City Commission Approves Economic Development Plan

The City Commission gave final approval on a consulting agreement with TIP Strategies during a special city commission meeting last night for the development of a comprehensive Economic Development Strategic Plan. City leaders have been working throughout the past year to identify the best approach for establishing a viable economic development program. The completion of a targeted economic development plan is a critical starting point toward implementing a successful long-term economic strategy in Shelton.

TIP Strategies in a national leader in the design of economic development strategies and successful implementation processes. The three phase planning process will last approximately six months and is designed to accomplish the following:

– Specialized analysis of the city’s relevant economic trends to reach a thorough understanding of the foundation and overall structure of the area economy.
– Identification of appropriate target industries and the development of effective marketing strategies to recruit them.
– The design of workforce development strategies, including talent retention, development, and attraction strategies.
– The creation of a plan implementation matrix that will provide specific recommendations and tools to implement a successful economic development program.

Several business and community leaders as well as members of the city’s state and federal legislative delegation expressed their support for the upcoming plan development project.

“I believe it is important that city leadership, community stakeholders, and the public have available a plan that is built out of a collaborative and informed process and identifies strategic paths to further economic development,” said Congressman Denny Heck, in a letter of support presented to the City Commission by District Representative Dallas Roberts. “I understand creating an Economic Development Strategic Plan would be a significant commitment for the city, but I believe the resulting targeted analysis and detailed findings produced would serve the city well.”

As part of the collaborative plan development process, the city will be partnering with the Economic Development Council of Mason County, Shelton Mason County Chamber of Commerce, and several other business and community stakeholders to identify local economic goals, opportunities, and implementation priorities.

“We hear a lot of talk in our community about affordable housing, dilapidated buildings and vacant storefronts, poverty, and homelessness,” said Jim Morrell, President and CEO of Peninsula Credit Union. “The proposed economic development plan will provide an actionable work plan with a clear vision for economic growth to address those things we talk about all the time.”

In harmony with the comprehensive economic development planning project, the city has also recently partnered with The Retail Coach for the design of a specialized Business Development Strategy that will focus specifically on retail development in Shelton. Both projects are scheduled to commence during the first quarter of 2018.