WASHINGTON, D.C. -- County government officials are in Washington, D.C. this week for the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual conference. 

The conference and expo is the largest meeting of county elected and appointed officials from across the country. The event helps local decisionmakers shape their federal policy agenda, share proven practices and strengthen networks to help improve residents’ lives and the efficiency of county government. 

“It's being able to go shoulder to shoulder with a lot of our different colleagues across the country and put Erie County on a map in ways which we never have before,” said Erie County Executive Brenton Davis. 

Davis serves as chairman of NACo’s International Economic Development Task Force which facilitates the exchange of information and resources. He led a panel at the conference about the importance of county investments. 

“It's focused on getting counties ready to focus on foreign direct investment. So economic development initiatives, how do we get foreign entities and domestic entities to invest in our counties, and I mean, that's critical,” said Davis. “That's something that a lot of counties across the country struggle with and I was happy to lead that initiative this year and really bring some more resources and some outside-of-the-box thinking to prepare counties for their economic development missions,” he added. 

Davis is also taking the opportunity to meet with federal lawmakers and advocate for Erie County priorities. 

“Where we can make county priorities known to federal representatives and being able to meet with U.S. senators or Congress and talk about earmarks for Erie County and for our community in these budgets to really leverage federal funds, not just the ARPA dollars, but county dollars, gaming revenue dollars and different infrastructure investments to really make these investments count,” said Davis.