By R.J. DeLuke
The Saratoga Economic Development Corp. (SEDC) has launched Advance Saratoga, a five-year action plan that continues to accelerate economic growth in our county.
Advance Saratoga, SEDC said in a statement, "is our private-sector-driven plan for continuing to accelerate economic growth in Saratoga County." It is a five-year plan with a budget of $3.5 million for which the agency is raising funds to support the effort.
A kickoff reception was held April 6 at the Holiday Inn in Saratoga Springs.
"In putting together the Advance Saratoga initiative, we first looked back at the economic development success stories that helped make Saratoga County the hub of activity it is today," said SEDC President Dennis Brobston. "You tally up the numbers and see that SEDC has played a role in the creation of more than 17,500 jobs. Projects we've been involved in generate over $34 million in tax revenues every year. And the cumulative investment of these projects total more than $13 billion.
"That's the environment Advance Saratoga comes out of. But this is about more than our rich past. It's about the future of Saratoga County. This is the private-sector plan that takes our economic development success and elevates it to the next level."
SEDC projects it could generate 9,460 new direct and indirect jobs, $352 million in new payroll and more than $15 billion in capital investment.
"Through our Advance Saratoga initiative, we are asking private-sector SEDC members to commit to continuing their investment, taking our economic development efforts to the next level," the agency said.
"Since our founding in 1978, SEDC has positioned Saratoga County as an ideal place to grow a business, invest in the future and create jobs. In that time, SEDC has assisted with more than 200 successful business attraction, retention and expansion projects, accounting for more than 17,000 new jobs, millions of dollars in annual tax revenue and $12 billion in business investments."
SEDC said its plan is targeted to five industry sectors "that have proven track records of success in our region and/or complement existing businesses. These success stories -- combined with SEDC's worldwide relationships, bold new marketing strategies and tactics, and the financial and intellectual capital of our private-sector partners -- will ensure that Saratoga County remains a premier destination to invest and grow a business for years to come."
The agency said the aim of Advance Saratoga is to aggressively sell Saratoga County's world-class assets with a new, highly targeted marketing campaign; accelerate highly strategic and targeted job creation and retention program to generate the highest possible return on investment; and build and strengthen Saratoga County's capacity to expand economic opportunity.
Targeted industries are semiconductor manufacturing and supply chain, light manufacturing, corporate headquarters and warehousing/distribution.
SEDC said those sectors "will be made vividly aware of our many advantages: a highly educated and skilled workforce, build-ready real estate, in-place infrastructure and competitive incentives."