Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation
333 Kennedy Drive, Torrington, CT 06790
860.567.2204 - email@example.com - www.nwctedc.com
Board of Directors
Monday, March 20, 2017
@ NW CT Chamber of Commerce
The meeting was called to order by President/Chairman Doug Parker at 8:05 a.m.
Attendance: Jocelyn Ayer, Peter Bevivino, Susan Clayton, Fran Delaney, Bradford Hoar, Rich Meinert, Ben Paletsky, Doug Parker, Leo Paul, Jr., Willian Riiska, Steven Sadlowski, Larry Sweeney, Sharon Waagner, Myrna Watanabe, Erin Wilson, and Steve Zarrella. Guests: Tammy Warner (SBDC), Lauren Zordan (NW CT Chamber), Jane Williams (NCCC)
NCCC Entrepreneurial Center of Northwest CT
- Jane Williams explained the Center's purpose to connect established and new entrepreneurs through the NCCC for Workforce Development. It will provide business development support, education and training.
- Services offered will include support for new businesses, partnerships with Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE, business coaches, micro-lenders and internships.
NW CT Manufacturing Coalition Update
- Lauren Zordan reported on the connections between manufacturers and middle and high school students. Meetings are on the first Friday of each month and are well-attended.
Torrington Area Brownfield Area Wide Planning Grant
- Erin Wilson explained the purpose of the grant to develop strategies for converting brownfield properties for future development and to attract investors.
- The two focal areas are downtown Torrington and the former Hendley property on Prospect Street.
- There will be at least two more public forums.
- Torrington is developing a toolkit to help guide developers and prospective owners.
NWCT CEDS Update Proposal
- Jocelyn Ayers explained this is a five-year process working to align regional, state and federal involvement. The next strategy is to develop a plan and vision since we have received economic development district (EDD) designation. An updated plan is required by April 2018. It will go to the NHCOG for approval and will focus on implementable strategies. She requested a motion to proceed. On a motion by Steve Sadlowski, seconded by Leo Paul, the motion passed unanimously.
NWCT Regional Food Hub Project
- Jocelyn Ayer, representing the Partners for Sustainable Communities, reported that the 2017 pilot year will be launched toward the end of this year's growing season. A cooler truck will facilitate movement of regionally-produced agricultural products between farms and local grocery stores. 4 to 5 farms and 6 to 7 buyers will be involved. A USDA grant has been applied for and will require a 25% match. Total cost is estimated at $300,000. A motion to allow this to move forward was made by Myrna Watanabe, seconded by Larry Sweeney, was approved unanimously. A letter of support from NWCT EDC will be prepared by Doug Parker.
NHCOG Regional Tourism Marketing Initiative
- Jocelyn Ayer was seeking board support to use existing COG resources, $10,000, to develop plans to make sure all 21 towns represented by the COG and tourism-related businesses are included in the CTvisit.com site. She is seeking to hire a short-term coordinator to make sure the pages are updated and all involved are giving an opportunity to be included. She requested a motion in support of this initiative as well as a letter of support. The motion was made by Susan Clayton and seconded by Ben Parentsky. All were in favor. Doug Parker will prepare the letter.
Torrington High School Millennial Survey
- Jocelyn Ayer presented the results of a recent survey she conducted with regional high school students. Torrington High School had a high return of 504 participants in addition to 80 replies from other regional schools. The survey was to assess students and if they plan to remain or return to the area once schooling is completed.
- NW CT Chamber - Lauren Zordan announced the upcoming Job Fair which will take place on Thursday, March 30 at Torrington City Hall.
- NWCTEDC - Doug Parker distributed copies of the NWCTEDC Bylaws and asked members to review before the next meeting. Discussion was tabled until the next meeting.
The meeting was officially adjourned at 9:30 a.m.
NW CT Economic Development Corporation