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Planning for a More Diverse, Growing and Prosperous Regional Economy

An Inside Look into the Alliance’s First-Ever Economic Development Workshop

The Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance held its first ever, day-long comprehensive stakeholder and investor workshop on August 25, 2016. The workshop engaged stakeholders and investors directly in the organization’s strategy and business planning process and, in doing so, gained valuable input and guidance on key strategic themes and program questions. The event also provided participants an opportunity to share and discuss different views on issues, approach, resource needs, funding strategies and a wide range of regional economic development related topics. Check out the video below that captured the highlights of the day!

A key outcome of the workshop was guidance surrounding the level of support that exists for the idea of a long-term (five-year) goal scenario, and for the development, funding and implementation of a competitive program.  Takeaways from the workshop include the following highlights:

Five-Year Higher Wage Growth Scenario
Building on the Reinvent Hampton Roads Industry Cluster Study, the Alliance put forward a five-year plan to create 19,000 new higher wage jobs. More specifically, the plan proposes for the Alliance to drive the creation of 4,750 new-to-market higher wage jobs through targeted business recruitment and attraction. This ambitious plan represents a 40% increase over the Alliance’s historical performance.

Alliance Mission, Purpose and Role
The Alliance is dedicated to achieving a more diverse, growing and prosperous economy for the entire Hampton Roads region. It does so primarily by marketing the region worldwide and collaborating with its public and private partners to attract grow and retain higher-wage industries, talent and jobs.

Performance Metrics and Measures
Clear and specific performance metrics were outlined in the areas of business development, branding and marketing, industry cluster development, investor/stakeholder relations, and management and operations. Performance metrics will be tied to the Alliance role and value-add at each step in the development process.

2017 Business Plan
The proposed 2017 business plan will focus efforts on six higher wage target industry sectors, including business services, information analytics & security, advanced manufacturing, life sciences & healthcare, maritime, logistics & supply chain, and aviation, aerospace & defense. A high impact high profile targeting and attraction effort will work to drive an increased opportunity pipeline for the region. Regional branding, marketing and merchandizing will be based on the region’s and its communities’ unique business value proposition. A new investor relations and engagement plan will be developed and implemented to deliver more value to investors while generating increased private sector revenue.

Resources and Funding
During 2017, the Alliance will work to reverse the decline in private sector funding to support a regionally competitive program budget targeted toward $2.00 per capita in combined public-private funding. The majority of new funding will be committed to regional branding and marketing for the purpose of increased lead and opportunity generation.

Return on Investment
Goal attainment will generate a significantly enhanced return on investment. In year one, more than $150 in increased business revenue will be created for each dollar of private investment. Year one local tax impact will exceed $3.00 for each dollar of public investment.

Roadmap for Future Progress
Going forward, the Hampton Roads region will be characterized as one region with one vision and one voice. The engine of higher wage industry, talent and jobs will drive a more diverse, growing and prosperous economy and Hampton Roads will again be recognized as a dynamic and positive global business brand.  The following roadmap on one-page summary was presented to highlight the workshop recap.

ED Placemat

Next Steps
During the October – December 2016 period, the Alliance Officers, Executive Committee and Board of Directors will approve the final strategy, plans and budgets.  The Alliance’s Business Plan and Five-Year Higher Wage Job Creation Strategy will go into implementation in 2017.

The Alliance wishes to thank all of our stakeholders and investors for their participation in the development of our new strategy and business plan.  We gained valuable input and guidance and we look forward to our continued partnership to bring more jobs to Hampton Roads. As noted above, this turnaround will take time, teamwork and significant financial investment to succeed. We are working hard to pull together the resources needed to get the plan underway and will be reporting our progress as it occurs.  Hampton Roads, stay tuned and connected!  We are working for you!

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