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OCIC Business Plan


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OCIC Business Plan

  1. 1. OCIC Business Plan Adopted: June 7, 2011 By: OCIC Executive Board Recorded: June 7, 2011
  2. 2. PREFACEThe purpose of this Ottawa County Improvement Corporation Business Plan is to establish short- andlong-term key activities and priorities of the organization. Additionally, this Business Plan will provideOCIC Trustees, Associate Members, elected officials, and other key stakeholders with informationoutlining the efforts of the organization. It is the vision of the OCIC Executive Board that this BusinessPlan will serve as a tool for developing economic strategies that establish economic stability andprovide for economic growth in Ottawa County. This document is meant to provide a framework forfurther strategic activity development, and is intended to be a living, working document that may bemodified from time to time.This Plan was developed with input from the 2011 OCIC Executive Board and Ottawa CountyCommissioner’s office, as outlined below. Content and activities within the Plan were also developed inline with the current Community Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for Ottawa County. 1
  3. 3. THE BUSINESS PLAN DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEEThe list of Trustees, Ottawa County Commissioners, and Staff involved in Plan development are listedbelow.Mr. Steve Arndt Mr. James SassCounty Commissioner County Commissioner315 Madison Street 315 Madison StreetPort Clinton, OH Port Clinton, OH ndMr. Mark Stahl, 2 VP Mr. Jere WittCounty Commissioner County Administrator315 Madison Street 315 Madison StreetPort Clinton, OH Port Clinton, OHMs. Deb Burley-Biro, President Mr. Keith Smith, 1st VPDanbury Township Materion-Brush Wellman5972 E Port Clinton Eastern Rd 14710 W Portage River S RdMarblehead, OH Elmore, OHMr. Marty Sutter, Secretary Mr. Clark Price, TreasurerGenoa Bank Davis Besse Nuclear Power Plant801 Main St 5501 N. State Route 2Genoa, OH Oak Harbor, OHMs. Jamie Beier Grant, Director Ms. Kara Bork, AssistantOCIC OCIC8043 W State Route 163, #100 8043 W State Route 163, #100Oak Harbor, OH Oak Harbor, OHMs. Denise Ventrone, Workforce ResourcesOCIC8043 W State Route 163, #100Oak Harbor, OHThe goals and policies were formulated by the Committee after much discussion and thought. It wasfelt that the Countys diverse industry base (manufacturing/industrial, and tourism/service being twoleading industry sectors) warranted a well-thought out approach to the organization’s activities. Thegoals of the Committee reflect a renewed focus, strong retention/expansion program, and a marketingeffort to attract new industries and businesses into the County. 2
  4. 4. OVERVIEW: AREAS OF FOCUSThe Ottawa County Improvement Corporation (OCIC) serves as the lead economic development agencyby advancing, encouraging, and promoting the industrial, economic, commercial, and civic developmentof Ottawa County. These efforts create an environment in Ottawa County where existing businessesare able to continue to compete and grow in the worldwide marketplace and allow us to attract newcompanies to the area.Four key areas of focus are addressed in this Business Plan, including the following: • Business Retention & Expansion • New Business Attraction • Marketing • Professional/Personal DevelopmentIn each of the four key areas of focus, the committee asked three questions that helped drivedevelopment of initiatives. The three questions included: • Where do we want to go as an organization? • What will we not do? • Are the time and resources being spent on high-return opportunities?Additionally, it is important to recognize the many components that make up successful economicdevelopment initiatives. While these components vary depending on the nature of projects andinitiatives, examples of the components include, but are not limited to: • Communication with, participation of, and support from community stakeholders. • Identification of the project(s) impact on local infrastructure assets. • Determination of existing and future public infrastructure needs to ensure appropriate growth opportunities are available for economic development projects. 3
  5. 5. BUSINESS RETENTION & EXPANSIONExisting businesses provide nearly 85 percent of all new private sector investment and job creation in acommunity, which has been demonstrated in Ottawa County historically. With an unprecedentedrecession and an uncertain recovery upon us, companies are evaluating every aspect of theiroperations. Many of Ottawa County’s most important companies are facing issues that directly impacttheir ability to survive rapidly changing market conditions. And others face opportunities to grow,capitalizing on challenging economic times.More than ever before, a sound business retention program gives Ottawa County a foundation forhelping companies to stay, grow and thrive in the community. By pro-actively building strongrelationships with business owners, it provides the foundation for strategically allocating resources togrowth-oriented companies that want to enhance workforce, adopt new technologies, increaseprofitability and compete globally.For this, business retention and expansion efforts will remain the foundation of the OCIC’s economicand workforce development efforts.Economic Gardening InitiativeEconomic Gardening is an innovative, entrepreneur-centered, economic growth strategy that offersbalance to the traditional economic practice of business recruitment, often referred to as "economichunting." The Economic Gardening (EG) concept was pioneered by Chris Gibbons in 1989 in the City ofLittleton, Colorado, in conjunction with the Center for the New West, as a demonstration program todeal with the sudden erosion of economic conditions, following the relocation of Littleton’s largestemployer at the time.Today, EG has emerged as an initiative for economic developers looking for additional methods togenerate sustainable economic growth for their communities, regions or states.The OCIC has been working since 2010 with the Edward Lowe Foundation ( togain a better understanding of the EG concept and how Ottawa County and Northwest Ohio can benefitfrom the initiative. The Edward Lowe Foundation (Foundation) argues that by supporting second-stagecompanies, communities become the ‘economic gardens’ that cultivate growth in these companies andcreate supportive environments where they can thrive.”Second-stage companies often exhibit the following common characteristics: • Entrepreneurs • Past start-up phase, but not yet to maturity • Display an appetite and aptitude for growth • Transitioning from small to large • Privately held business • 10-99 employees • Revenue - $1 - $50 Million 4
  6. 6. In many communities, including Ottawa County, second-stage companies represent the largestpercentage of jobs to the community.According to the Foundation, three basic principles apply to the EG initiative: 1. Providing critical information needed by businesses to survive and thrive. 2. Developing and cultivating an infrastructure that goes beyond basic physical infrastructure and includes quality of life, a culture that embraces growth and change, and access to intellectual resources, including qualified and talented employees. 3. Developing connections between businesses and the people and organizations that can help take them to the next level — business associations, universities, roundtable groups, service providers, etc.The OCIC understands that the EG concept has great opportunity for success in Ottawa County,however there is an opportunity for even greater impact if we look to adjacent communities to partnertogether with. Therefore, the OCIC has extended the opportunity to our counter-part in SanduskyCounty, the Sandusky County EDC, to partner together to implement the EG initiative. After meetingwith the executive boards of the OCIC and the SCEDC, the two organizations conceptually agreed tomove forward together.Next Steps: The OCIC and SCEDC will begin working with the Edward Lowe Foundation to establish an EG Pilot Program in our communities. Both the OCIC and SCEDC will identify between one and three companies each who would be open to participating in the initial demonstration of the EG Program. Below is a diagram that outlines the concept of the EG infrastructure for assistance to second-stage companies. 5
  7. 7. Key Business RelationshipsIdentifying and building key relationships within the private sector is a critical component of theeconomic and workforce development efforts of the OCIC. Development of such relationships buildsconfidence and credibility among the private and public sector community, for the activities the OCIC isengaged in.Building the personal network with the business community is an integral part of the OCIC being able tocarry out its mission statement and have an impact in Ottawa County. These relationships lendthemselves to the identification of issues and opportunities for the business community, as well asbringing new contacts and opportunities to the private sector.Next Steps: OCIC should build these key business relationships in four arenas – existing businesses within the County; existing public sector stakeholders in the County; outside private sector resources and potential/existing supply chain contacts; and public sector stakeholders outside the County.Small Business StrategyAs a part of the evaluation of resources spent on projects vs. the return on investment, the OCIC willwork with its partners to develop a pathway to services for small business start-ups, or businesses notidentified in the priority industry sectors outlined by the organization or state.Local OCIC Investment Program ReviewThe OCIC and its appropriate committees will review the current criteria for providing differentincentive assistance to companies. This review includes, but is not limited to, the OCIC Revolving LoanFund Program. Review and recommendations for modifications will be made in concurrence with theoverall OCIC Business Plan strategy and the strategy of the State of Ohio.BUSINESS ATTRACTION EFFORTSAs a compliment to the Retention & Expansion efforts of the OCIC, a proactive business attractionapproach should be taken to promote the County’s many attributes (including labor force, quality oflife, proximity to markets, and industrial real estate capacity). The OCIC’s business attraction efforts willbe done in coordination with the State of Ohio’s branding and marketing efforts (done currentlythrough the Ohio Business Development Coalition), as well as through any regional attraction effortsthat are coordinated through the Northwest Ohio Regional Economic Development Association(NORED) and the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP). 6
  8. 8. Trade Show ActivitiesOCIC participation in trade shows, site selector programs, and other marketing efforts will be done andin line with the industry sectors our businesses are strategically engaged in (advanced materials, solar,fabrication, building products, tourism, etc.). Participation in any trade show activities should be donein cooperation with the strategies outlined by the State of Ohio and Northwest Ohio Regional EconomicDevelopment teams found within NORED and the RGP.Inventory Available Quality Land & BuildingsOCIC should maintain an active list of all available land and buildings for industrial/manufacturingprospects. This is currently done in conjunction with the State of Ohio’s site and building database,Ohio InSite, and should be maintained. In addition, the OCIC needs to once again determine if a gapexists in the availability of new and quality industrial space in the County, and should work with theTrustees and other local stakeholders to determine what can be done to improve such inventory.Development and maintenance of quality land and buildings will have a direct impact on OttawaCounty’s ability to compete for new investment projects generated through all avenues of partnerships(state, regional and local).The OCIC should also work in cooperation with our local and regional partners to identify andimplement projects that have a direct benefit to Ottawa County. One example of an active project theOCIC is engaged in, is the evaluation of development of property located at the Elmore TurnpikeInterchange.In 2008, Ottawa County and Sandusky County began working on viable development of an 88 acreparcel of property located at the Elmore Turnpike Interchange. The 88 acres currently sits in bothOttawa and Sandusky Counties. The OCIC and our Sandusky County counterpart, SCEDC, formulated acommittee in 2008 to address development opportunities for the parcel. The committee beganformation of a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) to deal with the multiple jurisdictionsinvolved in the project.Over the course of two years, several developers and site consultants have noted the viability andattractiveness of this parcel of land to development opportunities. Because of the strategic location ofthis property, and the investment/job creation opportunities that are possible, the OCIC shouldcontinue working with the SCEDC and the JEDD committee to move this project forward to fruition.MARKETINGMarketing plays an important role in the overall success of Ottawa County and the OCIC. The State ofOhio has developed and integrated a branding strategy for business and community development,based on the motto “Building Your Business, Love Your Life.” This branding effort has been ongoing formore than 5 years, and has been communicated domestically and internationally.The OCIC has adopted the Ohio brand, and has integrated this brand into our marketing materials andwebsite. The OCIC should continue with this branding strategy in an effort to do the following: 7
  9. 9. • Find the right market segments for new business attraction; • Ensure OCIC is delivering the right message, at the right time, to prospects; and • Differentiate Ottawa County from the competition, as the place to do business.In addition, the OCIC should consistently share positive stories of our businesses and our organizationwith the public, through the variety of media outlets. Other communications should focus on thedifferent areas of assistance the OCIC can provide to customers (e.g., the Economic Gardening program,Safety Council member benefits, and workforce development funding opportunities).PERSONAL/PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENTPersonal and professional development opportunities for staff and board members should beconsidered a part of the organizations regular operations. Development opportunities for staff shouldfocus on programs and trainings that lead to increased knowledge of the economic and workforcedevelopment profession. Board of Trustee development should be considered to educate members ontheir role with the organization, and also to better explain the role and function of the OCIC. Throughpersonal and professional development, the OCIC staff and leadership will have a clear understanding ofthe mission of the organization, and be able to better communicate that mission to the community.WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PRIORITIESWorkforce Development priorities should be aligned with each of the priorities and initiatives outlinedwithin this Business Plan. A complete list of workforce development priorities is attached to thisbusiness plan and is entitled “Outline of Responsibilities.”The availability of a reliable, skilled workforce is one of the most important factors for businessesplanning to expand or relocate. That is why Ottawa County must remain committed to continuouslyassisting in the development of our workforce and creating jobs, ensuring that employers have acompetitive advantage in the 21st century global marketplace. The OCIC’s workforce developmentefforts must continue to be aligned with the efforts of the State of Ohio, Area 7 Board, and OttawaCounty Department of Job & Family Services. 8
  10. 10. Economic Development Outline of Responsibilities Initiative Description of Activities Business Retention • Business Visits with & without Commissioners & Expansion • Identify resources, opportunities, business connections to enhance the activities of the company • Coordinate financing/incentive program development related to new projects (e.g., new construction, purchase M&E) • Work with existing industrial parks to market available properties • Assist partners with project feasibility (e.g., local banks, chambers) • Lake Winds Fiber Project • Build County-wide Economic Gardening Effort** Currently, assistance is provided to businesses across all industry sectors (manufacturing/industrial, service, some non-profit) and all sizes of businesses (from 1 employee and up) Business Attraction • Assist RGP, ODOD, site selectors with information/data collection to clients/leads • Directly assist the client/lead with information/data collection • Develop and maintain Ottawa County’s industrial site and building database – both on and Ohio InSite Database • Coordinate site and building tours • Coordinate financing/incentive program development with local communities and state • Assist partners with project feasibility (e.g., local banks, chambers) • JEDD Project • Participation in OBDC/NORED Strategic Business Visit & Industry- Focused Trade Show(s) Again, assistance is provided to businesses across all industry sectors and of all sizes Advocacy • NORED Board • OEDA BoardProgram Coordination & • OCIC Revolving Loan Fund Administration • County CDBG Revolving Loan Fund • USEPA Assessment Grant Program ($$) • Enterprise Zone Program Responsibilities include marketing utilization of the programs, assistance with completing applications, overseeing program/project implementation, and monitoring of program requirements (e.g., job creation/retention commitments) Office Management • Manage office staff activities, budget/spending activity 9
  11. 11. Workforce Development Outline of Responsibilities Initiatives Description of Activities Marketing of Workforce Development • Work through the OCDJFS, One-Stop partners, and other Services local, regional and state partners to identify available training programs • Meet with elected officials, employers, educators, labor organizations, etc. to educate on available training programs • Promote workforce development programs to other service groups (e.g., chambers, United Way) Coordinate Trainings & Workshops • Coordinate trainings & workshops for job seekers • Coordinate trainings & workshops for employers • Administer and schedule training programs in Resource Centre • SEE Customer Service Program Assistance Develop & Coordinate Training • On-the-Job Training Programs Applications for Job Seekers & Employers • Customized Training Programs • Incumbent Worker Training Contracts • SEE Customer Service Program (with chambers) Administer Other Misc. Employer • Ottawa County Safety Council ($$) Programs • Marine Skills, together with WSOS ($$) • Water Operators Class ($$) Administer/Assist with other • Job Fairs Miscellaneous Workforce Initiatives • Assist with Coordination of Employer Recruitment Sessions • Support for Ottawa County Job Store Incorporation into Economic Gardening • Align Current Workforce Development Activities with Effort Economic Gardening ConceptReferenced Economic and Workforce Development AcronymsCEDS – Community Economic Development Strategy CDBG – Community Development Block GrantEG – Economic Gardening JEDD – Joint Economic Development DistrictNORED – Northwest Ohio Regional Economic Development Assoc. OBDC – Ohio Business Development CoalitionOCDJFS – Ottawa County Dept. of Job & Family Services ODOD – Ohio Department of DevelopmentOEDA – Ohio Economic Development Association RGP - Regional Growth PartnershipSCEDC – Sandusky County Economic Development Corp. SEE Program – Service Excellence Experience ProgramUSEPA – United States Environmental Protection Agency WSOS – Wood Sandusky Ottawa Seneca Community Action Commission 10