News & Insights
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: MUCH ACCOMPLISHED…MORE TO DO
To the People:
As we enter the final days of 2018 it is now clear that our long-term economic future is looking very bright.
Our unemployment is 3.4% given the latest available data, or 1.2% lower than this time last year. Sales tax revenues are significantly higher, allowing for the county to invest in correcting some long-term infrastructure needs as well as reinvest in economic development to help continue the growth trend for the foreseeable future; all the while keeping taxes in check.
Eight-hundred new jobs are slated for 2019 in hospitality and healthcare related industry sectors, as we make significant strides in diversifying our economy by laying the foundation to attract other industry sectors, like light manufacturing and logistics to our Industrial Commercial corridors.
Four new market rate (non seasonal) housing projects introducing nearly 1,500 units are completing their respective approvals work, which will create new housing inventory to help meet the demands of new or existing workers desiring to live locally.
With growth comes related challenges. Those long standing deficiencies that we have barely lived with through band-aid measures are now priorities that must be addressed.
Infrastructure in the form of water and sewer systems, bridges and roadway interchanges added to the ordinary maintenance of existing systems has surely been brought to the forefront and are strategically being addressed in high priority areas.
The demands of our new economy remind us how broadband deficient we are, particularly in our more rural sectors. Fortunately, our Assemblywoman, Aileen Gunther, has made this one of her signature priorities and together with her staff and interested stakeholders continues to work toward achieving complete access for all of Sullivan County.
We continue to work regionally partnering with what are typically our economic development competitors to address current and future traffic relief measures along the NY Route 17/ I-86 corridor to help ensure safe and efficient transportation for commuters and those who we are fortunate to welcome to Sullivan County as tourists and visitors.
Lastly, but first on everyone’s mind, workforce, an issue that challenges all industry sectors, will accelerate or bog down our growth trend depending on how we can effectively address it.
Our workforce development partners are working hard to best align our training and support efforts to the needs of our current market demands. The point is we are experiencing the beginnings of a successful run. Yet we are not sitting on our laurels or blind to the work yet to be done. Much has been accomplished in a short time period with much more to do.
Rest assured the Sullivan County economic development team is pushing forward, tackling those areas needed to continue the current economic momentum and that is a very positive circumstance.
We are excited about what is in store for us in 2019 and look forward to continuing to help Sullivan County succeed. May the holidays bring you much delight as we wish all of Sullivan County a very prosperous and Happy New Year!
President, Sullivan County Partnership