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New London names new economic development coordinator

New London — The city has named grants coordinator Elizabeth Nocera as its new economic development coordinator.

Nocera, who since 2015 has worked to secure various grants to fund city initiatives with the Office of Development and Planning, fills a position left vacant with the abrupt departure of Peter Lent in February. Lent, hired in 2018 after the retirement of Ned Hammond, left for personal reasons.

The job description calls or the economic development coordinator to build relationships and coordinate resources to meet the needs of business owners. Felix Reyes, director of the Office of Development and Planning, said Nocera will be involved in the COVID-19 long-term recovery team and focus on business retention and recruitment.

“The city of New London is fortunate to have someone with Elizabeth’s experience committed to improving the economic and business development opportunities in our city,” Reyes said in a statement. “I am confident that Elizabeth’s background and passion for grants management and procurement will help our City succeed in capturing much-needed funding to address the current economic crisis and come out ahead."

Over the past five years, Nocera has successfully procured state and federal funding for several initiatives for the city, the largest being the $2 million State Bond Commission grant award for the demolition of the former Thames River Apartments on Crystal Avenue.

She also secured grants totaling $1.5 million to provide assistance for firefighters and a $1.1 million grant for roadway and bike lane improvements at Williams Street from the Waterford town line to Hodges Square. Nocera was instrumental in securing permitting from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the National Park Service for a new seasonal waterfront restaurant at the Custom House Pier and led efforts to secure $167,000 in state funds for improvements to Bartlett Park. In recent months, Nocera was involved in the effort to successfully secure COVID-19 funding to help with its response during the pandemic.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the effort to help with business development projects that foster New London’s economic development,” Nocera said in a statement. “The city has multiple state and federal grants to address opportunities for development in the downtown, central, and waterfront areas of New London that provide tremendous opportunities for economic growth. I am thankful to be part of New London’s economic development team.”

Nocera earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Hartford and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and international relations from Boston University.

Reyes said the city will be advertising for a new grants coordinator. Nocera, who will earn $84,785 in her new position, will continue to handle duties as grant coordinator until there is a new hire.

Duties of the economic development coordinator have been covered jointly over the past several months by Reyes, Economic and Community Development Project Coordinator Tom Bombria and Adriana Reyes, the assistant registrar of vital statistics in the city clerk’s office.

g.smith@theday.com

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