GCDC: Listening, Sharing Resources (as posted in the Monroe Times, June 28, 2923)
Economic Development conjures up the thoughts of big developments, new factories, box stores and subdivisions. Bringing new revenue streams to town, new jobs, and places for people to shop. Growth!
In my brief time with GCDC, I have learned that economic development encompasses so much more. New developments are wonderful, they can be a boon to the community, but without proper planning and consideration of many other factors, it can also be an unwelcome change.
Laying the foundation for growth involves grass roots community conversations about population ages and stages, housing availability, childcare options, education, transportation, environmental effect, broadband connectivity, and human and material resources.
Awareness is a key element and that comes from boots on the ground meetings, presentations, and active social media and marketing efforts. This is both to share what an organization like GCDC can do to assist and more importantly, to listen to what the community wants, and needs.
Each community within Green County has vast differences and goals. Some want growth, some prefer improvements, and all want to understand what it would mean to their community. Considerations for environmental safety, personal safety, and maintaining the hometown feel and the reason we choose to live in rural America are all brought into play.
Every day, GCDC’s Executive Director, Olivia Otte, is out meeting with individuals, with groups, with companies, and with government officials to ensure GCDC directs their efforts towards each community’s wants, needs, and goals. Listening, and sharing the resources available, and the connections to be made to grow soundly and with consideration to future effects.
Very little of this work comes with instant gratification. Housing projects and new businesses take time to cultivate, to plan and negotiate, to coordinate and gain permits, and to break ground. Available buildings or facilities may need renovations and inspections, and all need staff and supplies to open and run smoothly. Sound economic development takes time and patience.
In the meantime, we continue to communicate, to keep our sights on the goals, to continually look for grants and investors that will keep our communities moving forward. We host educational events like the Small Business Series to help new entrepreneurs learn how to be successful, or summits and other events that help community leaders understand how to approach broadband, EV charging, or tackle housing issues.
With new leadership in 2022, GCDC has continued the great works of predecessors, and has made great progress with new projects while continuing to connect and listen. There is always more to come with economic development, and you are an important piece of our progress. Connect with us on our website, greencountydevelopment.com, through our newsletter or social media, and email us directly at [email protected]
- Tracy Brewer is the Marketing & Project Manager for Green County Development Corporation (GCDC). She can be reached at [email protected] or by calling 608-328-9452.