If you don’t have a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish it becomes very difficult to achieve your desired results. That realization motivated a group of education leaders, business leaders and government leaders to spend almost a full year developing an economic development vision statement and mission statement. The Vision Statement commits Allegany County “To be a sound economic competitor that consistently attracts, retains and expands local businesses and industries through ongoing local, state, national and foreign direct investments in Allegany County.” Every word in that Vision Statement was examined, debated and carefully considered before being accepted as part of our Vision.
The team that developed our Vision Statement, Mission Statement, Strategies and Objectives was comprised of top leaders from several important sectors. Members included the presidents of Alfred State College, Alfred University and Houghton College. Top leadership from major county businesses, County Legislators and county department heads, also participated. This ensures that these documents represent a comprehensive cross-section of viewpoints.
This Vision is important for us, and to businesses and investors thinking about locating here. We are now committed to maintaining unwavering public and private support for the following guiding principles:
- Fostering the fulfillment of our potential along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies through the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment;
- Providing world class educational curriculums that continuously attract diverse student populations for meeting and exceeding the workforce needs of local and worldwide businesses and industries;
- Ensuring the safety and security of all county residents and visitors by developing and maintaining support for area police, fire and emergency medical aid personnel and related services;
- Continually improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of countywide services making our county a highly attractive location for small businesses to locate and reside;
- Working closely with local leaders and volunteer groups to ensure that county and local goals are achieved – recognizing that countywide decisions have differing effects on individuals and businesses depending upon their physical locations and personal views;
- Providing necessary utility services including clean water supply, electricity, telephone, natural gas, storm water drainage, and disposal of sewerage and solid waste in a manner which is fiscally and environmentally responsible;
- Maintaining strength through appropriate public and private investments in physical improvements and ongoing efforts for protecting itself from intrusion by incompatible uses;
- Demonstrating an uncompromising commitment to the conservation of our scarce resources through the proactive behavior of our residents, businesses, local government and academic leaders.
In addition to our Vision Statement we developed a “Mission Statement.” Our Mission is “To provide the highest level of economic development services to retain, expand and attract investment in businesses, industries and supportive infrastructure.” The Team identified three Strategies, each with three specific objectives. These specific objectives are crucial if we are going to be able to measure our success in achieving economic development.
The first Strategy is to “Create a County-wide integrated marketing campaign. The three objectives are to develop an ”Economic Development Brand,” to develop a “Lifestyle Brand,” and to develop a County “Website.” For example, the website is to be a “world class Allegany County website with a priority on Economic Development.”
The second Strategy is to establish an “Economic Development Structure.” The three objectives are to develop a “Consistent Message,” to establish a “Development Structure,” and to establish “Development Services.”
The third Strategy is aimed at “Business and Industry Retention, Expansion and Attraction.” The three Objectives involve establishing “Benchmarks,” providing support for “Business Collaboration,” and fostering “Foreign and Domestic Investment.”
The County Legislature formally adopted the Vision Statement, Mission Statement, Strategies and Objectives at its April 25th meeting. An implementation group has been established to guide county efforts to fulfill the promise of our newly established focus. The next year or two should be exciting and challenging. However, we have a lot of work to do.