Economic Development: Progress through Partnership

The term Economic Development is used widely and sometimes serves as an unexciting catch-all for work that has something to do with growing business. However, economic development – at its best – is anything but dull. The collaborative nature of true economic development in today’s business climate makes the process dynamic and forward-looking with a focus on community investment and growth through job creation.

In Clinton County and all around the country, today’s economic development efforts are multi-tier, multi-partner processes which require shared vision to be successful.  Dan Evers, Executive Director of the Clinton County Port Authority, cites the old paradigm of one single entity being exclusively responsible for economic development as no longer a best practice.  “At a certain level, economic development is everybody’s job. It takes all of us at the table, together, to identify our combined strengths and assets,” Evers says. “When you have the Chamber of Commerce, Clinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Main Street Wilmington and the Port sharing resources and information with one another and our other public sector partners like the City, County and Clinton County Regional Planning Commission, ideas flow and obstacles to getting things done diminish.”  These groups meet monthly as a roundtable to share information, ideas and opportunities. 

Currently the county is seeing signs of growth on multiple fronts.  Existing companies continue to grow and invest, and investment from new companies signifies recognition and market validation of the value that a Clinton County location provides. Evers remarks there is an increasing employment diversity in the local economy, as well.  “We are fortunate that incoming business ventures will require both skilled labor as well as entry level. It’s also a real plus that we can offer increased training and educational opportunities for tech-related employment throughout the county.”

 A record number of entrepreneurs and first-time business owners, along with established corporations, have chosen the Wilmington area to stake a claim in the market, grow businesses, and raise families.  Clinton County is thriving once again thanks to the efforts of many groups and individuals who believe in this community we call home.

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Question about Economic Development in Clinton County? Please contact us at 937-382-2737 or info@wccchamber.com.