Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Food for Thought on Regional ED Strategy

There is some food for thought in this one!

This is from a recent editorial in the Toledo Free Press written by Professor Dan Johnson at the University of Toledo:

"For the past two decades, Harvard economist Michael Porter has traveled the world advising nations, provinces, states, cities and regions, how to become even more competitive. Porter and others have advanced the notion of economic “clusters” as a concept for understanding an area's economic strengths. Clusters are also advanced as the cornerstone of a strategy for making an area more competitive. Toledo and Northwest Ohio are well into “cluster” thinking.

But the immediate question is, “What now?” What is our approach to economic development as a city? As a region? What is our economic development strategy? Our priority? Our program? Our plan? And, our policy? Do we have any of the above? And, does anyone know?

My sense is that, in Toledo and Northwest Ohio, we are pursuing several approaches. We have many economic development strategies at work, emanating from multiple economic development organizations. We also have any number of programs — both public and private — operating to advance these strategies, and numerous plans in place to help organize and further our efforts.

My worry is that there are very few people in our community and region — even community and civic leaders — who know about or understand these strategies, plans, and programs. As a citizen or business person, could you call someone to find out what our economic development goals and strategies are for Toledo and Northwest Ohio?"

No comments: