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.

Explore the photos below – click on one to open a slide show:

Citing Jobs and Expanded Tax Base, ACEDC Endorses Mason Dixon Downs Project

President Robin Fitzpatrick Says Proposal Aligns with Adams County’s Top Two Industries

Gettysburg, Pa. (May 1, 2017) – Citing jobs and “unprecedented” economic development opportunities, Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) today announced it has endorsed Mason Dixon Downs, a proposed harness racetrack, casino and hotel project in Freedom Township, Adams County. The project is being proposed by Gettysburg native, businessman and philanthropist David LeVan.

“ACEDC’s Board of Directors is pleased to support the Mason Dixon Downs proposal,” said President Robin Fitzpatrick. “It augments Adams County’s two top industries— tourism/hospitality and agriculture.” Continue reading Citing Jobs and Expanded Tax Base, ACEDC Endorses Mason Dixon Downs Project

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

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 Invites Public to Annual Membership Meeting, January 12

 

The Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) will hold its 27th Annual Membership Meeting at Liberty Mountain Resort, Carroll Valley, on January 12.
Liberty Mountain Resort, Carroll Valley

Greatest successes of 2016: “Identifying shared focus with community partners”

Adams County’s largest economic development event of the year, the 27th Annual Membership Meeting of the Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), is set for January 12 beginning at 5 pm at Liberty Mountain Resort. Business and community leaders are encouraged to attend; the RSVP deadline is Friday, January 6 by calling 717-334-0042 or emailing office@acedc.org.

“Some of the greatest economic development successes we’ve accomplished over the past year include identifying a shared focus with community partners and implementing ground-breaking new partnerships and programs which are carrying us into 2017,” says Robin Fitzpatrick, ACEDC President. Continue reading ACEDC Invites Public to Annual Membership Meeting, January 12

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

Keys to a Healthy Workforce

800px-stainless_steel_room_door_handle_lock_keys_oct-2011_hk_ip4
Photo Credit: Albert Belchers, Wikimedia Commons, licensed under Creative Commons

This article was originally published in The Gettysburg Times, October 13, 2016

By Robin Fitzpatrick

Careers can be thought of as a series of doors, opening—or closing—at various times through our lives. But to hear “opportunity knocking,” we all need to be holding the right keys in order to unlock the doors to our futures.

It is with great excitement that Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), in partnership with Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), is laying the groundwork for area students to attain platinum, gold, silver, and bronze keys which will open doors leading to future success. This has the potential to be one of the most ground-breaking programs we have ever provided to Adams County’s employers! Continue reading Keys to a Healthy Workforce