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By Douglas Sciorra

Today’s Economic Development – More Than Just the Deal

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News from the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency

by Jill Staats | Jul 28, 2022 | 50th Op-EdBusiness Attraction/ExpansionPartners 

Recently, Steuben County IDA joined our partners in economic development and LP Building Solutions to break ground on a new $24 million engineered wood siding prefinishing facility. The company will produce its LP® SmartSide® ExpertFinish® product at the state-of-the-art facility located at the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency’s Business Park in the town of Bath.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, LP Vice President of Siding Manufacturing Tony Hamill expressed LP’s excitement to join the Bath community and commended the IDA for its continued efforts and involvement in all aspects of project development. Economic development has grown beyond simply negotiating incentives, requiring economic development organizations to be nimble in their efforts to attract new investment.

The LP project is a case study in the importance of an organization’s ability to react and manage multiple facets – even those that are unanticipated. The project came together in an unprecedented amount of time, requiring the IDA to coordinate with multiple infrastructure partners, economic development programs, and community leaders to provide LP leadership with the confidence needed to choose the Bath site within three months of initial contact.

The importance of knowledge and relationships in economic development played out during the next six months as the IDA and its partners had to deliver on the commitments that were made. The delivery of things such as utilities, workforce programming, housing options, subcontractors, suppliers, permitting, and funding approvals all had to occur before a shovel could be put in the ground.

Beyond the efforts to attract LP to the community, the IDA will continue to support the growth of the company and recognizes the importance of providing support to our existing business base. Goodrich Auto Works, T&R Environmental’s spin-off company Momentum, Finger Lakes Community Health, Alstom, and Riedman are all existing businesses that are investing in new buildings over the next 12 months. The mission of the IDA is to create and stimulate an economic climate that competitively positions Steuben County to attract business development and other compatible and diverse sustainable economic development opportunities. This is accomplished by undertaking projects and development strategies that promote business development and assist new and existing businesses to respond to opportunities, reduce risks, and overcome barriers to ensure long-term sustainability.

Ironically, both the IDA and LP are celebrating 50 years in business this summer and are doing so by partnering to establish the company’s first location in New York State in Steuben County. Much like LP’s 50-year history of innovation in the building industry, Steuben County IDA has evolved from its early days of providing bond financing to industrial customers.  Today the IDA successfully continues to deliver on its mission of promoting job opportunities and economically sound commerce in Steuben County through modern approaches to attracting, retaining, and growing the business community.

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