During the past two years, Creo Quality has been approached by a number of struggling communities who are interested in improving their economic situations. While in the past, communities who have approached CQ were interested in diving in to something without a strategic action plan, recent endeavors seem different. In particular, we have been approached by a community who wants CQ to help them identify their strengths and opportunities to target opportunities to leverage their competitive advantages and core competencies. While the project is still pending, it has been extremely encouraging to work with a community and economic development officials who have an interest in applying sound strategic principles to their growth plans.
We recently read a story in the IBJ about the city of Kokomo and its Mayor. At one point, Kokomo was ranked as having the highest average wages and is now at the bottom of the list. Now, it’s a battle of the budgets… moving trash cans to one side of the street, closing the city’s day care, etc. The biggest pitfall is that Howard County is not retaining the earnings of its best-paid workers! 20% of Howard County’s workforce lives outside Howard county and this 20% earns 30% of the income generated in the county. Kokomo and Howard County must attract more well-paid workers to live there and attract bigger companies to employ them and their Mayor is working on just that.
This, too, is encouraging to see where a little bit of strategy is being applied to help revitalize Kokomo’s downtown.