Huron County wide Economic Development Strategic Planning Pilot Project

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Team Members working through a Strategic Planning Exercise

An exciting new pilot project is underway in Huron County. The ten municipal partners in Huron are developing economic development strategic plans using a different approach than the traditional one used in the past. Each municipality has selected a Core Team of five people each to lead the process.

The Core Team members are being trained to lead the strategic planning process in their own community. OMAFRA staff Vicki Lass and myself are training the Core Team members based on OMAFRA’s new Strategic Planning manual. After each training session, the Core Teams will facilitate the planning process with their Strategic Planning Committee.

The guiding principles of this project include:

  • Working collaboratively
  • Seeking collective impact
  • Building organizational capacity and leadership

“When the leadership comes from the community, the ownership and buy-in to the strategic planning process is much greater”, states Vicki Lass.

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SWOT Strategic Planning Exercise in Huron County

Over 100 people attended the launch event on August 10, 2015. The first training session for the Core Teams was held on August 26, 2015.

Connie Goodall, Economic Development Officer for the Municipality of North Huron says “This project is a priority for Economic Development in North Huron. The end result will be Strategic Plans that complement each other by recognizing potential partnerships and projects, avoid duplication of efforts and allow Economic Development Staff County-wide to work towards the growth and sustainability of our entire region.”

Data plays an important role in the planning process as it helps inform decisions for economic development. OMAFRA data specialists Mike Florio and Jeff Kinsella lead the second training session on September 16, 2015. They introduced the Core Teams to the workforce and industrial data available in the Analyst Tool.

The project began in August and the four strategic planning training sessions will be completed by November. The next session on setting strategic goals and performance measurement will be held on October 7, 2015.