Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation
333 Kennedy Drive, Torrington, CT 06790
860.567.2204 - email@example.com - www.nwctedc.com
Monday, April 17, 2017
@ NW CT Chamber of Commerce
The meeting was called to order by President/Chairman Doug Parker at 8:08 a.m.
Attendance: Doug Parker, JoAnn Ryan, Steve Zarrella, Leo Paul, Jr., Ted Shafer, Don Stein
1. Updating the NW CT CEDS
Background: NW CT CEDS (Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy) is a five-year plan to align regional objectives/initiatives with state and federal guidelines. Approval is required by DECD, the Governor and the U.S. EDA. The current NW CT CEDS will expire in April 2018. NWCTEDC is a recognized EDD (Economic Development District) by the U.S. EDA. An updated is CEDS is required to maintain EDD status.
A request for $10,000 was presented to the NHCOG for approval. NHCOG approved $10,000 toward updating the NW CT CEDS. NHCOG & NWCTEDC will apply for a planning grant to EDA for $40,000. The grant is a 50/50 matching grant, in-kind services can be applied toward the match. NHCOG would provide $10,000 and $10,000 in-kind services, EDA would match it with $20,000 if the grant request is approved.
2. Preparing for the Update of the NW CT CEDS in 2018
Critical questions that will guide the CEDS process:
- Who is going to do each one?
- What resources are necessary and where will they come from?
- What is the schedule? Are there any interim milestones?
- What is the intended end product?
- What are the measures of success?
3. NHCOG Regional Tourism Marketing Initiative
Background: Jocelyn Ayer was seeking NHCOG 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 planned to hire a short-term consultant to make sure the town pages (for each of the 21 towns/cities in NW CT) are frequently updated on the CTVisit.com state-wide tourism web site.
- NHCOG did not approve the $10,000 funding.
- The state's tourism office has offered to help set up pages for free for each municipality on CtVisit.com.
- The state's budget problems may also impact future funding for the NHCOG.
4. Roles & Responsibilities of NWCTEDC
An open discussion was conducted to provide for informal input into future directions for the NWCTEDC.
- Primary responsibility is the development of the NW CT CEDS.
- CEDS objectives/initiatives should be limited, manageable and achievable
- Serve as a liaison between the NHCOG (public) and NW CT Chamber (private) to balance the needs of the public and private sectors.
Not Role of NWCTEDC
- NWCTEDC should not own commercial properties (usually for the purpose of brownfields redevelopment).
- Projects should be regional.
- NW CT CEDS should be limited to achievable objectives/initiatives within a five year time frame.
Current issues that most likely will be included in the new CEDS
- Regional marketing: marketing NW CT as a region to attract businesses, tourists and younger workers and families
- Workforce development and job training: matching employer needs with worker skills.
- Demographic concerns: aging population, retaining younger workers and families in the region.
- Brownfields: continue to develop strategies for the reuse of commercial properties with potential environmental issues.
- Develop a baseline of metrics to enable the measurement of success for CEDS objectives/initiatives.
5. PBS Video Project
Doug presented a video project aligned with PBS to create a regional video highlighting the region at the state and national levels via PBS. The cost involved was not achievable ($27,000). Project was rejected.
6. NWCTEDC By-Laws
Brief discussion of three issues:
- Change number of directors from 25-40 to 20-30: keep it at 25-40
- Annual meeting January or June: keep it in January
- Allow proxy voting: yes by phone, not via email
- The meeting was officially adjourned at 9:20 a.m.
NW CT Economic Development Corporation