Marion County engaged Boyette Strategic Advisors to assist in developing a five-year strategic plan for Marion County’s economic future. Boyette, based in Arkansas, is a highly respected firm that has led economic development strategic planning throughout the country. The plan for Marion County is comprehensive in nature, and uses demographic data and economic analysis to uncover barriers to investment. Workforce skills, education attainment and training opportunities were examined as well as quality of life, transportation, healthcare, local assets and amenities. The firm identified target industries and generated a list of specific companies that would thrive in the county and analyzed the Marion County Industrial Park that has recently undergone master planning. Also part of the strategic plan are strategies for retail, housing, restaurants, existing industry, incentives, communication, marketing, tourism, permitting, code enforcement, and building inspection services. In the final phase for Boyette, the firm developed an implementation plan with a detailed list of goals, objectives, action steps, timelines, resources, responsible parties and key performance indicators.
When planning for economic development, the goal is to create and maintain a strong, vibrant local economy, but a roadmap is needed to get there and it should align with what the data reveals. A community may want to attract high tech industry or workforce housing or a hotel but we don’t have the research to support or the resources to make that happen. Local economic development planning involves intergovernmental coordination and support of community stakeholders. Everybody must be on board and committed to the plan, not just during the planning process but for the years that follow.
A steering committee made up of representatives from workforce development, small businesses, major employers, utilities providers, healthcare, and government worked with Boyette to gather data and 100+ stakeholders in Marion County met with Boyette Strategic Advisers and county leaders to provide valuable input about the county.
The County received a grant from the Marion County Healthcare Foundation to offset the cost of developing this strategic plan, as well as for the master planning in the Marion County Industrial Park. Key stakeholders, from government, community organizations and industry alike, also committed financially to support the cost of developing and implementing the strategic plan.
Click on the image below to read the Marion County 2025 strategic plan!
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