PCDC Strategic Plan – 2015

PCDC STRATEGIC PLAN

The Pitt County Development Commission’s (PCDC) scope of work will proactively focus on 5 priority areas:  Networks, Marketing, Recruitment, Existing Industry and Capacity Building.  Each priority has been identified as essential to the long-term success of economic growth in Pitt County.  Our mission is to facilitate investment and job creation that will continue to diversify Pitt County’s economy.  PCDC will take a leadership role in industrial development projects, including project management and incentive negotiations, with assistance and support from partner economic development allies.  Working in collaboration with these allies, we will lead, participate or support efforts relevant to the priority areas depending on how each aligns with our mission and core competencies.

1. NETWORKS

Economic Development is a process, and first and foremost we must continue to develop, maintain and enhance relationships and partnerships that will enable us to successfully fulfill our mission.

  • Establish or maintain relationships with any person, organization, agency or company that will help us fulfill our mission and execute our strategic plan.  This economic development network includes, but is not limited to:

-State/regional/local governmental agencies, municipalities, utilities, railroads, elected officials, young professionals, granting agencies, site consultants, existing industry, East Carolina University (ECU), Pitt Community College (PCC), Vidant Health, Pitt County Schools, local and state Chambers, Pitt County Committee of 100, entrepreneurs, and other local economic developers.

-Be cognizant of the appointment or introduction of new potential partners, such as newly elected officials or legislators.

-Understand the new world order of the State’s economic development delivery systems and where Pitt County Development Commission fits.

-Monitor regional realignment within the state to determine appropriate marketing alliances.

  • Initiate unification (bridge-building) efforts with others involved in such efforts to enhance communication, coordinate and streamline efforts, reduce redundancy, maximize our resources and strengthen our value proposition.
  • Recognize the core competencies of our partners and their respective missions and further enhance our relationships, “swim in our own lanes,” and function efficiently and cohesively as an economic development team.
  • Act as a liaison between people and organizations that need introductions for further relationship-building.
  • Serve as the lead agency for all industrial economic development efforts in Pitt County.  This includes reviewing existing protocols for needed modifications, establishing new protocols as appropriate and adhering to protocols for project handling.
  • Continue existing programs (Existing Industry Reception, participation in NC Economic Developers’ Association (NCEDA), Committee of 100 Board, HR Managers’ breakfasts, etc.) to enhance existing relationships, and develop new programs and participate in new initiatives for networking.  (Site Selectors Guild, Industrial Asset Management Council, etc.).
  • Maintain and enhance the learning environment for board, staff, citizens and partners (Citizens Academy, local speaking engagements, Leadership Institute, Town meetings).

2. MARKETING

It is imperative that we maintain best practices and stay current with regard to technology, design, functionality and execution of marketing initiatives in order to successfully promote Pitt County and its assets.  We should also explore collaborative marketing initiatives.

  • Continue to enhance our use of technology, including website (design, functionality, SEO), social media utilization, and the latest public relations techniques.
  • Enhance presence, image, and recognition of location and assets beyond local media, including collaborations with existing and new partners as applicable.

-Spotlight existing industry, document testimonials, and pitch stories to media.

-Continue to establish awareness/ presence through local magazines, Business NC, Economic Developers’ Guide, Eastern Region magazine, Glimpse and VOCUS PR Tool.

  • Explore opportunities to partner with local, regional and state agencies and partners on collaborative marketing initiatives (Friends of NC, Trade shows/missions, industry/cluster-specific).
  • Sponsor events and projects relevant to priority areas that will enhance our ability to promote Pitt County, provide positive PR value, and strengthen our partners. Ongoing sponsorships will be outlined yearly in the budget, and new sponsorship requests will be reviewed by PCDC staff and approved by the Board. Major changes to any existing sponsorship request will be reviewed.

-Provide municipal grant support that will provide assistance to our municipalities for their respective economic development initiatives.

  • Maintain and create print, electronic and package-ready collateral materials for customized project responses and other marketing initiatives.

-Focus on promoting assets, such as water resources, incentives, workforce data, accolades, Area Stats

-Focus on marketing materials specific to site selection consultants

3. RECRUITMENT

PCDC will continue to directly manage the targeting and recruitment of industrial companies, including all aspects of project handing, and will continue to collaborate with other partners in the development of new businesses and high impact entrepreneurial initiatives.

  • Create incentives packages for projects on a case-by-case basis, predicated on jobs, investment, overall impact, and the specific needs of the client.

-Study our competition’s tax structure, how taxes are paid (or not), school taxes, other taxes beyond ad valorem, and other incentives package components to see how we can package ours better in terms of conveying “apples to apples.”

-Develop innovative incentives options on a case-by-case basis for “transformative” projects beyond the industrial category.

-Assist municipalities with local components of incentives packages.

  • Identify, target and establish relationships with site consultants.

-Participate in high impact site consultant events (i.e.:  Site Selectors’ Guild, IAMC).

-Proactively engage site consultants, independently or in collaboration with other allies, to promote Pitt County and its assets (i.e.:  Familiarization Tours, local Site Consultant events, Friends of NC events).

-Identify consultants with expertise in target clusters such as biotech, pharmaceuticals, food processing and automotive and establish relationships, promote relevant assets.

  • Serve as the lead, liaison and facilitator for services/support during the recruitment process.

-Provide links to ECU, PCC and other partners as project details are discussed and at the discretion of clients.

-Provide information and analysis as requested or as relevant to recruitment prospects.

-Assist in grant writing and identification of viable funding sources for recruitment projects.

-Propose and coordinate the touring of buildings and sites that meet project requirements.

-Work with partners and clients to develop appropriate incentives packages for projects.

  • Identify opportunities to align with partners to maximize travel and recruitment dollars.

-Continue to participate in trade missions, attend trade shows and sponsor/support events in collaboration with allies.

  • Enhance the vertical entrepreneurial support ecosystem.

-Partner with ECU, existing industry, local entrepreneurs and other sources to develop a formalized network dedicated to a “grow your own” strategy to support business development and sustainability.

-Leverage ongoing partnerships with ECU to encourage and support efforts to enhance research competitiveness, emphasis on translational research and new company formation.

4. EXISTING INDUSTRY

Existing industry is the backbone of our job creation and a top priority for maintaining and growing a healthy economy.  We must continue to take a lead role in many aspects of existing industry support and expansion.

  • Manage the Technology Enterprise Center and assess the potential future needs of the building and tenants.

-Coordinate lease negotiations, maintenance and upfit projects, and third-party vendor contracts.

-Identify opportunities for maximizing existing space and creating additional space.

  • Continue to be a liaison and facilitator for services/support of existing industry.

-Provide links to ECU, PCC and other partners for support and stay involved as needed.

-Advocate for workforce initiatives for all ages to provide a trained workforce and a pipeline of workers for the future.

-Assist in grant writing and identification of viable funding sources.

  • Continue to support existing industry in all areas that affect the business climate in Pitt County, Eastern NC and the State.

-Monitor and provide legislative agenda advocacy in direct response to industry needs.

-Conduct research, provide data and connect contacts as needed for relevant existing industry issues (i.e.:  utilities, transportation, exporting, health/safety, drug testing).

  • Continue to keep abreast of all pertinent existing industry news through ongoing contact and site visits.

-Continue to host HR managers’ breakfasts, attend yearly wage and benefit survey meetings and participate in other relevant events and meetings.

-Identify growth potential and address any major impediments of growth and significant impact issues of existing industry.

-Communicate success stories and accolades for use in marketing and recruitment.

5. CAPACITY BUILDING

PCDC operates in an increasingly competitive environment, and there are many aspects in which PCDC may play a direct or support role in establishing the Greenville, NC MSA as a desired location for project expansion, development and recruitment.  A list of capacity-building goals and projects will help us streamline our priorities and outline our role for each.

  • Support Workforce Development efforts of various partner agencies and organizations.

-Articulate needs and act as a liaison for existing and new industry with partners such as ECU, PCC, Strive, and Pitt County Schools.

-Articulate the need for a ready workforce to the public and policy makers and support programs that enhance these efforts.

-Support and promote alternate education and emerging initiatives, such as Tools for Manufacturing, STEM East, Solid Dosage University.

-Promote successful workforce/training initiatives to the public, site consultants and site selectors through our own and collaborative marketing.

  • Lead and Support Entrepreneurial Efforts.

-Support the exploration of opportunities to continue to grow our reputation and leadership in health care training and delivery with appropriate partners. In our revised bylaws, we designated a seat on our board for Vidant Medical Center.

-Lead and support the enhancement of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and promote success stories.

-Support the exploration of new ways to link ECU’s research capabilities with Vidant’s leadership and reputation as a premier healthcare provider.

-Support ECU’s efforts to enhance research competitiveness, emphasize translational research and increase technology transfer success stories.

-Support the further development of a life sciences cluster, including agbiotechnology by promoting assets and exploring opportunities to enhance competitiveness and research strength in these sectors.

  • Provide Municipality Support.

-Provide monetary support, as determined by budget and policy, for municipality economic development initiatives.

-Provide opportunities for collaboration, information-sharing and networking.

  • Support Quality of Life enhancements.

-Recognize the recruitment and retention implications of quality of life improvements, and through analysis and evaluation by the staff, approve endorsement and/or monetary support of projects, by Board vote, that enhance County and municipal economic and industrial development competitiveness.

-Review current and long-standing commitments that support projects and organizations charged with quality of life improvements in infrastructure, arts, culture, recreation, etc. and create a policy that outlines the types of initiatives we will support and what levels of commitment are available for approval.

-Support efforts to recruit, retain and engage young professionals.

  • Lead and support product development, improvement and promotion.

-Identify and support site and building improvements for viable properties in Pitt County’s designated industrial parks and industrial zoned areas to enhance marketability.

-Develop a shell building plan, including financial details on how the fund will be revolving as shells are sold and how future buildings will be handled.

-Pursue more opportunities to aggressively market buildings, sites and our assets.

-Support other product enhancements, such as infrastructure improvements, site maintenance, improved accessibility and overall site and building aesthetics.

-Explore and evaluate other new product possibilities, such as an accelerator or a research park, with relevant partners.

  • Stay actively involved in identifying financing options and sources for projects.

-Explore options provided by banking institutions, venture capital, investors, developers and granting agencies.

-Explore potential loan/grant programs that could be developed to utilize the NCER Trust Fund money that we have received.