Celebrating Economic Development Week | 2024

By David Swenson, Director for York County Economic Development 

This week, the International Economic Development Council celebrates Economic Development Week. This is an annual recognition of the benefits that economic development efforts bring to communities and citizens across the globe. In York County, we celebrate this week and recognize the hard work our staff and partners undertake to make economic development a success.

Understanding Economic Development
So what is economic development? By definition, it is the intentional practice of improving a community’s economic well-being and quality of life. This practice includes undertaking a broad range of activities that aim to attract, retain, and create jobs, along with fostering a positive and resilient business climate that can experience growth in the tax base and stability of the local economy. Achieving economic prosperity, as defined above, requires an understanding of the economic development process that involves many stakeholders. Successful communities that engage in the process are those that set a vision and a plan. They are also willing to invest time and resources to accomplish the mission and achieve those goals that impact future generations.

Recognition of Team Members
I want to recognize the team members at the York County Economic Development Department who have a passion for our mission and our professional practice. We are involved in a professional industry that follows a code of ethics, undertakes regular education and training, and holds professional certifications. We have varying backgrounds and specializations and are often engaged with leadership in policymaking as well as the administration of policies, programs, and projects that impact economic development in York County. To be the best at our craft, we stay engaged and work in collaboration with partners representing industry, government, and community. Our role is often described as the convener of stakeholders and the lead advocate for the vision and mission our community seeks to achieve.

Impact in York County
York County is blessed to have a vibrant and diversifying economy. Since 2013, our area has seen over $2 billion in announced investment and over 15,000 jobs. This impact comes because of the hard work of many involved in the economic development process. What they do to help existing and new companies, address challenges and opportunities for our existing and growing workforce, promote the area as a business-friendly location, plan and invest in community infrastructure, initiate targeted area revitalization efforts, and assist small business and entrepreneurship efforts bring great value and benefit to York County.

Call to Action
As we celebrate Economic Development Week, let's reflect on the significance of our roles and responsibilities in the economic development process for our community and future generations. With over 28 years in the profession, I have witnessed firsthand the importance of being a student of the process, a convener of leaders, an engaged listener to others, a salesperson focused on what is best for the community, and supporting the many ambassadors of York County. Help us celebrate Economic Development this week as we focus on ensuring York County continues to be the Location You Need, The Life You Want.

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