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Seeks a multi-pronged approach

Published May 22. 2010 09:00AM

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to the article published on Saturday, May 15th, 2010 entitled, "New dawn for entrepreneurs Carbon official throws first pitch in Entrepreneurial League System" by Al Zagofski. In the second paragraph, the article says, "Ferrante, Executive Director of the Carbon County Economic Development Corporation, has argued that the county's attempt to attract outside businesses is unlikely to succeed."

While I appreciate the coverage on this program, it's incorrect that I feel business attraction or recruitment will not be successful, or is not important to our County. In fact, in all my presentations and outreach to the community since I began in this position in February 2009, I have indicated a three pronged approach (illustrated below) to Economic Development.

The approach includes the recruitment of business into existing and future industrial parks. I work on a daily basis developing the Packerton Business Park and it is my strong conviction that this development will attract businesses interested in rail access, as these types of sites are rare.

While industrial development and recruitment has been a traditional approach to economic development and can be expensive and time consuming, I in no way feel that its importance should be diminished or eliminated on our overall strategy. The types of jobs that these larger companies bring are higher wage and are increasingly highly technical. My comments have been that recruiting these companies is time consuming and highly competitive. Currently, my department has limited human resources and pursuing these companies does not make sense in the short-term. However, because companies are seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint, I believe they will seek us out because of the need for rail access.

Carbon County is extremely diverse, in both its geography and types of economies and industry clusters it supports. We have manufacturer's, service organizations, home based businesses, and a strong heritage tourism industry that is also poised to grow and become a powerhouse in the region.

Applying a one-size fits all approach to such a diverse region and economy will only limit our capabilities as a County and as a community. This is why I have proposed a multi-pronged approach and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.

Thank you,

Dawn Ferrante

Director, Economic Development Corp.

Jim Thorpe

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