ALBANY The heads of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission voted Wednesday to allow staff to begin developing a long-range strategic plan designed to show the board and the community where the organization should be in the next five to 10 years.
“I think we’re already doing a pretty good job managing ourselves on a year-to-year basis, but where we’re lacking is having a more long-range look at where we’re going,” EDC President Ted Clem said.
The immediate goal is to use the EDC’s staff to develop a five-year strategic plan through a series of phases.
EDC to study how to "grow up"
Albany Dougherty Economic Development Commission President Ted Clem speaks about plans to develop a strategic plan to help the board determine "Where they want to be when they grow up."
The first phase would be an EDC board retreat, which will likely happen this summer and will challenge board members to define and set goals for what the EDC should be and should be doing.
Phase II involves pulling together representatives from the Georgia Department of Labor, the Dougherty County School System, higher education institutions, Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, local utilities, small businesses, industry, regional partners and relevant stakeholders for analysis of the area’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for growth.
“The underlying goal here is to talk to different groups. The (Albany) City Commission may have one idea on how they want to do things, the (Dougherty) County Commission may have a different plan, and the business community may have another idea altogether,” Clem said. “When we go through this process, we hope to gain some sort of community consensus on what the main initiatives and goals of our organization should be.”
Phase III would be another EDC board retreat that would be used to analyze and refine the EDC’s priorities and direction.
Phase IV would be a meeting of the EDC stakeholders — the city and county commissions and the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce — to discuss their priorities and gain feedback.
Finally, the last phase would be to present the plan to the community in hopes of earning support and buy-in.
The EDC also learned Wednesday that staff picked up two new business prospect referrals from the state Department of Economic Development and said that there are at least two companies considered as finalists for relocating or expanding business into the area.
Clem said he’s hopeful for an announcement by the end of the month on at least one of those companies.
EDC staff will also soon be heading to the world’s largest retail business trade show in Las Vegas. Clem said the EDC and Electric Cities of Georgia have a booth set up at the trade shows and have already pre-arranged a series of meetings with prospective businesses.