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Industry Clusters aim to boost economy

By Cornelia de Bruin

Triplicate staff writer

Action Del Norte, which recently formed "Industry Clusters" as a means to beef up the local economy, terms the new effort as "a cutting edge approach" to community and economic development.

"In the modern economy, the key to competitive advantage is to be more productive with your available inputs," said Action Del Norte Program Director Reweti Wiki. "In cases where we see clusters formed, not only do we see productivity increased, but we also see clusters becoming the driving force behind innovation; and not surprisingly, clusters also attract and retain the best talent whether that be people or other companies."

The idea was originally put forth by Harvard Business professor Michael Porter. The concept is that concentrating companies and institutions of related fields increases an industry's competitive advantage.

"Humboldt Area Foundation identified several key clusters that are currently driving forces behind our economy including healthcare and tourism" said Wiki. "Through clusters we can start a dialogue within that industry and also between other identified clusters including Agriculture and Natural Resources, Coastal Industries, Downtown Revitalization, Education and Workforce Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage and New Economies."

The groups will meet until November, at which point Action Del Norte hopes to have a plan to share with fellow Del Norters.

To volunteer, or get more information, contact Wiki at 464-3174.

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