Business Leaders Push for Regional Development
Building a vital future for the Fulton-Montgomery County region takes all hands on deck. That’s why in 2011, a small, vital group of Montgomery and Fulton County business leaders formed the CEO Roundtable. Their vision is to create a business-friendly climate that will help the region retain existing businesses and attract new ones.
Today, the CEO Roundtable continues to promote the vision they created in their 2011 Regional Business Plan:
“The Fulton-Montgomery County Region is a progressive community providing a friendly climate for business growth and retention, a variety of entertainment venues for social gathering, an educated and trained workforce and a diverse housing stock to meet the needs of the different lifestyles of its residents.”
Guided today by core members
- Dustin Swanger, President of Fulton-Montgomery Community College (FMCC)
- Ron Peters, President /CEO, Fulton County Center for Regional Growth (FCCRG)
- Ken Rose, Director of Montgomery County Business Development Center
- Jim Mraz, Fulton County Planning Director
- Mark Kilmer, President, Fulton-Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Pat Michel, District Superintendent, HFM BOCES
the group continues to advance the work of six primary goals established in the plan.
- Area schools have begun implementing the new Common Core standards to better prepare students for colleges and careers.
- BOCES is collaborating with area districts on curriculum and to ensure access to learning opportunities. Both a technology-focused high school and Apprentice Program are under way.
- Technology-enabled faculty-sharing is in development among school districts.
- Several school districts have regionalized operations (transportation, food service, etc) to control costs.
- FMCC has invested heavily in technology on campus (a new clean room and automated manufacturing lab, high-tech patient simulators, new computers, iPads and software), launched new degree programs and modified several programs to reflect the skills needed by area business and industry.
- Fulton County and the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) have jointly developed the Tryon Technology Park into shovel-ready sites for new businesses.
- Montgomery County has expanded the Florida Park Extension in preparation for new potential industries.
3. Market the region
- This region’s strengths include:
- Fulton and Montgomery counties are committed to jointly marketing themselves as one region, developing marketing outreach efforts singly and together.
- Location (proximity to major thruways and
easy access to markets throughout the Northeast)
- Available workforce
- Affordable land
- Year-round recreational activities
- Low cost of living
- Low cost of doing business
4. Improve the region’s quality of life
- The CEO Roundtable has hosted two symposia for government and business leaders from Amsterdam, Gloversville and Johnstown to learn, brainstorm and begin efforts to enhance our cities.
5. Extend water, sewer, utilities and broadband service
- The CEO Roundtable strongly advocates Fulton County’s exploration of a countywide water and sewer system, which will make the county much more attractive to new and growing business.
6. Lower local property tax burden in the region
- Our local counties and school districts have been doing all they can to control spending without crippling services. But a region can only shrink to success for so long. The only true way to control the property tax burden is to grow the base so that costs can be spread among more residents, businesses and industries. That is why the entire Regional Business Development Plan is focused on growth.
“The CEO Roundtable, along with others in our community, has been working hard to implement the Regional Business Development Plan,” said Dustin Swanger, a founding member of the CEO Roundtable. “We are focused on improving our region and making it a better place to live, work and play.”