Our opinion: Warren Worx had better work

Despite significant questions if the effort is worth the investment, city and county governments are kicking in hundreds of thousands of dollars for Warren Worx.

It had better work – pun intended.

The $400,000 investment so far has been public, $100,000 from the city of Warren and $300,000 over three years from Warren County.

The first thing you’re going to see for your investment is a branding effort. We hope branding works better here than it did across the border in New York state, or your initial investment is going to be wasted.

Chautauqua County recently branded itself the World’s Learning Center. Is that a branding we here in Warren County are aware of?

Has that branding, by itself, made you want to visit Chautauqua County? Jamestown has already fallen in and out of love with its Jamestown Up Close and Wonderful branding – former Mayor Eddie Sundquist pushed hard during his term for a new branding effort. Did branding make you want to get Up Close with our neighbor to the north? Or did you visit solely because Jamestown had something you either needed or wanted?

And, in terms of attraction, the World Learning Center and Jamestown Up Close did nothing to reverse decades of population decline – the city is still losing an average of 1.6% of its population a year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The county, too, is losing population.

And key employers aren’t coming because of branding. They’re coming for cheap power through the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, existing business infrastructure and tax incentive packages put together by the state and county.

WCCBI has gotten its initial investment for Warren Worx. We hope the second phase of the effort is successful – because we don’t place much hope in branding doing much.


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