How Springfield will stay competitive
Economic development blueprint
At the Seventh Annual Economic Outlook Conference, keynote speaker Mac Holladay, founder and CEO of Atlanta-based consultant firm Market Street Services, revealed a strategic action plan for economic development in the Springfield area.
The Springfield Business Development Corporation (SBDC), the Chamber's economic development arm, first worked with Market Street Services to assess the Springfield area’s current economic development climate, including its strengths and weaknesses. These efforts yielded the 2009 Competitive Assessment.
Market Street and the SBDC researched Springfield’s business industry targets, used best practices from around the country and gathered the input of local stakeholders to develop goals that address the community’s challenges and ways to capitalize on its assets.
The resulting Strategic Action Plan is not intended as a plan for one organization to implement, but a tool to unify economic and community development organizations, public-private partners, and community institutions behind a consensus blueprint for economic development.
The ultimate goal is to help strengthen Springfield’s competitiveness in attracting and retaining business.
With the economic development landscape more competitive than ever, Market Street used research and stakeholder input from throughout the two-year process to develop a holistic partnership-based strategy to help ensure that Springfield takes advantage of business retention and attraction opportunities.
The plan is outlined into four goals: developing our talent, growing our economy, enhancing our community and challenging our perceptions.
• Develop talent by leveraging regional K-12 school systems and higher education institutions to successfully prepare students for the workforce, while also attracting and retaining recent graduates and young professionals.
• Grow the economy of the Springfield region, continue to focus on job growth, creating a competitive business climate and marketing to external prospects.
• Enhance the community by promoting the Springfield region’s abundance of quality of life assets and make it a “community of choice” to live and work.
• Challenge internal and external perceptions of Springfield, by dispelling myths about Springfield, Missouri, and differentiating it from other Springfield communities across the United States.
Peer communities who have implemented similar strategic plans include: Montgomery, Ala.; Waco, Texas; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The plan is meant as a “living” document that will be re-assessed and adjusted as needed to ensure the Springfield region continues to thrive.