CBICC President and CEO
(Note: The following op-ed by Greg Scott appeared in the Centre Daily Times, StateCollege.com and the Lock Haven Express)
Centre County is a place of history, opportunity and promise.
Farmers, academics, entrepreneurs, business owners and working men and women have called this special place home for generations –respecting and appreciating the past, while also planning for and investing in the future.
The Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County first became the “voice of business” and a catalyst for connection, influence and economic opportunity in the region in 1920.
Although our mission, a century later, remains the same, we now find ourselves facing unprecedented challenges that include economic disruptions on a local, regional, national and global scale.
As home to Penn State, one of the top research universities in the world and Centre County’s top employer and economic driver, we have long enjoyed a stable economy and an unemployment rate lower than the state average.
Those who live here also benefit from a rich cultural heritage, quality health-care facilities, award-winning schools, and breathtaking and abundant natural resources.
There’s so much to be grateful for, it’s easy to understand how the comfort and security we enjoy here in “Happy Valley” might lead to a sense of complacency and make us reluctant to lean into our current economic headwinds.
Now, more than ever, it's important to be smart, bold and strategic in our efforts to diversify our economy, expand our tax base and create job opportunities to better control our destiny.
The CBICC is committed to:
-Convening stakeholders in the development and execution of a strategic economic plan for Centre County.
-Diversifying our economy by protecting and growing existing businesses while competing successfully against other markets for much-needed investments and new job creation.
-Investing resources and supporting community programs for talent development to ensure a strong and highly skilled homegrown workforce.
- Facilitating real-estate development projects to ensure equity and create prosperity in our shared communities.
A strong economic-development strategy is about empowering people and communities by supporting businesses, supporting workers and supporting a high quality of life.
It’s about helping existing businesses stay and grow, while also attracting and welcoming new companies.
It’s about enabling individuals to gain the ability to provide for themselves and their families through high-wage, value-added jobs.
It’s about providing workforce-development opportunities and job skills to compete in the new innovation economy and technology-driven industries.
It’s about increasing economic prosperity in every corner and neighborhood in Centre County for the benefit of all.
And it’s about building on the incredible quality of life we already enjoy by providing new services and amenities and making Centre County an even better place to live, work and play.
We’re poised to make it all happen.
To be successful, it will require collaboration between the private sector and government – a proactive partnership in which the CBICC, community leaders, businesses, organizations, and elected officials develop and nurture policies to ensure measurable and sustainable economic outcomes.
The CBICC, along with its economic development arm, the Centre County Industrial Development Corporation (CCIDC), is among many community resources – businesses, utilities, educational institutions, banks, real-estate developers, neighborhood groups, nonprofit organizations, foundations and more – shouldering this responsibility and playing central roles in the process.
The CBICC is committed to leading the conversation, and to sharing knowledge that will help others advocate with confidence for smart growth.
Momentum is building, and you’ll want to stay tuned because significant investment opportunities are coming our way.
By working together to embrace robust, resilient and thoughtful economic-development strategies, we will persevere and win in the workplace, win in the marketplace and, most importantly, win with vision and integrity.
Here’s to much future success!