Two York County organizations that strive to boost economic activity in the city and county have formed an alliance.
The York County Economic Alliance and York City’s Downtown Inc have teamed up in an affiliation announced Thursday morning during a news conference at PeoplesBank Park.
Downtown Inc staff will become YCEA employees, but each group will maintain its identity brand, team, programming, investments and focus areas.
The move advances conversations that have taken place over the past decade and positions both YCEA and Downtown Inc for greater success, said Kevin Schreiber, president and CEO of YCEA.
“This affilitation will allow both organizations to build their capacity to serve the entire York County community,” Schreiber said. “We know other downtown communities in York County will benefit from the expertise of Downtown Inc.”
No office moves or programming changes are being made at this time. But both organizations are open to the possibility of a shared location in the future.
Neither organization expects to eliminate any positions as part of the move. YCEA has a staff of 20 and Downtown Inc currently has a staff of five. Downtown Inc’s CEO, Silas Chamberlin, will move into a new role as vice president of economic and community development with the YCEA. In that capacity, Chamberlin will oversee YCEA’s economic development team and help to foster countywide economic development initiatives. YCEA will leverage Downtown Inc’s Main Street Program expertise and apply it to other communities in York County like Dillsburg, Delta and Spring Grove.
Chamberlin will also maintain oversight of Downtown Inc.
“We’ve been very proudly a scrappy organization. We’ve had a small staff that’s managed to do a lot of work on a shoestring budget … but we also recognize that with more capacity and resources and a fuller team, we can accomplish even more.”
A new position has also been created at Downtown Inc for a Main Street program manager, who will focus exclusively on downtown revitalization. A search will commence immediately for the newly created position.
The YCEA Board of Directors is also reserving two positions for members of Downtown Inc.
Downtown Inc’s board of directors voted Thursday to move forward with the affiliation, following the YCEA board’s approval on Sept. 6.
YCEA has an annual budget of nearly $3 million and Downtown Inc is just over $800,000, said Katie Mahoney, vice president of marketing and communications at YCEA.
Downtown Inc primarily focuses on business development in the city, while YCEA has more of a countywide focus.