On Wednesday, March 23 the Economic Strategy Advisory Panel assembled to move forward on plans to implement the strategy points laid forth by the Economic Development Committee. The Economic Development Strategy was created and outlined by John Rhodes, a Senior Principal of Moran, Stahl & Boyer Economic Development Consultants, and was adopted by the City Council on Monday, January 25.
The plan looks at Milford’s future in the year 2025 by investigating multiples aspects of the city including types of employers and jobs, use of land, growth of the downtown area, opportunities for the next generation and improving quality education.
Chairwoman Sher Valenzuela called the meeting to order and presented the first order of business to approve Dave Hitchens as Vice Chairman of the Advisory Panel to help with moving the action plan forward. The six action items considered under the Economic Development Strategy are commercial real-estate, workforce development, infrastructure, organizational support for economic development, support for new and existing businesses and marketing, promotions and internal communications.
“Our goals are aggressive when you look at our timelines. The reason for this is that the time to act is now,” stated Chairwoman Valenzuela.
At the March 23 meeting members of the Advisory Panel presented action plan priorities based on their individual interests and experience. Members will next be placed accordingly on subcommittees, by Chairwoman Valenzuela, to begin facilitating those action plans.
“I am so encouraged already by what this group of individuals has brought to the table. This will become a prototype for what other cities in Delaware can do,” commented Valenzuela. “I think we will gain momentum very quickly.”
Open communication between City Council and the Economic Advisory Panel will be critical in facilitating the Economic Strategy Plan. Richard Carmean, Director of the Economic Development Strategy, will regularly provide the Advisory Panel with updates of how the City is moving forward and accomplishing recommendations put forth. The Advisory Panel will then make monthly recommendations to the Economic Development Committee and City Council that include updated objectives, petitions for tools needed and progress reports of how the Advisory Panel is moving forward.
The next meeting of the Economic Development Advisory Panel will be held at City Hall on Wednesday, April 6 from 6 to 7pm. All meetings are open to the public. Members of the panel include Chairwoman Sher Valenzuela, Vice Chairman Dave Hitchens, Bill Pilecki, David Markowitz, Nolan Williams, Harvey Kenton, Jason James, Irv Ambrose, Fred Rohm, Craig Crouch, Bob Connelly and Sharon Kanter.