In 2010, when Regional Growth Partnership morphed in to REX Development, the organization transformed from policy creation to implementation. The strategies from the original CEDS in 2003, with the 5 year update in 2008, provided essential information and laudable goals for the region. However, the Great Recession resulted in a completely changed environment and the need for an extremely proactive organization.
Throughout the recession, we leveraged the resources of our partners for our benefit and theirs. In addition, our pervasive interaction with a variety of both formal and informal groups increased the flow of information between organizations. Perhaps the most valuable role we play is as a knowledge repository. The current staff members are routinely assigned to attend specific meetings and events. We receive countless phone calls and emails asking for information on a wide variety of topics. As the other members of the community cannot participate to the level we do, they know they can count on us for accurate information on essential topics. And if we don’t have the information on hand, we can usually make a referral to the appropriate person. We connect people. This exchange prevents duplication of efforts and improves outcomes while efficiently managing the use of limited resources for many entities. We connect people.
Conversely, the importance of confidentiality is paramount in our communications. We respect the trust placed in us and do everything we can to preserve the integrity of our relationships. This is never more true than when working with site selectors or new/expanding businesses. Our reputation is core to our success.
Ultimately, our calling is to do as much as we can to meet the region’s needs as set forth in the CEDS. This is an ambitious goal. We know we will fall short, but we are truly committed to working toward the objectives that have been directly expressed to us from the communities. We do what we can through our own resources and are persistent in encouraging our partners to effectively play their roles in the overall strategy. We need good jobs now. We need workforce housing. We need to stop the brain drain. We need STEAM. We need to reclaim brownfields. We need to plan for the future. While daunting, we are confident that in working towards, monitoring and adjusting the economic development strategy, the Greater New Haven Region has unlimited potential and through steady, collaborative work, we can achieve our purpose.
It is with great pride I serve as Board Chair of the Economic Development Corporation of New Haven in conjunction with REX Development. As the owner of Science Park, I saw potential for a vibrant bioscience hub with office space for entrepreneurs and expanding businesses. My investment in that project has brought countless rewards. We have been home to entrepreneurs, startups, and rapidly growing businesses. That same potential exists throughout New Haven and the entire Greater New Haven Region. Science Park is the dream that became reality.
Over the past several years, I have personally experienced the energy that comes from a committed group of people working toward a common goal. Somewhat unexpectedly, that group consists of individuals from both the public and private sectors, sectors that are sometimes at odds. There are few on the board, if any, who don’t possess strong opinions and great pride in their enterprises. Whether they represent academia, healthcare, cities or towns, together they have forged a path that promotes the economic growth for Greater New Haven through tremendous cooperation and integrity.
We are extremely privileged to have world-renowned universities and hospitals within our region. With continued effort in education, workforce training and the reclaiming of contaminated sites, we can transform the research and prototypes from these entities into products and services that can be delivered by our residents, in our region. Our highly educated workforce is tremendous benefit when competing for businesses, but we have to address the education gap in the public school systems and to build the infrastructure necessary to support the industry clusters where we believe we can excel. The generosity of the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Yale University and Yale-New Haven Health System in supporting New Haven Promise is unparalleled in providing higher education to New Haven students.
In the competitive market for attracting and retaining businesses, we are fortunate to have an abundance of an essential natural resource – water. The effects of climate change continue to alter the industrial landscape. The availability of this extremely vital and limited resource can be a game changer for our communities. For the Growth Alliance of Metro New Haven to have this resource in its portfolio of assets will truly differentiate this region when competing for water dependent industries. New, existing and expanding industries will give greater consideration to our region simply because they cannot survive without ample, clean water.
Undoubtedly there are challenges. It is precisely because of these challenges that we need the Growth Alliance for Metro New Haven. They can dig deeper, build partnerships and smooth troubled waters. They offer neutrality, experience and enthusiasm for building a more productive Greater New Haven while maintaining the excellent quality of life we all have the great fortune to enjoy.
Economic Development Corporation of New Haven/REX Development, New Haven, CT
Chief Executive Officer
Greater New Haven Convention & Visitors Bureau, New Haven, CT
May 2007 – December2009
15 Municipal Economic Development Staff and/or municipal commissions of the So. Central CT Region, Regional Chambers of Commerce, Regional Alliance, New Haven Works, Workforce Alliance, Project Storefront, Regional Leadership Council, Arts Council of Greater New Haven, Central Regional Tourism District, CT State Office of Tourism, Arts Industry Alliance, Milford Progress, Inc., New Haven Manufacturer's Association, CURE, New Haven Festivals, Inc., Market New Haven, Inc., Town Green Special Services District, Southern Connecticut State University, Gateway Community College, Discover New England, University of New Haven, South Central Regional Council of Governments, Regional Water Authority, UIL, University Properties, Connecticut Economic Resource Center
Continuing to promote growth in a region that is still suffering the effects of the Great Recession. Looking to increase participation in identifying regional opportunities.
The South Central region was the first region in the State of Connecticut to obtain the US Economic Development Administration's Economic Development District designation.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Greater New Haven’s vibrancy is linked to its communities’ support of its neighborhoods, public gardens and sports, as well as its commitment to the protection of its people and pets.
A strong economy begins with a community that supports its people. When you support workforce training, financial literacy and public transportation, you enable individuals and families to work where they live, increasing their chances of economic success.
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