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About the Alliance

Strategic Plan

The following represents a summary of a five month strategic planning process that involved input from 91 community leaders, 23 key private sector employers and the Otsego County Economic Alliance Board of Directors.

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Primary Program Goals

The Alliance has identified its primary program goals are to retain, expand and attract base industries. These base industries are currently identified as manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, energy, information technology and high value destination tourism.

Barriers to Development

As identified by our business and community leaders:

          1. Lack of or inconsistent planning and construction of appropriate infrastructure. 

          2. Employment base with low skill level and reliance on low paying retail and seasonal jobs.

          3. Uncontrolled growth impacting an accepted and desired quality of life.

          4. Attitudes that are resistant to higher wage industries and desiring that growth and                          development happen elsewhere.

Strategic Goals and Objectives

The Alliance Board recognizes that its primary role in managing economic development in Otsego County is to impact the number and quality of jobs by retaining, expanding and attracting quality industry to the county. In doing so, the Alliance has agreed that it can only be effective in this role, if all aspects of the community - its leadership, infrastructure, land use, public services and overall quality of life - are conducive to these goals.

The Alliance recognizes that the barriers identified and listed above will directly affect its work. The Alliance also recognizes that it has a limited ability to directly affect several of these barriers. It does, however, have a role in seeing that they are addressed.

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The following are the strategic goals and objectives proposed to implement the Alliance's Mission, Vision and Primary Program Goals:

Strategic Goal: Retain and expand existing base industry

Identify and develop profiles on all base industries, conduct visits to at least 50% at least once a year, identify issues affecting continued operations or expansion plans, provide appropriate follow-up and support.

Develop a communication strategy for maintaining contact with base industries and updating them on issues and information of relevance to them.

Strategic Goal: Attract new base industry to county

Develop and provide location information including vacant site and building data base, current wage rate data, demographics, location costs, municipal service availability, etc.

Develop a cost effective, location appropriate marketing plan designed to define and target base industries to locate or expand their operations to Otsego County.

Develop a consistent tax abatement policy for use throughout the county.

Capitalize a fund that can be used to finance speculative building construction, finance the purchase of industrial sites and make other investments necessary to facilitate the location of new base industry.

Identify and develop additional industrial or business parks in Vanderbilt, Waters, Elmira (rail access) and Johannesburg.

Strategic Goal: Build infrastructure to support base industry

Access state and federal infrastructure grant funding to construct municipal water, sewer, storm water, roads and telecommunications to serve existing and new base industry.

Develop a plan that assesses the existing and future demand, supply and gaps in Otsego County's broadband telecommunications infrastructure and identifies projects and options to improve the cost and accessibility to broadband telecommunications infrastructure by business, residents and government.

Identify and move forward process to plan, finance and build local road access across I-75 to serve the Gaylord industrial parks.

Implement community-based effort to develop affordable housing.

Strategic Goal: Plan and implement general community development projects and services

Develop and implement a community and economic development plan for Vanderbilt to address municipal infrastructure, community facilities, downtown redevelopment and industrial park development.

Develop and implement community and economic development plans for the Elmira, Waters and Johannesburg Town Centers including revitalization projects for corridors and town centers that will improve the look, feel and commercial viability of those districts.

Provide access to small business assistance including business planning and financial packaging.

Capitalize a $200,000 revolving loan fund to provide start-up and gap financing to small businesses.

Develop, promote and provide assistance targeted towards fostering entrepreneurs.

Strategic Goal: Champion managed growth

Establish a Task Force of City, County, Township and Village officials designed to open up communication on county-wide development planning. Focus of effort would be to change planning orientation from municipal boundaries to growth boundaries, irrespective of municipalities, develop infrastructure planning in support, and develop consensus on the role of quality of life plays in our community.

Educate and promote a holistic approach to economic development to community leaders and community at large.