Economic development consultants continue work toward strategic plan
Published 8:41 am Thursday, January 26, 2017
Kyle Talente with consulting firm RKG Associates Inc. returned to Danville this week and presented his company’s target industry and workforce analysis to members of the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership.
The analysis, presented Wednesday night in the Inter County Energy community room, is part of a larger effort to develop a strategic economic development plan for the area.
During RKG’s last visit in December, representatives met with several EDP members, members of local organizations and elected officials to figure out what the goals of the strategic plan should be.
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Talente started Wednesday’s presentation by looking over the goals developed in December, including attracting high-paying jobs, encouraging expansion of existing businesses, and pursuing economic development while maintaining the community’s character.
Talente said Boyle has good highway accessibility, quality of life, occupancy or construction costs, labor costs, corporate tax rate, state incentives and energy availability.
The Danville area also has good availability of skilled labor, buildings, proximity to major markets and local incentives.
Talente said another positive for the area is the crime rate in Danville, which has decreased in recent years. In 2013, the crime rate was 38.6 crimes per 1,000 people. In 2015, that rate had dropped to 21.0.
Housing is another opportunity — Boyle County is a lower cost option for those who work in Lexington, he said, because the salaries and cost of living is higher there.
Area schools, the regional hospital and the quality of life all help attract buyers to the area.
Talente said while Boyle County can attract some residents with a cheaper cost of living than Lexington, the same thing happens to Boyle County because other communities have even cheaper costs of living.
“You are being ‘Boyled’ by other communities that are doing the same thing, but are doing it at a lower cost,” he said.
Talente said when trying to attract businesses, Danville and Boyle can target different “industry clusters.”
Danville and Boyle should work to “market existing space to small firms that prioritize quality of life and do not require extensive on-site access to client base,” he said.
Target industry clusters include distribution and logistics; advanced manufacturing; healthcare; and entertainment and recreation.
Now that all of the data collecting is complete, Talente said RKG will next return to Danville in the spring.