Reimagining our Westmoreland This year the WCIDC, the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland and the Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce continued to work together with the Westmoreland County Planning Division on the comprehensive plan update, Reimagining Our Westmoreland. Efforts paid off on December 20 when the plan was formally adopted by the Westmoreland County Commissioners. The overarching goal of the Comprehensive Plan is to enact strategies that attract, develop, and retain a diverse and stable workforce that will sustain a healthy economy. To get to this point, over the past two years, over 5,000 people have been involved in the devel- opment of the plan. From this process, one goal, seven core objectives, and nearly 40 strategies have been identified. WCIDC is actively involved in supporting several strategies outlined in the plan, which include but are not limited to: • Assisting small business by providing small business resources and supporting small business education. • Advancing entrepreneurialism by identifying and preparing resources for individuals and entities. This includes regularly evaluating assets with the county for starting a new business, and supplying space, such as The Corner, where startups work to form and operate their business. • Providing development-ready sites across the county to help spur both large and small-scale developments. • Investing in the next industrial revolution, Industry 4.0. To do this we must build a workforce for the future, developing digital maker spaces and smart city hubs; along with expanding opportunities to support Industry 4.0. Workforce Forum The WCIDC continues its commitment to building better business-education partnerships by playing an active role in the Westmoreland County Forum for Workforce Development. The mission of the Workforce Forum is to “empower employers, educators, and community as partners to foster a vibrant regional economy.” Much of the work since the Workforce Forum’s formation in 2015 has been on the education side. Now, with the groundwork completed or well underway, the next step for the Forum is to actively engage employers from within the region. One way this is being done is through the launch of the regional internship hub website. The site will allow employers to have one centralized location to match with students from districts across the region. Ultimately students across the county could have positive experiences in hundreds of companies. Learn more by visiting: 9 WCIDCAnnualReport19links_Layout 1 2/11/19 4:51 PM Page 9