Did you ever notice that all sports are not ‘team’ sports? Some such as boxing or skiing depend on the skills of an individual over the coordinated approach of a team like basketball or soccer (congratulations Germany on the World Cup Championship, by the way!) Did you ever think about how much different managing a team may be than an individual athlete? Team sports involve many more personalities and differences that can be much more difficult to guide than those required of a single top athlete. That is much like the difference between successful – sustained economic development growth and short term gains.
One of the key philosophies universal among high performance regions of economic development is the understanding that there may be superstars at work but, as individuals they stand little chance of changing the economic structure of a region, a city, a business park, a neighborhood, a block, or street alone. Economic development is much more of a team sport than the perfect skills of a single player.
Going it alone or as a team, what a choice! After doing this kind of work for well over a decade, we have learned that the go it alone route is hard work, frequently less than rewarding and not the way to success, especially as an organization such as NCDC or a community such as Norwich or as a region such as eastern Connecticut. That’s the reason you will see NCDC staff investing time and energy in regional initiatives that improve the situation and economy beyond the geopolitical boundaries of Norwich, the community we all have in our hearts and minds every day. To the north we are working on strengthening relationships with communities who have large plots of level land suitable for larger projects requiring larger sites than available in Norwich. To the south you may see us working with the regional economic development entity called the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region, (SeCTer). SeCTer has recently been successful in securing the region as an Economic Development District (EDD) which means projects listed in the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) are now eligible for federal funding. This is significant to Norwich with over 15 projects listed and more on the way!
We regularly work with two chambers of commerce (Eastern and Greater Norwich) and as many as four and five (Westerly, Mystic, and Windham!) at various times of the year. Why? Because we never know where the next business opportunity connection may come from AND we support business and THEIR regional networks. There are two commercial real estate groups in our area and we are working with (SeCTer CID and ECAR) and supporting their brokers who are hard at work every day siting businesses. These connections not only help with individual business opportunities but are important in helping brand Norwich as a location where the TEAM works hard on behalf of business!
Thank you to our team! In addition to the organizations and members of those mentioned above, you have a super team here in the City of Norwich and its many great departments, Norwich Police Department and the Community Police Unit, Norwich Public Utilities- the hardest working utility in Connecticut, great cultural centers here like Slater Museum, The Historical Society, The Founders Society, The Spirit of Broadway, The Leffingwell House Museum, Otis Library and others. The fact is that selling Norwich to businesses is fun and rewarding because of these organizations and their supporters.
Mostly, we thank you, the citizens and workforce of Norwich and the region. You make this place what it is and help us do our job by being here.