On Thursday, Oct. 15, the Department of Economic Development announced it will develop a five-year Charles County Economic Development Strategic Plan, in partnership with Development Counsellors International (DCI) and Garner Economics LLC. The purpose of the plan is to provide the county with an action plan to improve business competitiveness, leverage the county’s assets to strengthen existing businesses, and identify new investment opportunities.

“Charles County has immense potential for economic prosperity and growth, but we need concrete action steps to ensure our efforts have continuity and maintain momentum,” said Darrell Brown, director for the Department of Economic Development. “The economic development strategic plan will prioritize where we place our future resources, and it will provide the roadmap necessary to stay on course.”

The plan is scheduled to be released in March 2016. The annual Economic Development fall meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 3, titled, “Are We on the Same Page? Building Consensus” will focus on the strategic plan. President and Founder Jay Garner of Garner Economics LLC will be the keynote speaker.  For additional information or to register for the meeting, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/the-annual-economic-development-fall-meeting-registration-18886274355.

To begin the plan’s development, Garner Economics LLC will conduct an assessment of the county’s competitiveness to include demographic and economic analysis, labor market and cluster analysis, community assets and challenges assessment, and comparisons to two benchmark communities. Other research methods include focus groups with local businesses and government members and a countywide electronic survey to run from Oct. 16-30.

Garner Economics LLC will develop a competitive realities report with key findings from the research.  This report will be used to develop the final Economic Development Strategic Plan. The plan will include recommended target industry sectors as well as execution guidelines and recommendations.

For additional information about the Department of Economic Development, visit www.MeetCharlesCounty.com.