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President's Message

Including and Aligning Different Disciplines in Economic Development

Our regular readers know that CERC has been engaged in a national and global discussion about the definition of economic development. At the IEDC conference in Toronto, at the NEDA Conference in Providence, and in our discussions with clients and with towns as part of our Municipal Training, we are embracing a very broad-based definition of economic development.

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by Bob Santy  |    |  Comments 

Uniquely a Statewide Economic Development Organization

I am taking the relative quiet of mid-August to reflect on CERC and its value proposition.  Actually, we started a process back in April to help us answer that question.  The CERC board and the staff all went through an exercise of defining our value proposition.  A staff subcommittee has been refining that work, and this week we will meet with a board committee to take that work to the next step.  Our goal is to gain clarity in how we and our partners define CERC’s value and be able to measure how we are accomplishing our priority desired outcomes. 

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by Bob Santy  |    |  Comments 

EDOs in the Next Decade

 

In September I will be going to Toronto for the IEDC annual conference. While there, I will participate in a Learning Lab discussing “EDOs in the Next Decade.” I spent some time this week trying to define what I might bring to the table. Following are some of the ideas, and I welcome input as I finalize my remarks.

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by Bob Santy  |    |  Comments 

Connecticut Needs a New Budget Approach to Achieve Better Outcomes

This op-ed was originally published in The CT Mirror, The Stamford Advocate, The Greenwich Time, and The CT Post

Let me start by stating the obvious:  Our state’s budget process is broken. We live in a time of perpetual fiscal stress, and have been unable to deal with structural issues that face the state.  Our existing budget framework is just not up to the job.   We need to scrap our balkanized budget process and adopt a new approach that sets top policy goals and funds them within available revenues.

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by Bob Santy  |    |  Comments 

Connecticut's Global Competitiveness

This week the Travelers tournament is front and center at the Tournament Players Club in Cromwell.  I just did a little research, and the PGA Tour includes 86 international players (from outside the US) from 24 countries.  Maybe we don’t perceive this event as featuring Connecticut globally, but it does.  Yesterday a group of Connecticut economic developers gathered at the TPC for a Connecticut Economic Development Association event.  The topic was Connecticut’s global positioning.  Megan Torrey, the Executive Director of the World Affairs Council did a great presentation featuring the topic of Connecticut‘s positioning in the world.

We all need to recognize that Connecticut’s economy is intertwined with researchers, innovators, companies and governments around the world. Even when we our conducting our transformational municipal economic development workshop in a town of 3500, we always make the point that they are tied to the performance of the global economy. Most every place in Connecticut has residents that work for global companies, our educational institutions have researchers on staff from around the globe, we are all world citizens. That’s great, because Connecticut is well positioned to be a lead player around the globe.  Close to 14% of our state’s population is foreign born compared to 9.7 nationally.  We are a diverse state and a well-educated state.  We also have access to transportation centers that make global travel easy.

At CERC, our business recruitment team has been busy this month with several international recruitment events from Shanghai and Brazil to London and Washington D.C. -- in addition to a significant Connecticut delegation presence at the Paris Air Show.  We are also planning an expansion of our international recruitment to Germany starting early in the next fiscal year.  We should all be concentrating on how well Connecticut performs in the global arena and use that to sell ourselves as a great business location!

by Bob Santy  |    |  Comments 

Impacts on Economic Development Patterns in Connecticut

On May 10, I spoke at the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce Real estate event. The audience is primarily commercial brokers, bankers, economic developers and local officials. This gave me the opportunity to tie together some of my thoughts about development patterns and the state’s fiscal crisis, particularly as it impacts towns.

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by Bob Santy  |    |  Comments