ARMONK, N.Y. - Keeping young people in Westchester, giving a boost to the legislative agenda and increasing the number of educated citizens were the key points discussed Friday morning when the Westchester Coalition for Business outlined its goals to strengthen the county's economy.
President and CEO Marsha Gordon said a pro-business agenda would be necessary to keep the county strong and attract business.
"We felt it was important to view economic development beyond the traditional paradigm of real estate relocation plus incentives," Gordon said. "So we took a more macro, strategic approach and created our coalition around all areas to impact economic development."
The coalition's "tool kit" of action steps focused heavily on working to create an environment that is attractive for young people, more likely to act legislatively and investing enough resources into "spreading the word" about the county as an attractive place to do business.
The coalition released its findings at a press conference at C.W. Brown, whose late President Charlie Brown was chairman of the Business Council of Westchester until his death last month.
The 35-member coalition was formed in November, 2010 and works to outline and implement new economic strategies so businesses in Westchester stay put and new businesses want to establish themselves locally.
"This is not an easy task," County Executive Rob Astorino said. "We are now transitioning from the idea phase to the implementation phase and my team will work closely with the Business Coalition to put ideas to work."
The report recommended the creation of a Westchester County economic development public-private partnership to retrain existing businesses and attract new ones.
"Speaking with one voice on this issue is critical to the success of economic development," said Stephen J. Jones of Jones, LLP, chair of the Business Council of Westchester.
What do you think the county should do to attract new businesses?