I am not sure what agenda Mr. Mitchell had in mind, but his views in my opinion were extremely short sighted. So this letter comes from a former owner of a manufacturing business that came to Newton in 1960, and proud to say it still is here providing steady jobs, even after it was sold to Peter and Patty Benson in 1998. Per the contract they could have picked it up and moved it to Texas after 5 years. Mickey Fornaro-Dean(EDC) was a part of support for them to stay here and prosper.
Our EDC, and specifically our current EDC administration, was a big reason our company survived and grew during our ownership. No business survives that long without making major changes, and Mickey Dean was always there with advice, helpful contacts, tax exempt applications for major purchases and helping us with employment strategies that don’t figure exactly in Mr. Mitchell’s calculations.
The fact is we had support when the markets went south, and when we made major investments for growth. An example was the first Laser Cutter ($500,000) in Harvey County. With the EDC and excellent Harvey County Commissioners' support with tax exempt incentives, we took the risk to grow here. We doubled our business and it has doubled again with the new owners.
Just looking at new hires misses the point. Companies like Full Vision are all over Harvey County and getting EDC help Mr. Mitchell doesn’t see to not only “hire” but also “retain” employees, as that’s as important.
I can’t say enough for how much the county’s investment in the EDC has paid back to Harvey County in keeping us strong and attractive to new companies looking to relocate or current companies to reinvest and grow here.
Look at it from the other side. What if we didn’t have Harvey County EDC? I suggest the long term growth would suffer and we could all watch the cars driving to Wichita for their paychecks and spending.
Newton and the cities of Harvey County are fortunate to have the EDC and I recommend the investments they make will be rewarded in both new and current employee retentions.
Jim Stucky