This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, October 12, 2017:

By Duane Kanagy, Manager of Communications/Community Services, Adams Electric Cooperative

We have been asked why Adams Electric Cooperative supports the Adams County Economic Development Corporation (now part of the Adams Economic Alliance). Here is why.

Part of what the Alliance is doing right now is talking to local municipal officials, and anyone else who will listen, about the economic profile of Adams County. They, and other business organizations, are advocating for a strategic plan that identifies the strengths of this area and outlines ways that will increase economic opportunities for all ages and skill sets.

This profile indicates many challenges facing economic growth in this area, including the lack of available business sites, failing infrastructure and the overall less-than-positive business climate in the state. Here are several more:

  • The mindset toward economic development, preservation and growth and development are in conflict.
  • The lengthy and costly development review and approval process hinders investment in the community.
  • Code enforcement activities vary and standards are inconsistently enforced.
  • Adams County is becoming a retirement-oriented and workforce bedroom community instead of a growing business community that offers opportunities for younger people.
  • The lack of balance in the tax base, both in overall composition and geographically around the county, is hampering investment in infrastructure needed to generate additional investment.

Despite those challenges, the Alliance is working hard to improve the business climate in Adams County. By encouraging new businesses to open their doors and by providing support to those businesses that are already here, our local economy will improve and we all will benefit.

When it comes to growing the economic opportunities in this county, we can feel overwhelmed by the challenges we face OR we can advocate for a more robust business environment fueled by smart planning that benefits everyone.

This month’s Adams Economic Alliance column is provided by Duane Kanagy, Manager of Communications/Community Services for Adams Electric Cooperative, as a benefit of Adams Electric’s Investment in AEA for 2017. Additionally, Duane serves on AEA’s Board of Directors and is a valued member of several committees.

You are invited to partner with Adams Economic Alliance as a 2018 investor to continue our county’s success. 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. AEA is grateful to Adams Electric and all 2017 investors! Contact AEA’s Kaycee Kemper (717-334-0042, [email protected]) for more information and to become an investor today.