Moving Erie County Forward

Kathy's Record and vision

Jobs & Economic Development

Kathy’s Record

  • Led Summer JAM program for three years, working with area employers and leveraging $860,000 in investments to provide training and employment to 435 young people.
  • Cultivated a culture of entrepreneurism through county initiatives and support of other local initiatives (Innovation Collaborative, Blasco Library Idea Lab, IceHouse Training, local university innovations, co-working spaces).
  • Fought for displaced workers and ensured they had access to re-training and resources needed after layoffs. A campaign is being implemented to market our highly skilled workforce to attract outside businesses to relocate to Erie County.
  • Appointed to LEEDCo (Lake Erie Energy Development Corp.) Board after initiating Erie County’s membership in organization whose mission is to forge a supply chain for offshore Great Lakes wind while supporting offshore wind development.
  • Connected local companies to economic development entities for financing, real estate and other business services.

Kathy’s vision

  • As Erie County Executive Kathy has helped create the climate for record-breaking investment to be made in Erie County in 2017.
  • Kathy believes that the key to Erie County’s economic resurgence lies in emphasizing our entrepreneurial roots. She has led efforts on a number of fronts, most notably supporting the creation of the Idea Lab at the Blasco Library. The Idea Lab, when constructed later this year, will be a uniquely accessible space that will enable any resident of Erie County to develop their ideas, make their product, and spark their entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Kathy remains committed to ensuring that family-sustaining jobs are created in Erie County and displaced workers have the training and skills they need to succeed in a new field.
  • Visiting 50 local businesses in 50 weeks, Kathy’s “50 in 50” blog highlights the progress and growth being made in Erie County’s economic development and resurgence. This project also helps identify potential opportunities for assistance and collaboration.

Safe, Healthy & Vibrant County

Kathy’s Record

  • Worked with firefighters, police officers and other emergency officials from around the county on implementing the Next Generation Public Safety Radio Project. This long-overdue upgrade will finally unite first responders on one interoperable system, better protecting not just these brave individuals, but every person in Erie County.
  • Made Reverse 911 and Text to 911 reality in Erie County, improving citizens ability to have the options necessary to ensure they get the help they need in emergency situations.
  • Implemented Warm hand-off program for those coming to local emergency rooms with drug overdose. A social worker is available 24/7 to encourage those suffering from addiction to seek help.
  • Championed work on the opioid epidemic. Member of national Opioid Task Force consisting of members of National Association of Counties & National League of Cities, creating a report that is a toolkit for local governments to address the epidemic; assisted having naloxone available for all first responders, saving hundreds of lives in Erie County; championed Vivitrol use for addicts being released from prison; supported opioid local task force to unite all working on this issue; supported creation of mobile ‘Hidden In Plain Sight’ prevention tool.
  • Erie County Health Department achieved, for the first time in its history, accreditation from the national Public Health Accreditation Board. This occurred after demonstrating the department met rigorous standards of performance.
  • Supported various new programs administered at Health Department including ‘Baby & Me Tobacco Free,’ helping pregnant women quit smoking and give their baby a better chance of starting life stronger and healthier; ‘Growing Smiles’ dental clinic helping eliminate obstacles to dental care for children; and Healthy Corner Store and Community Garden Initiatives to improve access to healthy foods in Erie County’s 7 food deserts.
  • Initiated wellness program for county workforce, saving tax dollars and improving the lives of the almost 1200 employees and their families who work for the citizens of the county.
  • Supported creation of Veteran’s Court to better serve those who served all of us when they are in need of greater assistance.
  • Successfully applied for the Lake Erie Quadrangle into the NOAA inventory for a National Marine Sanctuary designation.
  • Joined Keep America Beautiful by starting a Keep Erie County Beautiful chapter, bringing together community groups and creating greater access to resources for the creation of a cleaner, greener and more beautiful Erie County.

Kathy’s vision

  • In her next term Kathy will continue to support implementation of the Emerge 2040 plan, the most comprehensive regional strategic plan in generations. Building upon the recommendations in the plan, Kathy will take a leading role in ensuring access to broadband internet services to empower Erie County’s residents and businesses.
  • In the coming months, Erie County will see the completion of the Next Generation Radio Project, improving communication and making safety a priority.
  • Kathy will continue to implement the recommendations in the NACO Prescription for Action Report in the ongoing fight against the scourge of opioid addiction in our communities.


Kathy’s Record

  • Catalyzed the finalization of the Destination Erie study and launch of Emerge 2040, the implementation phase of the community’s plan.
  • Erie County Cooperative Extension now shares space with the Health Department, allowing for synergy and important connections on nutrition and environmental issues.
  • Planning department working with various municipalities on their comprehensive plans, including providing expertise for implementation of ReFocus Erie.
  • Planning department currently working with Preservation Erie on Cultural Heritage Plan.
  • Worked with EMTA, Emerge2040 and other partners to expand bus service into Corry and other areas of the county.
  • When the future of public education in Erie County was in question, all superintendents of the 13 school districts in the county were assembled to collectively discuss the far-reaching ramifications of one district’s financial distress.
  • Catalyzed county departments working across department lines on various projects in new, innovative ways.

Kathy’s vision

  • Kathy has been committed to breaking down silos, and knows that a more vibrant Erie County is catalyzed through collaboration and cooperation. Kathy believes in developing our community and strengthening our economy by working together toward that vibrant future.
  • She will ensure that local elected officials in conjunction with business leaders and non-profits will speak with one voice that is heard on a state and federal level on issues that will continue the momentum of our county’s resurgence.
  • Kathy knows that a community that thrives begets businesses that flourish, and that businesses that flourish empower residents to prosper. Above all else, Kathy is confident that a united, committed Erie County will have the dexterity to circumvent any obstacles, and the determination to stay on the right path.

Good Governance

Kathy’s Record

  • Cut county government expenses by more than $1 million; in 2016 reduced expenses by $750,000 in the IT Department alone.
  • Prioritized transparency as a core value. The Erie County website will soon offer an easy to use format for access to the budget and county finances.
  • Oversaw expansion of Library programming, with a 47% increase in children’s program attendance, 482% increase in teen attendance, and 24% increase in adult programming attendance.
  • Appointed a professional cabinet of directors upon taking office. Recruited individuals with the knowledge, expertise and experience to create the type of administration that is professional, responsive and innovative.
  • Changed procurement process and reduced open purchase orders from 1,000 to 650, which improved transparency and accountability in the purchasing processes.
  • Created countywide IT Department, resulting in a more secure, more efficient, and more responsive IT network in county government.
  • Created a Director of Veterans Affairs position, giving the department the necessary expertise and staff needed to best serve the veterans of Erie County.

Kathy’s vison

  • Government’s performance is measured on effectiveness and efficiency. Kathy has made it a priority to create an efficient, effective, and transparent county government. She believes every dollar given by citizens carries a responsibility to use it conservatively and transparently, and will continue to uphold this value in her second term.

In the News

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Paid for by friends of Kathy Dahlkemper | Linda Stevenson, Committee Chairwoman

HQ: 4815 Peach Street, Erie, PA 16509  |  Mailing: P.O.  Box 528, Erie, PA 16512

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