Economic Development action plan
By Ashlee Hoos | KPC News - The Herald Republican
Steuben County Economic Development Corporation director Isaac Lee rolled out his action plan to the board of directors Tuesday afternoon.
Lee’s plan is based on four objectives; business retention and expansion, business attraction, programs at the Enterprise Center for businesses and private sector engagement.
Part of retention includes creating and activating a business retention and expansion program and coinciding team.
Lee said creating the program will help introduce the programs to the community as well as conduct systemic visits as well as data tracking to capture and record information that will be useful for the board in the future.
Lee also wants to create a Steuben County business resource guide. In other communities, these guides have been created, he said, and held by tourism bureaus and chambers of commerce.
“This guide will contain at least superficial information for everything from startups through mature businesses,” said Lee.
The document will be a living document that will be started by an intern and maintained and updated as necessary.
Recognition is another part of the retention plan, and Lee wants to recognize business anniversaries for the various key stakeholders involved during annual meetings in coming years. He said it is important to recognize those businesses that have continued to be a part of the area.
The target industries Lee analyzed for the area include advanced manufacturing, transportation and logistics, bio medical, alternative energy and information technology. Lee wants to build storyboards to continue to attract businesses to Steuben County from these sectors.
“I want to identify additional suppliers that may want to locate to Steuben County to be closer to businesses they supply,” Lee said.
Workforce development was another strong suit on Lee’s action plan. The goal is to help incorporate the Enterprise Center and workforce initiatives into National Manufacturing Day, which is the first Friday in October.
Although the official day of the event has not been set yet, Lee wants to be sure to incorporate not just training companies, but local schools and the community as a whole. He wants to build stronger relationships to provide people with the knowledge about the Enterprise Center.
“I want the training providers to know that this facility is for their training. It’s not a school. It is for them to do their work, get their enrollment, train their people,” said Lee. “I want it used as a supplement for them.”
“It takes private and public sector investments for things to run smoothly,” Lee said.
Private sector investment will help identify the value and add programs and services that can be implements to benefit individual companies and the community.
He would also like to see the SCEDC as the primary lead for tax abatement compliance in the county.
“Currently there are at least 63 abatements in Steuben County, not counting those that have been added recently,” Lee said.
The Enterprise Center will be having an open house event on May 4 from 4-7 p.m. at the facility, 907 S. Wayne St., Angola.
Lee said he’d like to see people there to tour the facility, see that it exists and what it can do for organizations and businesses.
The tour is being organized to allow those that wanted it during business hours and those that wanted it after-hours alike to have time to come out and see what is going on.
The first classes are scheduled to start at the facility as well.
May 15 is the start of a 25 week C&C machining class that will be on Monday and Wednesday nights from 4-8 p.m.
May 30 is the start of a seven week welding class. This class will run Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights from 4-8 p.m.