In an effort to support economic and workforce planning in Lima/Allen County, the Allen County Board of Commissioners were awarded a planning grant from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment. In July 2015, the Allen County commissioners received the grant for $222,000 with the goal of identifying specific action items to grow the regional economic development base. The Ohio Regional Growth Partnership also contributed $25,000 in grant funding, to provide a total of approximately $247,000. With the funding to proceed, the next stage was to develop an action plan. A phased approach was developed to address the issues identified in the initial research conducted.
Four key areas of improvement:
- Local and Regional Collaboration and Private Sector Engagement
- Workforce Development Systems Alignment
- Economic Development Systems Alignment
- Industry Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Phase 1 of the Allen County Defense Initiative entailed a great deal of research and planning. The county partnered with Future iQ Partners, a management consulting firm that specializes in effective planning solutions, to help lead the project. To initiate the process, Future iQ Partners administered a survey to community leaders and business people in February to mid-March. The team worked to evaluate regional networks and collaboration patterns, examined future developments in the areas of innovation and workforce and began outlining a plan of action. The data collected during the research was compiled into a variety of reports and a county-wide Network Platform was developed. The Allen County Network Platform provides resources to encourage greater collaboration between local businesses.
Phase 1 Reports:
At this point in the process, a collection of reports have been created. The documents below will provide you with details of the overall plan, asset inventory and scenario planning.
In September 2015, Lima/Allen County was awarded a two-year grant for $3 million from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment. The goal is to utilize the funding to implement initiatives that will make the regional economy viable over the long term.
- Cultivating Local and Regional Collaborative Growth
- Expanding Industry Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Developing a Communication and Social Media to Market the Region
- Economic and Workforce Development Structure & Alignment
Each initiative in Phase 2 will be rolled out over the course of two years. During which time, Future IQ Partners will work closely with the Allen Economic Development Group (AEDG) and other key stakeholders in the local and regional area. Between the months of March and October 2017, AEDG and Key Stakeholders will work to improve collaboration within the region by completing the following tasks.
- Expanded Network Study
- Comprehensive Gap Analysis of the Region
- Analysis of Local Innovation Opportunities and Needs
- Supply Chain and Workforce Analysis
- Create Regional Collaborative Growth Plan
- Develop Action Response Team
In addition to the work being done by Future iQ Partners, a communications firm, kglobal, a division of Zenetex, LLC based in Washington DC will be working on a Communication Plan for Lima/Allen County over the next 12 months. The project consists of the following tasks:
- Review Existing Communications Framework
- Develop a Comprehensive and Strategic Communications Plan
- Provide Implementation Support and Guidance
- Provide Public Relations Planning and Implementation throughout the Project
Phase 2 Reports & Presentations:
- 6-month Community Update (Feb. 2017)
- Greater Lima Region Innovation Framework (Dec. 2016)
- Workforce Report (August 2016)
- Supply Chain Analysis (August 2016)
- Stakeholders Session (June 2016)
- Future of Manufacturing (May 2016)
- Future of Food (March 2016)
- Allen County Action Plan Report (May 2015)