NEW CASTLE, Del. – County Executive Thomas P. Gordon, CAO David Grimaldi and Policy Director Marcus Henry held the kick-off Thursday morning for New Castle County 2025, the Executive’s comprehensive economic development plan.
New Castle County 2025 will serve as a blueprint to help northern Delaware transition into an economy of the future.
"Delaware has been dealt a nasty blow in the last 15 years,” County Executive Gordon said. “While we may never have the economy of old, what we can do is proactively plan for the economy of the future. We need a holistic approach and a well-defined vision.”
Chief Administrative Officer David Grimaldi, who brought his knowledge in the business sector to the County, said New Castle County 2025 would mark an important shift in the County from a transactional, reactionary model to one that’s proactive and comprehensive.
"There's an old saying. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail," CAO Grimaldi said. “New Castle County being two-thirds of the population and three-quarters of the economic output, we felt it best to lead the charge and create the first ever comprehensive development plan in the State of Delaware.
“I want to thank the Governor’s Office for their support,” he added. “I called his chief of staff to see if they would be willing to join us. He responded very quickly, ‘We’re in.’ This is an exciting opportunity to engage all layers of government, for the first time, and develop an economic path forward.”
The plan will have three parts:
• Strengths and weaknesses of Delaware (a SWOT analysis)
• Identify the growth areas of the future and demographic shifts
• How to get the County and State to attract growth industries of the future
Wadley-Donovan GrowthTech was the economic development consulting firm hired to develop New Castle County 2025. The firm was selected because of its esteemed reputation in the realm of economic development.
Wadley-Donovan GrowthTech President Bill Frederick gave an overview of the project and steps, which will include:
• Analysis of economic and demographic conditions
• Identification of marketing strengths and obstacles to development
• Identify target industries
• Specific action steps to be taken
Frederick said it was important for all stakeholders to work on this plan, including the County, the State, local businesspeople and farmers – several of whom attended Thursday's kick-off.