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Middletown Economic Development

Advisory Committee

Background:
In order to coordinate and implement economic development initiatives, the Middletown Economic Development Advisory Committee (MEDAC) was originally established in 1991 and was reorganized on April 7, 2003 by a Town Council Resolution. The committee consists of seven resident members, who serve a five year term each; and four ex-officio members, including the Town Planner, representatives from the Town Council, and the Executive Director of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce. The MEDAC is the main economic development implementation and planning body for the Town.

Mission:
The MEDAC is charged by the Town Council with addressing the following tasks:

  1. Investigate and recommend actions and programs that the Town should consider in order to promote and support business development, such as incentives and other programs as might be deemed appropriate, with particular attention paid to the following sectors: defense/technology industry, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, tourism/hospitality, agriculture, marine trades, and retail commercial.
  2. Undertake activities that promote Middletown as a desirable location to do business, including regular outreach to local businesses, and marketing activities, such as ongoing maintenance of the MEDAC website, and participation in various local, state, and regional business promotional events and meetings.
  3. Participate in any discussions regarding regional economic development efforts, and advise the Town Council as to the appropriate level of Town participation in such efforts.
  4. Support efforts to enhance the educational “pipeline” providing qualified applicants to fill positions with local businesses. This may include support of state workforce training efforts, mentoring and internship programs, and participation in discussions regarding pre-k through 16 curricula.
  5. Identify opportunities to streamline the local permitting and licensing processes, and recommend changes to address onerous regulations and unnecessary burdens that might inhibit desirable and appropriate business development in Middletown.

Goals:

As stated in its Comprehensive Community Plan, Middletown will support long term economic development opportunities and job creation; education and training of the workforce; a positive business environment; and the long term viability of agricultural businesses. The Town will:

• Promote a diverse and expanded local economy without compromising the characteristics and qualities which make Middletown a desirable place to live
• Foster collaboration between business and local educational institutions to develop a trained workforce
• Retain and expand existing industry clusters and cultivate new clusters
• Strengthen the economic vitality of agriculture

Committee Members:

  • John Bagwill (exp. 1/1/18)
  • Joseph A. Cirillo, Vice Chairman (exp. 1/1/21)
  • Nick Coogan (exp. 1/1/19)
  • Liana Ferreira Fenton (exp.1/1/19)
  • Tom Kowalczyk (exp. 1/1/21)
  • Robert M. Silva, Chairman (exp. 1/1/21)
  • David Lepore (exp. 1/1/21)
  • Dennis Turano, Town Council ex-officio
  • Barbara VonVillas, Town Council ex-officio
  • Erin Donovan-Boyle, Newport County Chamber of Commerce – ex-officio
  • Ron Wolanski, Town Planner – ex-officio