Jennings focused on attracting businesses
GLOVERSVILLE — A Montgomery County resident has been hired by the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth to fill a new Gloversville downtown development specialist position, effective Jan. 3.
Jennifer Jennings, market manager for Schenectady Greenmarket, will be responsible for attracting business to downtown.
She was hired by the CRG, in conjunction with the downtown development team.
Schenectady Greenmarket is a place to buy fresh local produce and artisan goods in a festive community atmosphere, according to its website. It is located at both Proctor’s Theatre and City Hall in Schenectady.
“I am very excited about this new challenge,” Jennings stated in a press release. “I have a deep affection for the city of Gloversville and see so much possibility in our area. While studying abroad, I began to connect the information I was learning with my home in the Mohawk Valley, specifically with Fulton and Montgomery counties. My experiences provide me with a unique perspective on how to approach the problems of redevelopment. I can’t wait to get started.”
The Gloversville Common Council created the downtown development specialist position in June to help bring businesses downtown. The city will pay $25,000 for the first year of the position, sharing funding for the new job with the CRG. The development specialist job will focus on working with existing businesses to help with growth and to apply for grants, along with attracting new businesses to the area.
CRG President and CEO Ronald Peters said Thursday that Jennings was chosen from among about 70 applicants for the position. She will work out of the CRG office on West Fulton Street.
“I think she’ll be an excellent fit for the organization and for downtown Gloversville,” Peters said.
Mayor Dayton King said Thursday that Jennings will be part of a larger thrust to improve Gloversville next year.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “I expect big things in 2017. Jennifer has a big task on her shoulders.”
Jennings, who lives in Fort Johnson, is a graduate of Bryant College in Smithfield, R.I.
She spent several years in London, where she earned a master’s degree in urbanization and development from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Upon her return to the states, she began a career in farm advocacy and area food systems. She has worked as an outreach consultant for the Agricultural Stewardship Association before moving on to work as a food industry relations associate for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.
“We look forward to having Jennifer join our office,” Peters stated in the release. “Our downtown team developed a specific job description when considering what we needed this position to do for downtown Gloversville. We conducted a thorough candidate search and are confident that we chose a qualified, energetic and enthusiastic employee in Jennifer Jennings.”
King added in the release, “This position will be great for the City of Gloversville as we continue to move revitalization forward. I have enjoyed working with Ron Peters as we [the city of Gloversville] have renewed our partnership with CRG. The addition of Jennifer as the Gloversville Downtown Development Specialist will only help our relationship to grow.”
The release said the downtown development team supporting the Gloversville downtown development specialist position is made up of a consortium of downtown business owners and downtown groups. This team has collectively funded the position for a three-year contract and will assist CRG in overseeing the progress and direction of the position. The team consists of: the city, Downtown Gloversville Business Improvement District, CRG, Gloversville Economic Development Corp., the Hohenforst Family and Ronald Zimmerman.
Downtown Gloversville businesses are encouraged to reach out to Jennings on Jan. 3 via phone (725-7700, ext 107), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or at the CRG’s office, 34 West Fulton Street.
Peters has said the CRG might be looking at a similar position for the city of Johnstown in the future.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at email@example.com.