Mayor Michael B. Hancock today launched JumpStart 2012, a new economic development strategy for Denver that will focus the City’s efforts on creating world-class business opportunities for Denver’s companies, residents and neighborhoods.
“To create a sustainable Denver, we must find new ways to strengthen the local market,” Mayor Hancock said. “JumpStart 2012 will rev up Denver’s economic engine to drive private sector growth and job creation throughout the City and propel Denver’s Office of Economic Development into the 21st Century.”
The 21-page JumpStart 2012 strategic plan identifies major, immediate steps the Office of Economic Development (“OED”) will take this year to bolster business development, community lending and investment and workforce development.
“We are charting a new, more targeted, course for economic development in Denver by setting in motion this focused strategy, one that will provide more accountability and better customer service,” said OED Executive Director Paul Washington. “JumpStart 2012 goes beyond infrastructure and buildings. It is a pathway to strong families, integrated communities and self-sufficiency.”
JumpStart 2012 outlines seven pillars of initiatives, goals and partners that the OED will collaborate with to implement the plan.
The seven pillars are:
- Business Retention – Retain and strengthen Denver-based companies.
- Small Business Advocacy – Create an environment to help small businesses thrive through collaboration with public, private and nonprofit sectors.
- Business Recruitment – Increase the number and quality of companies that relocate to Denver.
- Sustainable Neighborhood Development – Drive strategic investment in neighborhoods hardest hit by the recession to develop eco-friendly affordable housing and sustainable economic development.
- Business Lending – Make the Business Lending Program a key tool for advancing economic development strategy.
- Key Strategic Projects – Execute strategic projects and small business opportunity initiatives to maximize the positive economic impact on the City of Denver.
- Workforce Development – Establish Denver as the city with the most highly skilled and productive workforce.
In conjunction with the new strategic plan, a team of regional economic development leaders also today provided the Mayor with a set of recommendations to retool and sharpen Denver’s OED.
Last August, the Mayor asked Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, and a volunteer team of regional economic development professionals to study the OED and offer recommendations on how the agency can better support a 21st Century economy.
“Denver has a talented economic team that is poised and ready to help Denver businesses and residents,” Clark said. “After studying the resources and structure of the OED, we clearly saw that by streamlining processes and having a focused plan like JumpStart2012, OED would be primed to drive great opportunity for Denver and the region.”
The Mayor and Washington will review and use the report to make Denver’s OED better, faster and stronger.
“We are thankful for the work of Tom and his team, as well as their suggestions on how we can create a new and improved OED that will provide the pinnacle of customer service and collaboration,” Washington said. “This critical analysis will sharpen the OED’s tools and help us better and more efficiently execute our strategies.”
To build on the JumpStart 2012 foundation, the OED is also developing a long-term economic strategy that will be released later this year, which will guide the City’s priorities and work for years to come. Annual JumpStart strategic plans will subsequently be developed each year within the framework of this long-term plan.
“This strategic plan directly supports and builds upon the recent message we heard from the Structural Financial Task Force: Grow Economic Opportunity,” Mayor Hancock said.
CLICK HERE to read the full JumpStart 2012 report.