Clearfield Countians want jobs, comprehensive plan states

CLEARFIELD – A team of Clearfield County residents has been hard at work since March 2005, designing a comprehensive plan for Clearfield County.

As a result of work to create the plan, county leaders now know what people most want: jobs — good, family-sustaining jobs.

Jodi Brennan, county planning commission director, recently presented a draft copy of the plan, a 2-inch thick book chock full of information, maps and plans of action.

“I think there’s such a sense of ownership with something like this,” Brennan said, noting that she had looked into using an outside contractor to create the plan. Instead, a series of public meetings and roundtables were held to find out what people really want to see in their county. The resounding answer that came back from municipal governments, adults and even some children was “quality jobs.”

Other answers high on the list included improving the appearance of communities, retaining the “small town” feel, protecting waterways and enhancing recreational areas.

For each of the top 10 responses, Brennan and a team of experts from within the county developed implementation strategies.

To foster quality job growth, suggestions includes bringing together economic development groups on a regular basis, developing incentives for businesses and local entrepreneurs and creating a list of businesses that are wanted in the area and provide competitive wages. Each suggestion in the plan is accompanied by a list of groups or people who can help to make the goal a reality, along with a listing of possible funding sources.

Brennan said the plan will be fine-tuned during the coming weeks, and then it will be open for public review. The plan could be adopted then by the fall.

“We can actually then focus our efforts on the top 10 list,” Brennan said.

Brennan added that new technology helped in updating the county’s comprehensive plan. A lot of data is now available online. “You don’t even have to leave your desk!”

Even after the plan is accepted, Brennan plans to keep it updated. “If you don’t, it’s of no value.”

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