Saratoga Prosperity Partnership, a group created by the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors after they parted ways with the Saratoga Economic Development Corp. two years ago, on Wednesday released its Saratoga Strategy, which it calls “a two-year plan for promoting job creation and economic growth” in the county. The plan lists four objectives “that we can manage the next two years,” says Marty Vanags, president of the county’s designated economic development organization, which currently consists of Vanags and two staffers. Plans call to hire additional project managers as the organization grows.
The four objectives include initiating a campaign to attract businesses to the region - including leveraging the investment of GlobalFoundries to attract new advanced manufacturing businesses - engaging existing businesses in a Business Retention and Expansion campaign to help secure new jobs, and enhancing relationships with local, state and federal government officials.
Building strong relationships with those in government is critical to building public-private partnerships, Vanags says. Intimately knowing the needs of existing businesses is also key in moving forward.
“If you build it, leverage that investment. You have to keep going. It’s like basketball - a full-court press,” he says. “Let’s get companies from outside the Capital Region to locate here. As part of a growing economy, you’ve got to add new members to the family.”
Vanags, former VP of regional economic development of Indianapolis Partnership, was hired in May at a salary of $155,000 per year.
The 13-member board includes Stewart’s Shops President Gary Dake, Rita Cox of Saratoga Casino & Raceway, Adirondack Trust Company President and CEO Charles Wait, Brendan Chudy of GlobalFoundries, and five county supervisors – including Saratoga Springs’ Matt Veitch and Wilton’s Art Johnson.
Vanags worked in a similar capacity in Indianapolis, and in Illinois. This is his first December in Saratoga and there have been a few pleasant surprises during his transition. “I already knew Saratoga Springs was an economic powerhouse, but what has really surprised me, as my wife said, is this s the busiest small town we’ve ever seen. I’m in a lucky position. I get to sell this region.”
For more information on the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, visit the web site here: http://saratogapartnership.org/