Modern Economic Development Practiced Here

janet ady economic developmentA recent blog post by consultant Janet Ady outlines some key takeaways from the recent Site Selectors Guild conference where the Roanoke Regional Partnership was in attendance. Her observations support the initiatives of the Roanoke Regional Partnership and give credence to our belief that 21st century economic development is practiced in the Roanoke Region. 

According to Ady, “Talent is king.” She says, “Position your region to be attractive to people, as people are the ultimate magnet for companies.”

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A Closer Look at Accelerate 2022: Leadership and Engagement

roanoke region campaign

When the Roanoke Regional Partnership announced the Accelerate 2022 fundraising effort, it included four key strategic areas for the organization’s program of work over the next five years.

  • Leadership and engagement. Creating active, engaged leaders and citizens who advocate for the region.
  • Talent solutions. Creating a dedicated talent attraction program that builds upon the region’s livability and connects with local college students.
  • Targeted marketing. Strengthening marketing to position the Roanoke Region as an energized destination for business and talent.
  • Asset development and outdoor branding. Ensuring the region has the product, amenities and systems in place to propel economic growth.

The plan builds on the program of work adopted in 2012 that took the region to a higher level, creating over the past five years 3,305 primary jobs, 3,459 secondary jobs, $501 million in investments, annual consumer expenditures of $192 million, an increase in per-capita income by nearly 12 percent, and an increase in annual inquiry activity of 27.9 percent. Almost all metrics wildly exceeded goals set in 2012.

The Partnership completed a strategic planning process in 2016 to assess the region’s competitive position and match its program of work to the opportunities and challenges of a competitive, global economy. Business and government leaders helped build the plan.

Here’s a deeper look at the Leadership and Engagement part of the plan.

Energize the leadership and stakeholders of the Partnership

  • Create an executive leadership council that advises on key regional issues and acts as an advocacy arm and thought leadership for the region.
  • Identify topic areas for the leadership council to focus on.
  • Use the metrics of the strategic planning process to identify topics for study and action such as improving air service, support for entrepreneurs, and the supply and demand pipeline for talent.
  • Share findings with the community to build support and build fact-based consensus for action.
  • Bring in national thought leaders for speaking and training.

Provide citizens with a source for reliable information on the region’s economic development progress challenges, and opportunities

  • Create a separate market intelligence vehicle that pushes out data-driven analysis of the regional economy and market dynamics and establishes a voice for accurate information.
  • Develop local media relations to showcase success of the economy.
  • Develop an annual regional report card that shows economic development performance.

Do you want to know more about the five-year strategy or how an investment in the Roanoke Regional Partnership can work for you? Contact us to learn more.