MEDA Members’ Corner: Jamie Williams, CEcD
Jamie Williams, CEcD, Director, Kent County Economic & Tourism Development
Explain your background in economic development
I started Economic Development work with Kent County seven years ago. I achieved my CEcD certification in October of 2019. I have been an active MEDA member from day one and appreciate all the resources afforded available to me as a member. Previous work included 20 years at a Millwork Distributor where I filled many positions, office manager for a local land surveyor, and administrative work in the County Commissioners Office. My previous experience working for a large employer and a small business served me well in working with the business community.
What are your key priorities within your current position?
Business Retention and Expansion
Quality of Life
Does one particular project spark your excitement? If so, describe it below.
State legislation was passed in 2020 that provided Sales and Use and Personal Property Tax Exemption for data centers to locate in Maryland. This opened the door for Maryland to be competitive and get the attention of major players in the industry. Kent County is diligently addressing barriers to business development, identifying properties for business development, and actively engaging in promoting Kent County to businesses, residents, workforce, and visitors.
What professional pressures keep you up at night?
A workforce to meet the demands of our current and future business needs. The right mix of workforce development and training to meet the ever-changing skills businesses need to remain competitive in their respective market.
What attributes are unique to your community?
The beauty of Kent County and the surrounding region. The rural location is within 90 minutes of Philadelphia, Baltimore, Wilmington, and Washington D.C. It truly is the best of both worlds.
Kent County’s major economic drivers are diverse, they include manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, education, and tourism.
What are your locality’s top three “selling points” for future growth?
1) The Fiber-Optic Broadband network that continues to be enhanced throughout the County. If you could work from anywhere… you would live here.
2) The availability of sites, developed and undeveloped. Home of Wide Open Spaces.
3) The strength of our community and our people; the businesses, the non-profits, the organizations, and the volunteers.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with MEDA and your fellow members?
The Economic Development community has been open and supportive. I thank everyone who has spent time with me, helping me understand the public side of economic development and tourism.