The Regional Cities Initiative was a catalyst for the formation of the RDA and many other regional collaborations. As we began implementing the regional cities projects, community leaders indicated a strong interest in developing a comprehensive plan that would build economic strength in the region and lead our efforts beyond the quality of place focus.
In 2016, the RDA invited 15 leaders from across the region to work together in developing the underlying principles for a regional development plan. Facilitated by Karl King, the group completed a situational analysis that resulted in “A Plan for Prosperity, Growth and Inclusion Version 1.0” which identified the following strategic drivers as the underlying principles for a comprehensive regional development plan.
- Educating a world-class WORKFORCE.
- Recruiting and retaining great TALENT.
- Attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing INDUSTRIES.
- Promoting INCLUSIONand sparking opportunities for minorities.
- Helping ENTREPRENEURS
Throughout 2017, committees formed around the five areas to develop specific strategies and identify what activities would help drive the ultimate goal of increasing per capita personal income in the region. The Regional Economic Development Strategy Plan represents the input from hundreds of leaders across the region working together to develop regional strategies.