By Duane Kanagy, Manager of Communications/Community Services, Adams Electric / This column was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, December 13, 2018

What considerations do businesses prioritize, if they’re evaluating a move to Adams County? Would it be the labor force, the quality of life, the roads and the utility infrastructure?

All of those are high on the list, including determining an electric power source because it doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. The electric distribution system has to be planned and expanded well in advance of a new business’ arrival. The job is made easier when a business park or commerce center exists, because utilities are already in place and roads exists to support a group of businesses. That is not always the case and Adams Electric has short- and long-term plans in place to respond to the needs of businesses relocating to South Central Pennsylvania.

A few years back there was a cable TV series called “Life After People” on which experts speculated about what might become of Earth, should humans suddenly disappear. The show always made me think about what could happen to this nation’s infrastructure if humans were not around to maintain the roads, bridges, power plants, etc.

What if no one was around in the first place to plan for that infrastructure? That is what economic development is about and why talented people make careers out of laying the groundwork to attract and retain businesses. It’s all part of good economic development planning, which fosters the smart growth of businesses and the infrastructure that supports them.

But what if economic development suddenly disappeared? What would happen to an area over the years and decades if the planners, financiers, consultants, government officials and civil engineers were not around to create and maintain a vibrant economic development plan? Where would businesses get their financing? How would business people receive information, statistics and support?

The Chamber of Commerce in Fort Collins, Colorado, sums up my thoughts. Under the heading “Why do economic development,” the Chamber’s website states, “One purpose of economic development is to create a vibrant local economy. On a personal level, a vibrant local economy helps people fulfill their potential and pursue their dreams. It provides them the financial means to support an aging parent. It provides the means to buy a new car or have a nicer place to live. It’s the freedom to leave a stifling job for another or to even strike out on your own. It’s about having the ability to travel or continue your education or your children’s education. It’s about leaving a legacy.”

The business of making sure economic development continues in Adams County, for the greater good of Adams County, is the job of the Adams Economic Alliance. Adams Electric has proudly supported the Alliance and its work for years, and we encourage all local businesses to join if they are not already members. A full description of the many benefits of economic development can be found on the organization’s website,

If you still doubt the value of good economic development and smart growth, consider the words of Economist Don Allen Holbrook who said, “Change is inevitable, but progress is truly optional.”

This month’s Adams Economic Alliance column is provided by Duane Kanagy, Manager of Communications/Community Services for Adams Electric Cooperative, longtime valued committee member and current Director, Adams Economic Alliance Board of Directors.

YOU are invited to partner with Adams Economic Alliance as a 2019 Investor (member). Investments by businesses, nonprofits and individuals include a host of benefits, but the paramount one being: increased economic activity for the greater good of Adams County. The Alliance is grateful to Adams Electric and all 2018 investors! Contact Alliance Vice President Kaycee Kemper (717-334-0042, [email protected]) for more information and to become an investor today.