Members of the Erie Downtown Development Corporation, Erie Innovation District and Flagship Opportunity Zone made a quick trip to Washington D.C. to learn how they can help innovate the future of Erie.
During the trip, Erie leaders met with White House representatives, along with members of six different federal departments. The main subject of this trip was opportunity zones within the city and how these national departments can help with the growth of our area.
“The White House arranged visits for us for a number of different agencies. We have become a National model for cities with opportunity zones and we are happy to share our story with these administrative agencies and how the federal government could fund some of the projects here in town,” said John Persinger, CEO and Erie Downtown Development Corporation.
Representatives discussed on number of different things they would need federal funding for. Those projects ranged from traffic to infrastructure as well as digital improvements such as expanding broadband access and the addition and expansion of WI-FI access in the eight opportunity zones. “To make this an attractive environment for both those who are living here to businesses that are looking move into Erie. What kind of things can we do to enhance our infrastructure even beyond some of the plans that have been identified previously,” said Karl Sanchak, President & CEO of Erie Innovation District.