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Posted on January 3, 2017 at 7:59 AM by Communications Department
1. Stay focused on clear job creation goals. The Alliance’s ambitious five-year higher wage job creation strategy and plan is a clear roadmap for success. The plan calls for the creation of 32,000 new higher-wage industry cluster jobs that will drive the creation of 71,000 new jobs in the region overall. More specifically, the plan calls for over a quarter or 9,500 of these new jobs to come from the Alliance’s new-to-market business recruitment and attraction efforts with the balance coming from accelerated growth and expansion of priority industry clusters in our communities. The specific goals and targets in this plan are gaining support. In November, the Newport News EDA was our first partner to take the lead and endorse the plan. To date, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Chesapeake and Poquoson have endorsed the new jobs plan and other endorsements are planned early in 2017.
2. Build on our strengths and merchandise our success. Our region is rich in human and material resources with great opportunities for success. Nowhere is there a better example of this than Newport News and the Hampton Roads Peninsula. With a strong asset base and sound business environment, exciting new investments are underway. The December announcement of Elite Airways decision to provide new non-stop service from the Newport News/ Williamsburg International Airport is an excellent example. The new Brooks Crossing office development anchored by over 600 engineering and design-related Newport News Shipbuilding jobs is another. 2017 will bring a steady stream of good news. The point is, we have a great story to tell and we need to be busy telling it – both at home and across the world.
3. Continue to find new ways to work together better. Economic development is a team sport that requires everyone to work together. In 2016, we formed the Regional Economic Developers Team or “RED Team” to better focus and improve how we and our regional partners work together. We made good progress in this area but much more can and will be done in 2017. The City of Newport News and its EDA has an excellent economic development team that does a superb job working with companies and closing deals. Our job is to generate more opportunities to give the Newport News team and all our regional partners more “at bats,” or more chances to do what they do so very well – closing deals and bringing quality jobs and economic development to their community.
4. Leverage our resources and efforts for maximum impact. A core element of regional economic development programs is leveraging resources to achieve greater collective impact. Marketing, advertising, public relations, trade shows, industry research, economic development sales missions and direct sales activities are expensive and must be sustained over time to be successful. Few communities have the resources to fund such programs at the scale needed to compete on a global stage. By pooling public funding and matching it dollar-for-dollar with private funding, the Alliance offers its member communities the opportunity to put their dollars to work more effectively and efficiently. That is the real bargain of regional development efforts. Communities can leverage precious limited resources and gain direct access to a larger opportunity pipeline than would ever be possible on their own. The return-on-investment or ROI from such collaborative and leveraged efforts makes it a good deal for everyone.