ManhattanJuly 23, 2019 - The Westchester County Office of Economic Development has launched a new program to reach out to mid-sized companies to learn how the County can help them grow their businesses.

Called Dinner and Dialogue, the ongoing program kicked off recently at Manhattanville College where business owners had the opportunity for an honest conversation with Westchester County Executive George Latimer in an intimate and casual setting. The Dinner and Dialogue program, which the County is doing in partnership with Manhattanville College, will be held every other month.

The County is reaching out to mid-sized companies with 50 to 500 employees. Among the companies and organizations attending the first program were KARI-Out Co., YWCA, Neighbors Home Care Services, KeyBank, The Westchester Bank and Citrin Cooperman.

“Mid-sized companies are key to the economic vitality of Westchester County. This new program is aimed at reaching the leaders of these companies to better understand the issues that are affecting their businesses,” said County Executive Latimer. “We commend Manhattanville College for partnering with us on this important new initiative,” he added.

"This event was a pilot with Westchester County and represents Manhattanville's long-standing commitment to partnering with and serving as a resource for businesses," said Laura Persky, Associate Dean of the School of Professional Studies at Manhattanville. "What we heard is that among the challenges local businesses face is finding qualified talent. The School of Professional Studies can be a pipeline for qualified and dynamic professionals."

"With its central location and numerous businesses and educational institutions, Westchester County is an economic and intellectual powerhouse," said Manhattanville President, Michael Geisler. "Manhattanville is expanding partnerships with the business community with the coming launch of the Center for Design Thinking among other initiatives. Events like this help us connect with business leaders and better understand their needs." 

“I commend the County Executive for opening the door to business. It’s wonderful to have face-to-face access to the County Executive. I greatly appreciate his acknowledging the importance of not-for- profit organizations to our economy and communities,” said Willa Brody, Director of Lifting Up Westchester’s Neighbors Home Care Services.   

“I walked away from the dinner with a greater appreciation of the County Executive’s commitment to growing business in our community, along with his willingness to listen to private sector businesses’ concerns and engage in discussion about what local government can do to help address them,” said David W. Lewing, Market President, KeyBank.