This has been a great few months for new opportunities on the Harbor. From the 150 new jobs at Overstock’s customer care center and the proposed expansion of Summit Pacific Medical Center in Elma to new low-income housing developments coming in to serve our community. Grays Harbor is working together to fuel opportunity.

 

Overstock.com’s new Grays Harbor customer care center (photo credit: KIRO-TV)

Opportunity is not something that can happen overnight, nor is it something that can happen through the efforts of a single entity, government agency, or individual. It’s a true community effort that requires the support and tireless efforts of diverse voices willing to battle together.When we look at other rural counties that have struggled in recent years and have found some success, it’s usually because they share one thing in common: shared vision and a focus on collaboration. Overcoming our differences to rally around making

 

When we look at other rural counties that have struggled in recent years and have found some success, it’s usually because they share one thing incommon: shared vision and a focus on collaboration. Overcoming our differences to rally around making meaningful impact can create momentum that in turn creates its own opportunity.

According to a report published by the National Association of Counties, “collaboration is the key to county economic development initiatives.”

The report goes on to cite 35 case studies where economic opportunity was fostered through capitalizing on a network of “public, nonprofit and private partners necessary for successful local economic development.” The types of activities this economic collaboration developed included:

  • Workforce training
  • Regional marketing
  • Business recruitment and retention
  • Infrastructure financing
  • Small business support
  • Business incubators
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Industry diversification
  • International economic development

The Grays Harbor Gateway Center is an example of the kind of collaborative, county-wide economic development opportunity that brings together the type of networks that help to fuel the kind of success we’ve seen recently. As we bring more voices together under one roof, we will be able to see these opportunities grow.