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How Can The Economy Grow?

By Howard J. Grossman, AICP

How can the regional economy grow in coming years?

There are traditional ways such as supporting the role that local industrial development organizations play. This would include:

Adding marketing monies to the work of such entities as Penns Northeast.

Sending teams of specialists overseas to make known the advantages and assets of the region.

Securing advertisements in appropriate magazines that tell the story of the Pocono-Northeast.

These are a few examples of techniques that have proven successful in prior years. They are not the only ways to take actions that can continue to offer opportunities to attract new development and jobs to the region. There are other steps that perhaps are out of the box that can be developed in coming years. Here are a few.

Focus on the clustering of industries so that like facilities can join together in serving the region, providing jobs, and represent an entire industry sector by having similar products that can share the assets found in the region.

Have the Institute of Public Policy and Economic Development conduct a study that looks at out-of-the-box ways to establish new economic opportunities that can benefit the future of the region.

Examine the health industry of the region and study new health initiatives that relate to this sector and tie into Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and help attract jobs that are closely integrated with this type of health entity.

Inventory existing businesses on their future plans so that steps can be taken to assist them in reaching their expansion goals and achieve positive results in coming years.

Develop a STEAM regional program that highlights Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics as a means to enhance these opportunities and grow STEAM accordingly.

Survey regional residents to determine their interest and views regarding the economy of the Pocono-Northeast and use this information as one source in highlighting economic development.

Utilize the various community leadership programs in the region and the talent that graduates from them to help achieve better economic development.

Save and expand Tobyhanna Army Depot as the major employer of the region and extend the role of defense industries that exist within this region and expand these key job sources as much as possible.

Organize and provide source information for both the urban and rural sectors of regional life as a means to promote economic development. This includes major downtown revitalization efforts where they have not already occurred.

Involve the clergy in the region in economic development activities since they reach many people through their contact with their congregations. This will demonstrate the role that the many types of religious organizations can play in helping to expand the ability to focus attention on the human scale of activity that has always been critical in community life.

The growth of the regional economy is critical to employment opportunities, and to increasing the income levels that have often been criticized as a liability. More attention to this issue will be a factor in making the future economy a condition that will be helpful in the support of economic growth.

The growing of the regional economy will occur through many factors including through traditional steps as well as some newer ways and some that have yet to be devised. One of the ways to expand is to evaluate what other regions are doing to meet economic goals. Application of what is happening elsewhere to conditions in this region is always a step in the right direction to meet strategic and tactical goals.

Community development is another possible source of economic growth and should be examined as a means to foster a better regional economy. This includes using the educational system to enable students to learn about this topic. In addition, all the various service clubs found in the region should be asked to support economic development. In addition, the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, all of whom contribute to the economy, need to be deeply involved and committed to economic growth in collaborative partnerships.

Here is a way to remember how to achieve the means to encourage the growth of the regional economy. It can be summed up in the acronym PODSCORB which stands for planning, organizing, directing, staffing, coordinating, reporting and budgeting. The use of this word is part of public administration, but can be applied to all economic sectors.

The many local, county and regional development agencies that exist in the region are great sources of support for growing the economy. Working together, they can enhance the role of each community as well as the economy in the Pocono-Northeast. They are the organizations which can apply out-of-the-box themes to help create a positive future that can compete in a globalized economy.