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Tuolumne County’s Economic Development Efforts Taking New Approach

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Sonora, CA — During a presentation today, Tuolumne County’s Director of Innovation and Business Assistance, Cole Przybyla, spoke about the need to focus in on key industries.

Przybyla updated the board of supervisors about his activities during his first six months on the job and presented research and data he has collected from business leaders and community residents. On the topic of “who we are,” he discussed economic opportunities when it comes to natural resources, a strong tourism market, services needed for an aging population, strong community partnerships, access benefits (proximity to highways and railroads) and cost savings (Tuolumne County’s cost of living is 115-percent of the national average while California is 150-percent).

He also discussed desirable aspects sought when attracting new businesses and they include high wages, upward employment trends, a community fit, growth potential and county revenue potential.

Regarding his time and services, he expressed a desire to begin a “transition from being everything to everyone” into using a more strategic and targeted approach.

In conclusion, he stated, “At this point, based on data and conversations, I believe that we should target the hospitality industry, senior care industry and natural resources-manufacturing.”

When it comes to moving forward, Przybyla said he will create and develop a plan over the next few months and then implement and analyze it beginning in June.

The plan was received warmly by all of the board of supervisors. Board Chair Sherri Brennan said, “I’m going to speak on behalf of all of my colleagues and say thank you. I think we are all excited to see where this goes… so go forth, do good things. We don’t anticipate it, we expect it.”

District Two Supervisor Ryan Campbell added, “What you’ve presented to us today is innovation and business development decisions based on data-informed analysis, and that is exactly what we need.”

The presentation also received praise from some who have been critical of the county’s past economic development efforts. Ken Perkins, who sued the former TCEDA, gave the analogy of this being a new baseball season. He said, “I’m looking very forward to watching this new team and this new season play because I think this time we’ll get some winning scores. So, with that, I will say to Cole, play ball.”

You can see Przybyla’s presentation details by clicking here.