This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, May 11, 2017

By Kaycee Kemper

Partnerships are the lifeblood of our work here at the Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), and we have recently helped to form a strategic partnership that very well may be the most impactful one to date.

ACEDC, Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce, Destination Gettysburg, and the Adams County Office of Planning and Development have partnered to focus on business attraction efforts in Adams County. Each entity plays an integral role to retain and support businesses in Adams County.  Over the past several months, these entities began discussing which industries our communities can sustain and which industries we would like to attract.

One product that resulted from our meetings thus far: a cooperative advertising campaign hitting regional publications, titled “Advantage Adams.”

Using information provided by a study commissioned by Adams County Office of Planning and Development (ACOPD), the partners are diving into the data and will also be holding industry roundtable discussions throughout the coming months. Various business leaders will be invited to attend the roundtable sessions to discuss challenges and opportunities facing their particular industry. We are interested in learning how our partnership can assist existing businesses to ensure their success into the future. Let us know if you are interested in participating!

You have heard Robin Fitzpatrick, President of ACEDC, talk about 2017 being “the year of the municipality.” ACEDC and ACOPD are also working together to meet with all 34 municipalities this year to learn where and what type of growth is welcome and where it is not.

One of our partners, Sherri Clayton-Williams, Director of the Adams County Office of Planning and Development, has incredible technology at her fingertips, aiding in the identification of parcels of land or buildings poised for development/redevelopment.  The Planned Community Areas (PCA) tool will be extremely helpful during our upcoming meetings with municipalities.

“In our capacity, we can assist ACEDC by using maps to locate a parcel of land or a building. The PCA tool enables us to comprehensively look at parcels of land; it helps us visualize things within our community such as areas where utilities are available, the transportation network, whether land can be adapted to meet the needs of a special project; we can see zoning overlaid on the map; it’s a very flexible tool used to analyze a variety of data,” Clayton-Williams explains.

“Meeting together with municipalities will be very beneficial,” says Clayton-Williams. “It will provide us with a lot of input we can factor into our economic development plan and strategy. We know that land use decisions are made at the local level first.”

Overall, Clayton-Williams says the community strategic partnership is a positive move. “It’s a unique opportunity for all of the partners to work together, and it’s important for the future of economic development in the county. It’s refreshing to hear different perspectives, but in the end we all want the same thing—communities where everyone can live, work, and play. We need to find that balance together.”

Stay tuned for the next Commissioners’ Forum, where the community is invited and encouraged to attend to learn more about this partnership and how we’re pulling our resources to work together for the greater good of Adams County and its business community.

Kaycee Kemper serves as Vice-President of ACEDC. For additional information, see, call 717-334-0042, and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.