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.

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“We have been extremely anxious for the public and all staff to visit the new Adams County Human Services Building,” says Randy Phiel, Chairman, Adams County Commissioners. “Phase 1 that has been completely included Children & Youth Services, Probation, IT, Security, and Maintenance. Phase 2 is being completed by the end of May with MHIDD, Court Operations, Multi-Purpose Meeting Room, Domestic Relations, and two DJ Offices being added. Phase 3 will include the large courtroom and the Sheriff’s satellite office.”

Commissioner Marty Qually says the new facility makes sense, financially and organizationally. “The new facility relieves the county of paying leases,” he says. “It combines the services previously housed in two buildings we were renting, plus a third building we owned. This will allow for better coordination of services and communication between offices.”

“Additionally, when it comes to mental health services, we’ve never had case services located in Adams County, “ says Qually. “The new facility creates 10-13 new jobs in Adams County.”

The building will be open to tours from 4-7 pm and again from 8:30-9:30 pm. So, you may ask, what is happening between 7-8:30? That’s where we, Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) comes into the mix.

The Commissioners’ Forum is your chance to learn about economic development efforts in the county, coordinated between our office and the Adams County Office of Planning and Development (ACOPD). We are especially excited to share in this presentation, as your united team of economic development professionals in Adams County! In addition to myself and colleague Kaycee Kemper of the ACEDC, we will be joined by Sherri Clayton-Williams, Harlan Lawson, and Andy Merkel of the ACOPD.

I believe our presentation will be a fascinating look at Adams County. The county’s new software allows us to prepare visuals—maps—created from various sets of data. What an amazing tool! Visualizing data on a map provides a fresh, informed perspective. We are aiming to answer questions such as:

  • Where does current development exist in the county?
  • Where is preservation focused?
  • Where are the county’s residential developments located?

But the word “forum” indicates discussion—and that’s where YOU come in. We invite the public to come with questions regarding economic development, its role in Adams County, and your input.

“One of the most important things is residents being active in government,” Qually says. “If you have any questions about economic prosperity in the county, bring them on June 20. You’ll have access to two economic development offices, and our county commissioners, and we can address your questions and concerns directly.”

Robin Fitzpatrick serves as President of ACEDC. For additional information, see acedc.org, call 717-334-0042, and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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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. We are interested in learning how our partnership can assist existing businesses to ensure their success into the future. Let us know if you are interested in participating!

You have heard Robin Fitzpatrick, President of ACEDC, talk about 2017 being “the year of the municipality.” ACEDC and ACOPD are also working together to meet with all 34 municipalities this year to learn where and what type of growth is welcome and where it is not.

One of our partners, Sherri Clayton-Williams, Director of the Adams County Office of Planning and Development, has incredible technology at her fingertips, aiding in the identification of parcels of land or buildings poised for development/redevelopment.  The Planned Community Areas (PCA) tool will be extremely helpful during our upcoming meetings with municipalities.

“In our capacity, we can assist ACEDC by using maps to locate a parcel of land or a building. The PCA tool enables us to comprehensively look at parcels of land; it helps us visualize things within our community such as areas where utilities are available, the transportation network, whether land can be adapted to meet the needs of a special project; we can see zoning overlaid on the map; it’s a very flexible tool used to analyze a variety of data,” Clayton-Williams explains.

“Meeting together with municipalities will be very beneficial,” says Clayton-Williams. “It will provide us with a lot of input we can factor into our economic development plan and strategy. We know that land use decisions are made at the local level first.”

Overall, Clayton-Williams says the community strategic partnership is a positive move. “It’s a unique opportunity for all of the partners to work together, and it’s important for the future of economic development in the county. It’s refreshing to hear different perspectives, but in the end we all want the same thing—communities where everyone can live, work, and play. We need to find that balance together.”

Stay tuned for the next Commissioners’ Forum, where the community is invited and encouraged to attend to learn more about this partnership and how we’re pulling our resources to work together for the greater good of Adams County and its business community.

Kaycee Kemper serves as Vice-President of ACEDC. For additional information, see acedc.org, call 717-334-0042, and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Economic Impact of Adams County’s Fruit Belt

 

By Robin Fitzpatrick

We often refer to Adams County’s three main industries as our pillars of industry—agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing. Within the county’s ag industry, we have long known that fruit is number one in production and is also the reason why value added processing and manufacturing businesses are located here.  But we have not known the full extent and depth of our fruit belt’s economic impact—until now.

A comprehensive, two-year study just concluded, led by the Adams County Office of Planning and Development, in partnership with the Adams County Fruit Growers’ Association, the Penn State Extension Service, and conducted by The Chesapeake Group with TischlerBise.

“The Adams County fruit belt’s economic impact on the county’s economy is $580 million annually—and that’s a conservative estimate,” according to Bicky Redman, senior planner in the Adams County Office of Planning and Development. “Beyond that, the Adams County fruit belt’s economic impact on the state of Pennsylvania is two to four times that.” That translates into $1.16—$2.32 billion in economic activity. Continue reading Economic Impact of Adams County’s Fruit Belt

April 19: Economic Breakfast Chock Full of Indicators

By Kaycee Kemper

One of the region’s most respected economic experts will address Adams County business leaders on April 19. Warren M. Hurt, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer for F&M Trust Company, is the featured speaker for the Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce Economic Breakfast, being held in partnership with the Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC). Continue reading April 19: Economic Breakfast Chock Full of Indicators

Because We’re a Commonwealth

acedc-projects-in-upper-adams-sdBy Robin Fitzpatrick

I’m going to put you on the spot today and start with three questions. Let’s see how you do!

Q: Why is planning for land use important?

A: Similar to other plans, it outlines where we want to go! The goal of land-use planning is to further the health, safety and welfare of people and their communities by meeting their needs while safeguarding natural resources. It’s the process by which lands are evaluated and assessed to become a basis for decisions involving land use and configuration. Here’s a hint.  Remember the terms evaluated and assessed!

Q: Who has the most influence over land use in your community? Continue reading Because We’re a Commonwealth

ACEDC Announces SAY Plastics is Recipient of Ben Franklin Technology Partners Funding

McSherrystown Company Applauded for “Innovation and Vision”

SAY Plastics, McSherrystown, Adams County
SAY Plastics, McSherrystown, Adams County

GETTYSBURG, PA (January 17, 2017) – Adams County’s SAY Plastics is one of eleven Pennsylvania companies receiving funding and services from Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP), a state initiative that supports emerging tech-based companies and existing manufacturers seeking diversification in innovating ways.

SAY Plastics will receive $125,000 to pursue a new market—the transportation industry—and carve out a new niche by re-engineering replacement parts for railcars, trucks, and buses. Traditionally, transportation parts have been composed of metal and fiberglass materials; SAY Plastics is utilizing a new approach—their customized SAYtooling system—to design thermoformed, cost-effective, plastic components.

Ben Franklin’s funding came about as a result of a referral by Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), Gettysburg. Previously, ACEDC financed two Small Business First loans to SAY Plastics.

“We salute SAY Plastics for their innovation and vision,” said ACEDC President Robin Fitzpatrick. “SAY Plastics is at the forefront of Adams County’s growing tech and plastics industry, taking advantage of our strategic location along the Mason Dixon Line with easy access to major U.S. markets, as well as our dedicated workforce, and excellent quality of life.” Continue reading ACEDC Announces SAY Plastics is Recipient of Ben Franklin Technology Partners Funding

Integral to Economic Development: Focus, Balance

three-industries

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

By Robin Fitzpatrick

The words “focus” and “balance” could very well relate to New Year’s resolutions, wellness, and health. These two key words also relate to economic development and many similar “resolutions” that will be presented tonight, at the 27th Annual Membership Meeting of the Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC). Continue reading Integral to Economic Development: Focus, Balance

ACEDC and HACC Introduce Innovative Workforce Development Program

ACEDC logo

Program, Partnership Serve as State Model Seeking ‘Adams County Champion’

GETTYSBURG, PA (November 16, 2016) – Hailed as “one of the most significant and valuable programs we have ever provided to businesses,” Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) President Robin Fitzpatrick encourages area business leaders to learn more about ACT WorkKeys, being implemented in partnership with HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College. Continue reading ACEDC and HACC Introduce Innovative Workforce Development Program

Adams County Workforce: Time for a Checkup

dreamstimemedium_35314401This article was originally published in The Gettysburg Times, November 10, 2016

By Robin Fitzpatrick

How do you maintain health and wellness? Although there are many excellent habits we employ into our daily routines, there is one regular habit that serves as a true litmus test of our health—going to the doctor for a checkup.

Similarly, there are a myriad of strategies we employ throughout the year to support businesses, growth, and economic vitality in Adams County. We often talk about the three main pillars of industry in Adams County: manufacturing/industrial, agriculture, and tourism. Earlier this year, we identified a number of growth industries within the county: agribusiness, biotech, plastics, and technology.

For a checkup on Adams County’s economic health and wellbeing, we have compiled the latest data—a series of snapshots of the county’s employment and industry statistics. Continue reading Adams County Workforce: Time for a Checkup

Collaborative Cold Storage Facility Expands to Support Adams County Fruitgrowing Industry

2014 Bream and Bear

Two family-owned and operated Adams County fruit growing companies, Bear Mountain Orchards and Bream Orchards, have expanded their cooperative cold storage facility via financing secured through the nonprofit Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC).

Bream and Bear Operating Company was founded in 2008; both parent companies have been in the fruit farming business since 1935. They joined forced to build a cold storage facility, beginning construction in 2009.

“ACEDC applauds the partnership between Bream and Bear, to creatively find a solution to the lack of fresh fruit storage in Adams County,” says Kaycee Kemper, Vice President of ACEDC. “Today, the expansion of their joint facility further enhances their ability to maximize the yields of their fresh fruit crops.” Continue reading Collaborative Cold Storage Facility Expands to Support Adams County Fruitgrowing Industry