Agency motto: ‘Working together for success’
Article originally appeared in the Urbana Daily Citizen on December 21, 2015
Guests at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce’s December Lunch and Learn program learned about the role of the new Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP).
Marcia Bailey, economic development director of the CEP, explained that the organization, launched in July, is a public-private partnership authorized by the city of Urbana and the Champaign County commissioners as the county’s official economic development agency.
With the motto “working together for success,” the CEP brings together private businesses, the Champaign County Community Improvement Corporation and local government subdivisions – Champaign County, city of Urbana, villages and townships – to advance economic development and create jobs for local residents.
Private business drives agency
Bailey said that about 75 percent of the CEP’s 18-member board consists of local business representatives. The remainder of the positions are held by local government representatives on the county, city, village and township levels. Explaining this composition, she said, “we want private industry and business driving our board and economic development.”
Todd Michael, president of Michael Family Farms of Urbana, serves as CEP president; Andy Yoder, administrator of the village of North Lewisburg, as vice president; and Bill Heitman, vice president of Civista Bank in Urbana, as treasurer.
The CEP is funded by two public sponsors, Champaign County and the city of Urbana, and two private business sponsors, Pioneer Electric Cooperative and Dayton Power & Light. Security National Bank supports the CEP as an in-kind sponsor. The CEP is recruiting additional private sponsors.
Bailey added that the CEP also partners with the Chamber of Commerce, which provides services for existing local businesses.
Projects in the works
Bailey, who was economic development coordinator for the city of Urbana prior to the CEP’s formation, provided the Lunch and Learn attendees a look at the more than 20 economic development projects that the CEP is working on – and that involve at least 300 potential new jobs. These projects, identified by code names to protect confidentiality, involve businesses that have expressed interest in expanding their existing Champaign County operations or in establishing local facilities for the first time.
The CEP connects these businesses with available properties and resources essential to establishing a new business or growing an existing one. To help assure manufacturers of a qualified workforce, the CEP partners with manufacturers and educational institutions to develop training programs. An example of this is a new manufacturing skills program offered at Triad Local Schools by Ohio Hi-Point Career Center for fifth grade through high school.
Champaign County in a good location
Bailey shared statistics that indicate that manufacturing employment has grown by 900 jobs in Champaign County over the past three years, from 2,928 in 2013 to the current 3,832.
Champaign County is an attractive business location for a variety of reasons, Bailey said:
-A one-and-a-half-hour flight or less from 50 percent of the U.S. population
-Proximity to Interstates 70 and 75
-Grimes Field, which is classified as a Level 2 airport with a runway long enough to accommodate small corporate jets
Bailey invited the Lunch and Learn guests to learn more about the CEP by visiting the organization’s new website, cepohio.com.
The CEP recently held an open house attended by 75 people at its new offices, at 3 Monument Square in Urbana. The office is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and may be called at 937-653-7200.
Information submitted by Champaign County Chamber of Commerce.
Article originally appeared in the Springfield News-Sun on December 17, 2015
Champaign County now has a countywide economic development agency, the Champaign Economic Partnership.
Launched on July 1, the CEP is a partnership of the Champaign County Community Improvement Corporation, local government subdivisions of Champaign County — county, City of Urbana, villages and townships — and private businesses.
The CEP hosted an open house on Dec. 10 in its new offices in the Security National Bank building, at 3 Monument Square, Urbana. About 75 people attended to learn more about the role of the new agency.
The CEP became Champaign County’s sole economic development agency through an agreement between Champaign County and the City of Urbana. Operating as a Community Improvement Corporation, the CEP is authorized under the Ohio Revised Code to advance the industrial, economic, commercial and civic development of Champaign County.
With our motto “working together for success,” the CEP brings together private business and local government to advance local economic development and create jobs.
To strongly focus the CEP on private business development and growth, our 18-member board of trustees must consist of at least 60 percent private business representatives and no more than 40 percent local government representatives. Our current board is composed 67 percent of private business representatives and 33 percent of local government representatives.
Formerly the economic development coordinator for the City of Urbana, I was appointed director of economic development of the CEP with the agency’s official launch in July.
Todd Michael, president of Michael Family Farms of Urbana, serves as CEP president; Andy Yoder, administrator of the Village of North Lewisburg, is vice president; and Bill Heitman, vice president of Civista Bank in Urbana, is treasurer.
We are funded by our two public sponsors, Champaign County and the City of Urbana, and two private business sponsors, Pioneer Electric Cooperative and Dayton Power & Light. Security National Bank supports the CEP as an in-kind sponsor. We are recruiting additional private sponsors.
This funding enables the CEP to carry out our mission to:
• Promote Champaign County as the place to do business
• Coordinate public and private resources to help businesses grow
• Help existing businesses build capacity and retain and add jobs
• Attract new business compatible with local needs
• Improve business conditions and quality of life in local communities
• Maintain a listing of available commercial property
Businesses and others may call on the CEP for assistance when:
• Their company plans to expand
• They need property for commercial development
• They need help developing and training a workforce
• They need other assistance in expanding or establishing a business
• They have a lead about a company needing a site
In addition, the CEP partners with the Champaign County Manufacturers Council, which represents local manufacturing companies. The council:
• Addresses mutual concerns such as workforce needs
• Partners with local schools to promote manufacturing careers
• Collaborates on marketing and other special projects
The CEP office, at 3 Monument Square in Urbana, is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and may be called at 937-653-7200. For more information, visit the CEP website, cepohio.com.