searching for a property in Pennsylvania, looking for a way to get back into agriculture, for three years. There aren’t many cattle farms in PA, but this property has the most character out of any that I saw… it was a natural fit,” says John Boyer, 38, of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County.  Currently a defense contractor, Boyer grew up in the agricultural industry and studied animal science at Texas Tech. Continue reading Press Release: Historic Gettysburg Farm Acquired Via Adams County Economic Development Funding

September 7: You’re Invited to Celebrate Four C’s

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, August 10, 2017:

By Kaycee Kemper

A lot happens between August and September—harvests are gathered, a new school year begins, and we enjoy our final summer vacations, daytrips, and picnics. After Labor Day, we return to a more regular work schedule, and we know fall is on its way.

This year, we invite everyone to mark their calendars for the Thursday after Labor Day—September 7. That evening, during a wine & cheese reception from 5-7 pm, we look forward to welcoming all community leaders invested and interested in the efforts of our organization, Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC). The celebration will revolve around four words that all begin with the letter C: Continue reading September 7: You’re Invited to Celebrate Four C’s

Economic Development: Focus of June 20 Commissioners’ Forum

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, June 8, 2017:

The new Adams County Human Services facility, 525 Boyds School Road, Gettysburg

By Robin Fitzpatrick

I have an invitation for all Adams County residents! Whether you use a traditional paper calendar or have evolved to an electronic calendar, be sure to mark, type, text, or otherwise save the date of June 20.

The new Adams County Human Services Building is ready to be unveiled! This is a fantastic example of economic development, adaptive reuse, within our own county government. The former Herff-Jones facility has been revamped to house a multitude of county services under one roof. Continue reading Economic Development: Focus of June 20 Commissioners’ Forum

Powerhouse Partnership

This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, May 11, 2017

By Kaycee Kemper

Partnerships are the lifeblood of our work here at the Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), and we have recently helped to form a strategic partnership that very well may be the most impactful one to date.

ACEDC, Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce, Destination Gettysburg, and the Adams County Office of Planning and Development have partnered to focus on business attraction efforts in Adams County. Each entity plays an integral role to retain and support businesses in Adams County.  Over the past several months, these entities began discussing which industries our communities can sustain and which industries we would like to attract.

One product that resulted from our meetings thus far: a cooperative advertising campaign hitting regional publications, titled “Advantage Adams.”

Using information provided by a study commissioned by Adams County Office of Planning and Development (ACOPD), the partners are diving into the data and will also be holding industry roundtable discussions throughout the coming months. Various business leaders will be invited to attend the roundtable sessions to discuss challenges and opportunities facing their particular industry. Continue reading Powerhouse Partnership