The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

April 21, 2013

Panel helps steer economy

JEFFERSON —  The county’s economic steering committee is entering a new phase of existence, a rebirth, a metamorphosis and a celebration of goals accomplished, members say.

In 2009, county commissioners contracted with Governing Dynamic to develop a unified economic development plan for Ashtabula County. In March 2010, a strategic planning meeting was held, bringing together more than 200 community leaders to identify the most pressing issues facing Ashtabula County following the country’s recession, and develop a roadmap of goals designed to set the county’s economic development efforts on the right path.

“The goal of the strategic meeting, and the efforts that have come out of that meeting since, is to get everyone’s arrows pointed in the same direction,” said Robert Taylor, one of the founding members of the committee. “Once we are all working together, toward the same goals, we can truly be successful.”

In August 2010, following the presentation of results to commissioners from the strategic meeting, the commissioners formed the Ashtabula County Economic Steering Committee.

“Building upon our considerable natural resources, strong agricultural heritage and tireless work ethic, Ashtabula County will build a thriving and diverse economy that generates the jobs and resources our citizens require to provide for their families and enjoy a quality of life that is the envy of our region,” the report from Governing Dynamics stated. “We will achieve this through collaboration, innovative thinking and energetic leadership that unites our citizens, businesses, organizations and governments, in a common efforts to make our county a preferred destination and a model of economic strength and vitality.”

The committee was formed by the commissioners and assigned a list of goals to address, which would ultimately help to fan the flame of economic growth in Ashtabula County. The committee was asked to help:

• Organize an overall economic development team that encourages participation by all sectors of the county economy

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