Sonora, CA — The California Association of Local Economic Development (CALED) gave glowing reports of Tuolumne County’s progress. At the Forum On Economic Development, CALED board members presented information they gathered yesterday from interviews with local businesses.
According to Board Chair of the California Enterprise Development Authority, Wayne Schell, in the past four years, “Tuolumne County has jumped to becoming a model of good economic development practices.”
Schell’s preliminary report findings were that, “The motto in town is call Larry.” This in reference to Tuolumne County Economic Development Director Larry Cope.
Schell said Cope has done an excellent job but that Larry’s photo is too often in the media and encouraged those present at the forum to do their part to think strategically about the future. He encouraged those present to ask Cope what they can do to help attract tourism and create and keep jobs in the future.
Schell mentioned former City Administrator, Greg Applegate’s, commitment and role in the 2008 meeting when goals were set. Schell stated that the County Board of Supervisors and the City Council should be thanked and commended for coming together to make economic development a priority.
In assessing the goals set forth in 2008 Schell stated that the Economic Development Department has been revitalized, there is a quality business assistance program in place, and business leaders in the area seemed to agree that business retention is “looking good” and “more positive” in the last four years.
Schell told everyone, “You are on the right track, but don’t become complacent.” He urged further city and county investment in development and introduced the idea of a Joint Powers Association.