County Executive Tom Gordon has ordered the first-ever comprehensive economic development plan for New Castle County, which comprises nearly three-quarters of the State’s economic activity. Once completed, the "New Castle County 2025 Economic Development Plan" will be a blueprint for economic growth and sustainability in the First County of the First State.
“Delaware is ranked second to last in GDP growth, home price appreciation, and wage growth. According to Moody’s, one of the three major credit rating agencies, we're the only state in the union at risk of falling back into the recession,” County Executive Gordon said. “Now is not the time for blind optimism but, rather, for realistic self-assessment and comprehensive planning.”
Chief Administrative Officer David Grimaldi, who managed nearly a quarter billion dollars throughout his private sector career, will work with Economic Development & Policy Director Marcus Henry to launch focus group meetings with leaders from business, labor, and academia, as well as other governmental entities and civic organizations.
“There's an old saying, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’,” Grimaldi said. “We can’t have a serious conversation about sustainable economic growth without a clear strategy to accomplish established goals. The County Executive’s plan will be the first in the County and in the State.”
The County Executive’s Economic Development Plan would have four components:
• A rigorous self-assessment to determine the competitive strengths of northern Delaware and build upon them• Identification of the growth industries of the future, taking into account the demographic and technological shifts which are likely to define the next decade• Devise a plan to attract and retain growth-sector businesses and rejuvenate the entrepreneurial spirit of New Castle County• Develop realistic timelines with quantifiable measures of progress
“We need to create an entrepreneurial environment where new ideas can be met by early stage investors and grow into successful businesses,” Gordon said. “When companies are born here, they tend to stay here.”