Norwalk celebrates Economic Development Week

Cary Ashby • May 6, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Norwalk will join cities across the United States in celebrating Economic Development Week from May 8 through 13.

The week-long event was created by the International Economic Development Council and is being held during the organization’s 91st anniversary. The IEDC is the world’s largest professional organization for economic developers. Locally, the event is being spearheaded by the Norwalk Economic Development Corp. (NEDC).

“We’re excited to launch this campaign within the city of Norwalk,” NEDC Executive Director Heather Horowitz said. “Included in our 2017 Economic Development Week activities will be a series of media articles, informational seminars, roundtable events and more.” 

Chris Castle, assistant director, said Economic Development Week “gives everyone an opportunity to highlight what we do.”

Typically, economic development can be described in terms of objectives. These objectives most often are designed to create jobs and wealth and to improve the quality of life. Economic development also can be described as a process that influences growth, enhancing the overall well-being of a community.

In the broadest sense, these goals are met through business attraction, retention and expansion; real estate development; and coordination with local, county and state government.

“Economic development should reflect the needs of the community it is serving. NEDC believes that in order to have an engaged, thriving community we need to focus on strong relationships and work in conjunction with areas (of Norwalk),” Horowitz said.

Horowitz and Castle believe economic development flourishes when business leaders, government officials and school systems share the same vision.

“This is a flag we can rally around. We have to be aware of the overall pulse (of the community),” Castle added. 

The bottom line for NEDC is doing what’s best for the Norwalk area. 

“The people are the best resources for companies which have chosen or will chose to do business in Norwalk,” Castle said.

In the fall, NEDC partnered with Jobs Ohio for a dry run-through to show how the organization attracts businesses to the city and how officials follow up with those same places. Horowitz said Jobs Ohio representatives were impressed with the NEDC presentation and “our ability to tell the story.”

NEDC was told that “the cherry on the top” was having company leaders or presidents speak to the “interested business” during a site visit, she added. 

“At the end of the day, it is about fostering those relationships,” Horowitz said, and focusing on fostering a great community that reflects the residents and their needs.

“Make sure tomorrow is better than today,” Castle added.

For additional information on NEDC or Economic Development Week, visit www.norwalkned.com or call office manager Sherry Henry at 419-668-9858.

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