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WEDCO sets goals for year

The Williams County Economic Development Corp. (WEDCO) Board of Directors set its goals for the coming year during Tuesday morning’s meeting.

“The first thing I want to say is to remind everybody, and for everyone that’s new, WEDCO’s mission is to foster collaboration, collaborative partnerships among public and private sectors to stimulate economic growth and to improve the quality of life in our communities,” said WEDCO Chair Mari Ivan.

She added to meet those ends, the board’s executive committee came up with three different areas for the strategy goals for the year.

WEDCO Executive Director Ashley Epling said as far as collaborative partnerships go, the board would like to increase awareness of what it is doing.

“We looked at creating metrics that we can actually measure, so part of that would be to increase our social media by 10% across all platforms,” Epling said.

She added WEDCO would also like to monitor traffic to its website.

“The other part was revenue growth of 10%,” Epling said. “So that would be an increase in our membership base, either new members or current members that maybe increase their investment.”

She said asking for those increased investments requires WEDCO being able to show it provides value to members, which goes back to its awareness campaign.

A third goal is to track economic growth in the county using specific metrics, such as new business growth and investments, grant funds received, jobs created or retained and getting local students into the local workforce.

“We know that finding a skilled workforce and increasing that workforce was important for the area for growth,” Ivan said.

She added Epling has been working with county schools and businesses to try to show students what jobs are available in the county.

“We thought it would be meaningful to report out on how many seniors are exiting into the career force and staying in businesses in Williams County,” Ivan said.

Plans are for WEDCO to report how many internships there are or school to work placements for area students.

This topic, as well as how Williams County communities can make themselves more marketable for development, may be presentations given at the WEDCO annual meeting planned for March 21 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Williams County Veterans Memorial Building.

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