The New Rockford Area Betterment Corporation, the non-profit organization working with the City of New Rockford for economic development, has announced its three-year goals and strategies for community growth.
The three primary focuses of the organization in 2016-2018 will be in the sectors of housing, business and job growth, and tourism.
In housing, the goal is to “facilitate projects and programs that directly result in the (construction) of at least 20 new housing units in the county during the next three years.”
Plans include evaluating options for the development of small acreages, providing new incentives to those who purchase city-owned lots and build single-family homes, and seeking developers to build multi-family housing units to address the current housing shortage.
For business and job growth, the NRABC aims to “create at least 25 new jobs through expansion of existing businesses and another 20 jobs from new business development in the next three years.”
The NRABC plans to recruit primary sector companies and professional service firms, and encourage specialty healthcare providers to set up satellite offices in New Rockford. Staff will work equally as hard to assist local firms with expansion plans.
In the area of tourism, partnerships will be the key. The NRABC will reach out to local organizations in order “to develop and organize at least five new events and activities that result in a minimum 25 percent increase in tourism industry revenue for the county over the next three years”.
The staff’s direct efforts will focus on building quality recreational programs designed to both entertain residents and draw visitors to the area.
Additional emphasis for both tourism and business growth will be placed on better serving Eddy County’s “perfect customers”, those visitors who already spend time in town at businesses and activities, by stepping up community-wide marketing while adding services and retail that appeal to them and encourage them to stay longer.
NRABC Executive Director Amy Wobbema is encouraged by the strides the community has made in the area of economic development. “When I accepted the position as Executive Director in 2006, I saw a county that had great potential.
Now, more than five years later, I can see that we truly have capitalized on some of that potential, and I am eager to work toward building upon the strong base the business community and local leaders have forged.”
Wobbema added that the purpose of setting new goals is to continually improve and that it is only with strong leadership, progressive businesses, and local partnerships that Eddy County will continue to thrive.
In 2006, the NRABC hired an Executive Director to focus on community development activities as well, as the NRACBC believes that a community must be attractive to individuals and families in order to attract businesses.
Therefore, the NRABC has assisted with various community development projects recently, including the relocation and expansion of the city library, the addition of a job/skills training center, renovation of the city park, and the creation of a housing incentive program.
New additions in 2011 include four new units of rental housing, a 24/7 fitness center, and a ramped-up focus on providing grant writing assistance to several projects planned by other community organizations.
The NRABC is a member of the Economic Development Association of North Dakota, an industry association for economic development professionals.
We actively collaborate with other development corporations through this organization for the benefit of the region and the state.
Questions and comments are always welcome. Call Amy Wobbema at (701) 947-2205 or stop in at the NRABC office in City Hall.