• 59°

EDP consultant will provide road map for collaboration

By JENNIFER KIRCHNER
Convention and Visitors Bureau

About one year ago, Economic Development Partnership Vice Chair Ben Nelson and Danville City Manager Ron Scott began discussing the need for a defined direction to better achieve the EDP’s mission.

The idea: perhaps we need a plan. A plan that will help shape our strategy, goals and efforts for the next five to seven years.

A plan that will help us join together and have a unified vision to advance economic prosperity, increase opportunity, and advance quality of life. A plan that will have us all marching towards common goals and increase our effectiveness and collaboration.

Once all the EDP members were in agreement that a shared vision would be a useful endeavor, a request for proposal (RFP) was issued in March 2015. The EDP wanted to find a consultant who could “formally confirm the community’s shared mission and vision” and “develop an understanding of the regional economic situation and opportunities and means for capitalizing on these opportunities,” among other things.

The working committee on this process has selected RKG and Associates Inc. to be the consulting company. Initially, there will be launch and objective-setting meetings that “will include a clarification and confirmation of the work plan, timeline and deliverables to ensure that all parties are operating under the same understanding.”

Consultants will conduct interviews; analyze demographics and economic trends; and review infrastructure and the regulation and taxation environment. There will also be two public meetings. Once information is gathered, RKG will do an indepth analysis of Boyle County and the region, including things such as business climate, economic trends, the local workforce and land availability. The analysis will also identify local advantages and weaknesses or vulnerabilities.

Lastly, we have requested RKG review economic development issues and identify and prioritize a wise direction for us. This effort will happen in tandem with the community place-branding project with consultants from Chandler Thinks.

At the conclusion of this project we will have a roadmap for “attracting new companies and activities; nurturing, growing and retaining existing business; identifying needs for items such as infrastructure, housing, vitality, transportation, and other improvements; understanding Boyle County’s position within the larger Bluegrass region and as part of state and regional economic development strategies” At times, with many fruitful ideas and goals, agreement can be hard to find.

Collaboration can be slow and compromise is always necessary. This plan, based on a wealth of research, will create cohesion for our elected official and community leaders to join forces and move in unison toward shared goals and efforts. Dissonance will be reduced and energy will be focused on joint efforts to achieve the targets.

Why do we need a consultant to tell us what to do? Don’t we already know what we need to do?

Third party consultants provide specialized information; problem-solve; highlight opportunities and challenges; build consensus and commitment around corrective action; and improve organizational effectiveness. The selected firm, RKG and Associates, is a full service economic, planning and real estate consulting firm that has grown to become one of the most respected firms in United States.

RKG specializes in applying economic analysis to economic development, real estate development and financing issues, with the goal of attracting private sector investment and job creation. The firm has completed many similar analyses and is skilled at assessing the economic impacts of development projects.

Successful planning is half the battle. When clear intentions are put into place, the likelihood of success exponentially increases. With the guidance of Ben Nelson, who is also an HR Consultant at Miller Consulting, a project to gain perspective, strategy, tactical plans and long-range vision has begun. We will spend the next seven to eight months working closely with RKG.

The most important facet of this project is the outcome of a road map that will lead us to better outcomes, stronger collaborations and high-achieving objectives.

 

About the EDP

The Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership is a collective organization comprised of the four local governments in Boyle County; the Chamber of Commerce; Heart of Danville; Main Street Perryville; the Boyle County Industrial Foundation; and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. These nine member agencies work to represent Boyle County locally, regionally and nationally; and address many community issues such as jobs, safety, quality of life, marketing and increasing tax revenue to provide public services.