by Charlie Tardibuono, Business and Technology Developer and Jim Robb, Economic Development Technology Consultant, City of Prescott Economic Development
Carefully planning for economic growth can yield much needed revenue while protecting our identity and our future. Soon, a specific approach to bolstering the economy in the greater Prescott area (GPA) will be proposed to key civic leaders. This plan, “The GPA Economic Development Plan for Technology,” revolves around building a technology center where advanced software products – based on research and development of local colleges and universities – will be established. Small startup companies will take residence in the center and build companion products, establishing a hub of technical development and creating high-end jobs for area citizens. In short, a sector of the area’s economy will be established based on expanding the current technology industry.
This business model, while sound in business reasoning and economic principles, is borne out of a need to create jobs in this sector of the economy, but also out of a love of the greater Prescott area. Balanced economic growth can be achieved in the area and is driven by a serious commitment to area residents.
Growth does not mean the demise of the charm of the greater Prescott area communities. Instead, it means that carefully planned growth will preserve and enhance the amazing qualities that draw so many to the area. Growth – tempered by a desire to see healthy progress – is at the heart of the “GPA Economic Development Plan for Technology.”
Six primary factors frame the approach of the plan:
- Build upon GPA city planning strategies, resources and city strengths
Among the greatest assets in developing the economic plan for technology was the information written into the various city plans. The strategic goals and identification of resources (including limitations of resources) was carefully considered in the writing of the technology development plan.
- Optimize development from within the GPA
While the GPA city plans propose strategy for drawing businesses to the area, the “GPA Economic Development Plan for Technology” departs from this approach. It is believed that a better, quicker method of stirring economic growth begins with assets found locally. One such set of assets is local colleges and universities – human resources as well as intellectual property. As the plan matures, local suppliers and businesses will be identified to contribute optimally to the implementation of the plan.
- Retain local youth as lifelong contributors to the GPA heritage and economy
It has become clear that area residents are aging and young people are leaving, for the most part. Regardless of the reasons for this exodus, a goal of the technology development plan is to keep local students in the area by aiding them in their career planning. From high school to college and then into the tech industry, this human resource is a powerful asset that will contribute to healthy economic growth.
- Preserve our culture and heritage
While the scope of the technology development plan does not specifically deal with the cultural arts nor the direct preservation of the heritage of our communities, the plan in no way will impinge on the character of what makes the area what it is. Instead, developing youth to join the local economy will bring with it not only increased revenue, but these contributing residents will have a deep appreciation of the history and qualities of the area.
- Feed the local economy
Implementation of the technology industry from many existing companies or those that are spawned by the industry will have the benefit of optimizing the revenue generated by locally based businesses.
- It’s about the residents
In the end, the foundation framed within the “GPA Economic Development Plan for Technology” is designed to benefit all residents in the local communities. From the youth preparing to enter the workforce, to those currently in the workforce, to retirees – all will benefit from the positive impact of this plan.
These six points set the foundation for the proposed solution of the “GPA Economic Development Plan for Technology.” To see a successful implementation of an economic plan and to realize the optimal results, a broad spectrum of factors must be considered. To be clear, the strategies and the business planning to establish a more balanced economy is extremely important. However, defining the plan based on a love for the legacy and residents of the greater Prescott area is crucial.