NEW ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIC PLAN FOR PEARLAND
Leaders in Pearland have embarked on a collaborative community and economic development strategic planning process that will make the community a more prosperous, successful, and vibrant place to live, work, and do business. The process will result in a new five-year Economic Development Strategic Plan that will be a consensus-based blueprint to guide the community’s actions in the years to come. This plan will build upon the Pearland 20/20 strategy, which the community developed through a similar process in 2013 and has helped catalyze numerous community improvements in recent years.
The Pearland Economic Development Corporation has convened the strategic planning process on behalf of the City of Pearland and its partners. A diverse Steering Committee comprised of public, private, and non-profit leaders – including members of the Pearland 20/20 Implementation Committee – will guide the five-phase process, detailed below.
The seven-month process will conclude in December, 2019. The process will address the full range of issues that influence a community’s competitiveness, including its talent, education and training resources, infrastructure and mobility, quality of place, resiliency, and so on. The resulting Strategic Plan will include actions and tactics designed to address challenges, capitalize on opportunities, and ensure that Pearland continues to be a destination of choice for residents and businesses in the Houston region.
Market Street Services, a national community and economic development firm based in Atlanta, will help facilitate the strategic planning process. Market Street was also Pearland’s partner in developing the Pearland 20/20 strategy. Founded in 1997, Market Street’s staff has worked with clients in 34 states and more than 165 communities throughout the country to devise actionable strategies with strong implementation guidelines that translate planning into real-world success.
phase one: Community and Stakeholder Input
Community input is vital to the success of any holistic economic development process. Market Street will engage as many community stakeholders as possible through individual interviews, focus groups, and an online survey that is open to anyone who lives and/or works in Pearland. The input process will identify Pearland’s opportunities and challenges and help determine strategic priorities. This phase will take place in June.
phase two: Community Assessment
The Community Assessment will provide a detailed examination of Pearland’s competitiveness as a place to live, work, visit, and do business. The Assessment will weave qualitative feedback from phase one with deep quantitative and data findings into a set of “stories” that provide a concise narrative of the region’s opportunities and challenges and lay the groundwork for future phases of the process. This phase will take place in June and July.
phase three: Implementation Assessment
The implementation of the Pearland 2020 strategy has helped advance many key projects in the community, particularly infrastructure and other investments impacting mobility, corridor improvement, and beautification. The Implementation Assess-ment will help the community gain a firm understanding of areas where goals have been met, areas where progress has yet to be achieved, and any barriers that have impeded effective implementation. This phase will take place from July to August.
phase four: Economic Development Strategic Plan
Based on the key findings from the first three phases of the process, Market Street will work with the Steering Committee to identify strategic recommendations that will guide the community’s collective actions in the years to come. The Strategic Plan will be holistic, actionable, and measurable. Examples of best practice programs, policies, and initiatives from communities around the country will be included when relevant. This phase will take place from August to October.
phase five: Implementation Guidelines
If the Strategic Plan represents what the City of Pearland and its partners will pursue to enhance its economic development, the Implementation Guidelines will help define how the community and its partners can achieve its objectives. The Guidelines will help prioritize strategic recommendations, define roles and responsibilities of key organizations and partners, determine needed staff and financial capacity, and confirm performance metrics to track progress and success. The Guidelines will draw from key takeaways identified in the Implementation Assessment ensuring the community’s current approach to implementation is leveraged and built upon when appropriate, and revised or adjusted when necessary. This phase will take place from October to December.