12/17/05 — Partnership bodes well for economic development

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Partnership bodes well for economic development

Unified toward the common purpose of bringing more economic development to Wayne County. That is the goal of the newly created partnership between the Goldsboro and Mount Olive Committees of 100 and the Wayne County commissioners.

The announcement, made last week as part of the Impact Wayne kickoff, was a surprise to many and a reason for optimism for anyone who hopes to be part of making this county stronger and more vibrant in the future.

The unified effort will send a message to prospective industrial and business clients that this county is serious about competing for investment. Wayne County will be able to have the quick response and professional presentation necessary to attract interest and keep this region on the minds of decision-makers as they try to find the best places to put their manufacturing facilities and jobs. And that could only mean good news for this county as it moves into the next decade.

There are many who will wonder why it took so long for community leaders to figure out that joining forces would be a good idea. After all, it seems like a pretty obvious conclusion to reach.

And perhaps that is a lesson about thinking like a county that could be applied in other avenues as this area’s leaders chart the course for the future. Keeping independent identities for Wayne County’s communities is important, but making sure there is business investment and residential interest to support them is just as crucial.

The architects of this new partnership have made a few promises. They have pledged that no community will be favored over another — and that business interests will be sold the county, not a particular site.

They have also promised that the money that is raised to support the public and private partnership will show results and be spent wisely. And if it isn’t, they say any supporter is encouraged to withdraw his or her support.

So, both those promises presuppose a lot of openness about the county’s economic development efforts and a whole lot of accountability for where the money goes and what results this community can expect from those efforts.

This new partnership is a chance for a new beginning and an exciting time for Wayne County. Competitors from around the country will find an even stronger contender for industrial investment dollars as a result.

A serious effort and the significant funding that will be expected to support it should result in an aggressive marketing strategy that can’t help but mean more and better for this community. The effort should also be accompanied by nothing short of zealous accountability.

Impact Wayne is a reason to celebrate.

And a reason to watch carefully for what the future will bring.

Published in Editorials on December 17, 2005 10:37 PM