Like the Tip O'Neill saying for politics, it's true that all economic development is local.
No offense to the miriad of regional and state-level organizations that dole out incentives and herd projects during the numbers stage, but no investment occurs and no job gets created without a site and a superior community effort behind it.
That's why yesterday's groundbreaking for a major expansion by the Ascena Group in Licking County was so significant. The Newark Advocate reported on the $74MM/225-job project today.
There were many hands in the successful effort to convince Ascena officials to invest here. The hands of Grow Licking County and exec Dan Evers, in particular, stand out.
He proved the tag line for the new CIC is right. He simplified success.
Dan helped close the most notable deal of Grow Licking County's short, one-year life. His quote in the news report shows he gets it: "When you have a company as big as Ascena, to make a decision to be here twice, it's a market validation."
It is also validates the Port Authority decision to invest in a collaborative, professionally-led, totally-focused LOCAL approach with the new CIC. It's easy to be proud of our investment of resources and leadership to get it going when it works like it has to date.
Grow Licking County, grow.