Civic News

Troy Mix says the secret to economic development is connectivity

That's what the policy scientist is focused on at the University of Delaware's Institute for Public Administration.

Connection is key for economic development. (Photo by Flickr user Dave Herholz)

Connection. Delaware’s unique when it comes to planning and development due to its size. The state’s small enough to afford a genuine opportunity for connection, but it’s rural enough in parts where that’s harder to come by. (Remember this Sussex County farmer’s troubles?)
“The state’s pretty well connected overall,” Troy Mix, policy scientist at the University of Delaware‘s Institute for Public Administration (IPA) told us.
“But there are pockets where the infrastructure is not as high quality. Or the adoption rates aren’t as prevalent. So, there are folks left behind with options for what they can connect to at their business or at home.”
We’ve spoken with Mix before. He talked to us about Georgetown, Del., being chosen for the federal Cool & Connected program.
We caught up with Mix this week and talked about a range of things, including what he’s been reading recently. We also asked Mix what he’s been working on. He told us that the IPA is sort of reorganizing its focus to “thinking more about planning technology for economic development.”
That focus means pushing communities toward leveraging the broadband infrastructure or tech around them to be more connected.
“Realizing what makes places tick from an economic development perspective is, yes, things like workforce, having good infrastructure, housing stock and all those things,” Mix explained. “But, it’s really kind of about connections to other places.”
Building those connections is becoming a priority for the state and its institutions.

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