The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news.
Our Board of Directors recently finished a lengthy strategic planning effort by adopting a new five-year plan that will drive the development association's priorities from 2014-2018. Conversations about our opportunities and priorities were much different over the last few months compared to our recession challenged conversations over the past few years. The Yakima County Development Association Board sees tremendous potential for growth within our region in the years ahead. To trigger this development our association is putting its emphasis on three core initiatives:
YCDA Five Year Plan
Putting the needs of local companies at the top of the list, the Board recognized that local companies create over two-thirds of all new jobs in most communities across the United States. We are seeing a lot of businesses bounce back from the recession and wanting or needing to expand. This is a big opportunity for the region and our office will devote a lot of time and energy towards growing companies in our own backyard.
The development association will continue to market the region as a business location. We have helped attract new companies that employ over 1800 people and must continue to respond to prospective businesses that are searching for new factory locations.
Addressing workforce and community leadership issues must also be part of our mission over the next five years. Local companies and the prospective companies we want to attract need a talented workforce. We have great employees within the region but we must nonetheless raise educational attainment and further develop a talent pipeline in order to meet demands presented by growing employers. Additionally New Vision needs to be engaged on other business climate issues that impact the regional economy. Whether its investing in public infrastructure (roads, water, etc.) or supporting key initiatives, the development association's board clearly understands that we need to weigh in on and sometimes drive important public policy issues impacting our Valley.
Here is our plan in an illustrated nutshell (click on image below 2x to enlarge):