DCG Corplan recognizes the vital role of job creation in economic development. Targeting of higher paying and higher skilled jobs in new industries drives economic recovery efforts and spurs market share.
And, reinforcing growth by existing industries generates expansion, reduces employer attrition and ensures a higher employment base -- key ingredients needed to help promote your area.
Our firm helps to strategically balance the internal and external dynamics necessary to achieve realizable outcomes, such as:
DCG Corplan conducted a detailed market study of an unincorporated area within Lee County, FL in need of investment and upgrade. The primary objective was an identification of the market demand for a mix of development uses and to pinpoint strategic actions that would facilitate the revitalization of North Fort Myers. Market difficulties have caused a steady economic decline in the Study Area, and many once-thriving businesses are today in financial distress. Vacancies are visibly prevalent and many properties are for sale. With recovery from the 2008 Recession, North Fort Myers should have emerged as a target for investment in several development categories, but investor interest is lagging.
The study covered outreach and survey of business owners, detailed real estate analysis, and economic impact modeling of development scenarios. Analysis of projected job growth and its associated demand for new office space indicted the need for a new “downtown” business center capable of intercepting commuters and providing professional and business services to a growing North Fort Myers community.
As former and underutilized highway-oriented retail is transformed into a new vibrant combination of offices, entertainment, institutional and cultural uses, a recognition of a “sense of place” will evolve and demand for housing should emerge that will encourage “millennials” to consider the Study Area as an attractive live-work environment.
Projections for the Study Area’s market absorption result in the following estimates:
DCG Corplan was engaged by the Adirondack Gateways Council to produce the last and concluding segment of a three-year study authorized by the US Dept. of Housing & Development (HUD). The Task 8 piece was the Economic Development strategy which united five inter-related planning activities led by independent consultant teams into a final implementation strategy:
Formal cluster analysis evaluated business opportunities across a broad spectrum by identifying new strategies for the Region’s “legacy industries,” especially in wood products, medical device manufacturing, paper manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism. Detailed SWOT and target industry analyses resulted in seven new industry clusters recommended as the economic foundation for advancing the AGC Region:
The project was awarded the 2015 Public Outreach award from the American Planning Association-Upstate NY Chapter and is a co-recipient of the 2016 Heissenbuttel Award for Planning Excellence from the New York Planning Foundation.
As the Economic Development Team leader for a multi-disciplinary project under a joint NY Dept. of State/ NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation grant, DCG Corplan developed a strategy to implement identified target industries or clusters for the Adirondack Park (ADK). At 6.1 million acres, the ADK is a land area almost 10% larger than the State of New Jersey. The Park contains 102 towns, villages and hamlets and the full time resident population estimate of 130,137 is dwarfed by the influx of recreating tourists and seasonal dwellers.
The ADK boundary crosses or fully contains 12 New York counties and there are 132 zip code areas that are within its reach. Some of the counties have tens of thousands or more in population, and some are far less populated. There are eight distinct urban market places (metros) that surround the Park, and to some degree, the Park is directly influenced by the economic activities occurring at these peripheral locations.
By combining the target industries from the eight neighboring urban centers, yr. 2020 industry employment for the three labor markets comprising the ADK, and a critical mass assessment of 8,930 businesses throughout the Park region, an overall list of 27 industries emerged from the analysis as recommendable targets. The industries contained 185 sub-components (6-digit NAICS) which were matched against broad cluster channels drawn from regional strategies of the area resulting in six final clusters for the Adirondack Park:
Resulting form the study data, a new initiative entitled ADVANTAGE ADIRONDACKS has been launched and continues to provide economic development guidance to the Adirondack Park.
As the only US seaport on the St. Lawrence Seaway, Ogdensburg has a rich and vital tradition in cargo and transportation for the North Country of upstate New York. The Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge facilitates cross-border movements of goods and people to and from Canada, and the Ogdensburg International Airport links the two capitals of Albany and Ottawa with frequent air service.
In response to the declining economic conditions of the North Country, consultant assistance was sought by the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority (OBPA) to find a means of curtailing eroding industry sectors and promote new business enterprise among growing domestic and/or potentially international-oriented sectors that can take full advantage of the unique physical and locational attributes of the Ogdensburg area.
DCG Corplan Consulting (DCG Corplan) developed a multi-phased program that examined the structural weaknesses inherit within the St. Lawrence County economy. The study comprised a survey of local businesses, a detailed SWOT analysis, an identification of target industries and clusters, and a strategic marketing and implementation plan. Targeted clusters derived from the analysis are as follows:
Resulting form the study data, a series of industry prospectuses were developed as tactical means of attraction of corporate interest in the Ogdensburg area. A redesigned and enhanced website for OBPA was also created, including a French translation for marketing to Quebec companies.
In acknowledgement that Broward County’s strongest job growth since 2000 has been concentrated among its lowest paying industries, the Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development (BCOESBD), through the Board of County Commissioners engaged DCG Corplan Consulting LLC to undertake a year-long investigation of the County’s opportunity to develop a new group of 10 industries or clusters that would encourage high skill/high wage jobs and help reverse the trends noted above. Throughout the project duration, there had been a destabilizing of economic conditions, of the kind not witnessed in living memory. Unemployment figures during much of the project were in initially in the vicinity of 5% to 6%, but by December 2009, the Broward County unemployment had reached 10.0%.
Attempting to be more proactive than reactive in outlook, the study supported the continued relevance of the 2006-07 data as it establishes a pre-recessionary trend for employment growth, as opposed to relying too heavily on the downward trending of the 2008-09 period. Realistic employment projections were judiciously constructed from the data.
Organized into four main objectives, the project incorporated: (1) industry and workforce analyses and projections; (2) competitive region comparisons; (3) a methodology of target industry selection; and, (4) a strategic marketing campaign. Results of the study produced 10 industry clusters containing numerous sub-industry categories. Implementation of the program is now underway:
The Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) & Department of Defense issued a grant to Bay County, Florida due to its heavy reliance on defense installations in the Panhandle region. The purpose of the grant was to produce an economic diversification plan that promotes technology-driven industries, especially in connection with the federal Governments WIRED technology program. The project was administered by the Governors Office of Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development (OTTED).
The project carefully measured of the strengths and weaknesses of Bay County’s resources for technology-related businesses. The framework for the review was structured around the six characteristics commonly sought by major corporations in qualifying
Outcomes of the analysis provided determination of the demand of the high-tech market. DCG Corplan qualified the effect of military spending and identified high-technology clusters and target industries that could thrive and grow in Bay County as well as benefit from military commercialization and technology-transfer. Bay County’s high-technology infrastructure was evaluated as were existing or proposed real estate facilities. Strategic directions were developed including a Forward Bay County Action Plan with budget and staffing requirements, with special emphasis on downtown Panama City redevelopment. Future marketing andpromotions procedures were also established which are now being implemented by the Bay County Economic Development Alliance.
Monroe County is among a number of Florida counties significantly influenced by both the U.S. military (NAS Key West) and the tourism economy. To make certain that Florida communities that are affected by military presences engage in advanced planning activities, the Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development (OTTED) engaged DCG Corplan Consulting LLC (DCG Corplan) to develop a strategy that will ensure optimal economic adjustment and diversification for Monroe County, and specifically, the Lower Keys.
The objective of this project was to develop a database of demographic economic factors, determine the synergy between the military and hospitality sectors, and generate a list of emerging cluster opportunities for the region, and to develop a practical implementation plan to achieve that end. Added to the critical findings was a special emphasis on the overarching critical need of the Lower Keys – affordable housing.
Important synergies emerged as primary drivers for the military and hospitality sectors. As a result, a “Forward Lower Keys” action plan was developed that prioritized implementation steps, including:
DCG Corplan was initially retained for an impartial review of Palmdale’s existing targets to determine their potential for relocation or expansion in the community. The first observation is that these selected targets were quite broad and an objective assessment of their viability required examination of component NAICS sub-sectors. The next observations were that some sub-sectors of the target industry list were expanding while others were declining.
During the study, growth industries were further analyzed to determine whether they represented practical targets and clusters for Palmdale. Three basic questions were to be answered about each candidate:
DCG Corplan research covered all 21 NAICS sectors and 85 sub-sectors excluding government. Growth trends were compiled separately for the total U.S., for California, and for Los Angeles County. Palmdale’s present targets were then compared with industries expected to expand most rapidly over the next five years, leading to the designation of a new list of recommended cluster candidates:
DCG Corplan was engaged by the Tacoma-Pierce County EDB to study the potential for utilizing the newly established Institute as an economic development tool to attract high technology companies to Pierce County. The analysis assessed the training needs of technology as well as the degree to which the South Sound region could prove itself as cost effective alternatives to India and other offshore competitors.
Leading high-tech employers were interviewed in areas of improving the local economic climate. Survey results indicated opportunities in the areas of identity authentification, cyber security, and hazardous materials detection, especially in relation to the Port of Tacoma, Fort Lewis, McCord AFB, and Sea-Tac International Airport.
Specific curriculum changes were offered, including a recommendation that the UW's School of Global Trade, Transportation and Logistics Studies be re-located from Seattle and expanded into a 4-year undergraduate program. Six target information technology industries were selected as attraction candidates: Software publishers; Internet publishing & broadcasting; Internet service providers and web search portals; Data processing, hosting & related services; Computer systems design and related services & management; and, Scientific & technical consulting services. Particular emphasis was placed on military-needs integration and civilian contracting opportunities.
Accompanying proposals included the creation of a Northwest Center of excellence for security measures, and an enrollment in the Advanced Technology Program, a federally funded program actively seeking partnerships with universities. Available real estate opportunities on or near campus were also evaluated, and a site for a proposed Technology Incubator was identified.
Empire State Development Corp. retained DCG Corplan Consulting LLC to further explore the implementation concepts generated in a preceding strategic plan for Lower Manhattan. In this study, an International Finance Zone was proposed that would create a tax-advantaged, regulatory-enhanced district designed to create new business demand and related employment growth in the international banking, securities and insurance industries.
The study involved the comprehensive review of competing global finance locations; the evaluation of regulations for offshore tax havens; the analysis of competing domiciles for captive insurance; interviews with government and major corporate finance leaders; preliminary design of the zone; and, a detailed benefit-cost analysis. Results of the study confirmed that New York City could capture as much as 10% of the current $10 trillion off-shore market. That triple-tax exempt treatment of investments held in the new Zone would offer an alternative to offshore tax havens. Providers located within the Zone could expect an increase in annual revenues of at least $24 billion by year 2013.
In terms of job growth and real estate impact, the study revealed that as many as 32,000 new jobs could be directly expected. New or existing office space could expect increase in demand by at least 6.4 million square feet.
For the state and city governments, no long-term investments would be required since fiscal benefits of $2 billion within the first 19 years would offset the $55 million of temporary funding outlays for implementation and administration of the proposed International Finance Zone Authority.
Empire State Development Corp. retained DCG Corplan Consulting LLC to provide an objective analysis and short-term, actionable recommendations to support this mission in Lower Manhattan following the 9-11 attacks. The assignment effort specifically analyzed existing physical and economic business conditions in Lower Manhattan that currently affect the financial, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sectors. An understanding of these attributes and limitations was distilled into a business-marketing plan, including primary and secondary target markets, and a market penetration strategy.
The study included an analysis of the FIRE sectors currently in NYC, including the segmentation of the industries into functions (i.e., front-office, middle-office and back-office activities) in order to understand each function, its attributes, conditions and needs. Specific issues included the status of the labor market for FIRE professionals and support staff in the current economy, including the impact of downsizing on the market; the types of skills needed by the sectors and key elements/amenities needed to attract qualified individuals to a downtown venue; the size of the major FIRE employers and their share of the FIRE workforce; the impact of altered federal and insurance sector demands for business contingency planning on downtown firms; and, a competitive analysis of Lower Manhattan as it compares to rival locations for back office as well as front functions.
A comprehensive review of transportation patterns related to commutation of the FIRE labor force within the region was conducted, as well as real estate availability, overview of area infrastructure, quality of life issues, and regulatory and statutory issues affecting the FIRE business, including tax issues. Several new strategic programs were proposed, including: The Finance and Insurance Academy; The International Finance Zone; and the Midtown-Downtown Light Rail.
In the attempt to foster non-tourism activity, the Government of Barbados sought assistance in evaluating its competitive position vis-à-vis certain competing locations for the attraction of inward direct investment in targeted industry sectors. The competing locations were: Jamaica, Ireland, Scotland, Bermuda, Trinidad && Tobago, Dominican Republic, Singapore, Costa Rica, Mexico, Curacao, New Brunswick (CAN) and a U.S. state (Florida).
The project entailed recruitment from two related industry groups: (1) Information Technology, specifically, Call Centers, Software Development, Data Processing, eCommerce, and Medical Transcription; and, (2), the Electronics Industry.
DCG Corplan was retained on a two-fold mission. Firstly, to determine the principal factors which might influence the companies in the Information Technology and Electronics industries to choose or not choose Barbados as a location for their international business operations. Secondly, to evaluate whether the other twelve competing locations demonstrated significant geographic or economic advantages over Barbados in recruiting these industries, and what were those advantage.
Results of a Business Climate Index (BCI) analysis, a proprietary DCG Corplan marketing tool, revealed weakness in market perception as to Barbados’ advantages for the target industries, as well as an underfunding of incentives offered as relocation inducements. Cost containment in the areas of rents, telecommunications, and value-added taxation were suggested.
Other proposals included the development of a Research Park for R&D activities and the establishment of a non-profit air pooling association to offset travel costs.
While statewide employment in New Jersey had increased 9% between 1992 and 1997, Union County experienced a gain of 1%, dampened by continuing losses in manufacturing and wholesale trade.
Concerned about projections for even slower growth, the County government engaged the consultants as act as program managers in a two-year countywide economic development program. The challenge was to galvanize the development efforts of the County and its 21 municipalities into a unified and proactive framework for successful retention and attraction of businesses.
Personal interviews were conducted with the mayors in each of the 20 communities to discuss their economic programs and goals. Hundreds of industrial, commercial, and public employers were surveyed to determine Union County’s locational advantages and disadvantages for business.
Leading educational institutions were visited to review training and technology transfer opportunities. Local utility companies were consulted on their capacity and planning, and potential development sites were inspected throughout the 103 square-mile county. Progress reports were provided, along with detailed information on related topics for use by the county’s department of economic development.
As a result, several of the key recommendations were implemented while the study was still in preparation, leading to retention of businesses, substantial growth in retail trade, joint land planning and new model zoning codes among communities, along with infrastructure brownfield remediation projects.
As similar to other smaller cities, Rahway experienced a depletion of retail and service business occupancy due to aggressive nearby highway business location activity. In the attempt to return vitality to the downtown urban core, DCG Corplan was retained to develop business recruitment strategies, especially in the retail sector.
A list was generated of more than 100 retail and service business categories common to smaller downtown areas throughout the northeast, and began a search for “fit” with Rahway’s trading area characteristics. General commercial demand was quantified, and Retail Trading Zone demographics were evaluated for disposable income potential.
One of Rahway’s hidden assets was un underutilized concert theater, and the reenergizing of the downtown area was seen as pivotal with the introduction of tourism and entertainment. A business survey of existing establishments was conducted and the creation of business subzones was initiated.
The conclusions led to the concept of recruitment of franchise chain operators, and a pilot marketing campaign was undertaken to elicit the interest of major franchisers as a way of encouraging entrepreneurial retail development in Rahway. As a result of the study, several new stores have opened in Rahway, and the city is undergoing a remarkable transformation that also promoted development of a new downtown “boutique” hotel and conference facility.
In early 1995, the City of Kingston was made aware of an opportunity to apply for a grant to prepare an Economic Base Diversification Plan through the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. The grant was instrumental in concentration on the Kingston-Ulster Economic Development Zone as a base but covering the whole of Ulster County. DCG Corplan, in conjunction with Louis Berger Group was retained to develop the strategy.
The project involved: (1) Assessment of the impact of the IBM- Kingston facility closing and other corporate downsizing on the area’s economic structure; (2) Evaluation of the community’s resources and relative competitiveness for fostering investment and expansion by existing and prospective businesses; and, (3) Action Plan to make necessary improvements and try initiatives to attract more investment and become more diversified.
The consultant team analyzed economic data, conducted focus groups and identified clusters for further marketing. These are as follows:
DCG Corplan was retained to build upon the existing skill bank in order to develop current information on levels of underemployment, skill levels likely to be displaced by BRAC-affected communities, specialized skill group within the workforce, and job classifications and skill levels of the region’s workforce. The Quadco region, comprising four counties along the I-81 corridor within three states, was particularly affected by the closing of Fort Richie (PA) and the downsizing of Letterkenny Army Depot (MD).
The study analyzed the 42 dominant industries, led principally by the manufacturing, finance and services sectors. Sixty leading occupations were identified in manufacturing, and collectively, 77 leading occupations were determined for the finance and services areas. Nonmanufacturing industries were further broken down into healthcare and credit card operations.
Displaced skills created by BRAC closures were expected to be somewhat difficult to absorb, given the higher wage patterns for civilian employment at the military facilities. In this important sector, unemployment was differentiated from underemployment, a key characteristic for identifying skill potentials.
Four target industries were developed for maximizing Quadco’s blue-collar labor pool: Miscellaneous plastics parts; motor vehicles and equipment; fabricated structural metal products; and industrial machinery. Growth in 15 non-manufacturing industries was projected to add nearly 6,000 jobs to the economy, albeit in lower pay service positions.
An action plan was developed to promote pre-employment skills, with other key methods for overcoming perceived weaknesses in employment preparation, specifically: Operation “Jump-Start” (specialized JPTA training), Operation “Quadtec” (technology training), and Operation “Bootstrap” (satellite plant development).
While the rest of the South Atlantic region was leading the nation in economic expansion, West Virginia was lagging far behind in growth of employment and personal income. Development officials were particularly concerned about their State’s competitive position versus five contiguous states and five “aggressive” states in their area.
The consultants carefully evaluated all 11 of the states to determine the root causes for West Virginia’s relative underperformance. Seven specific corrective actions were recommended covering a broad range of financial, taxation, and administrative issues and infrastructure shortcomings. To date, five of these recommended actions have been implemented, resulting in some impressive economic gains for the State.
The consultants were then engaged to select target industries for each of the State’s 11 planning and development regions. A total of 77 manufacturing and service industries were evaluated based upon opportunities for the State, linked to the timing of the recommended corrective actions.
Detailed financial projections demonstrated the State’s bottom-line advantage for such high-technology industries as specialized industrial machinery, electronic components, medical/surgical instruments, and medical R&D – all of which have since announced new or expanded facilities in the state.
Other industries selected for marketing in the intermediate term were electro-medical devices, radio and TV communications equipment, and aircraft components.
A variety of factors must be considered for the development of a strategic plan, encompassing the evaluation of alternatives in relation to their consequences over time.
DCG Corplan's strategic method incorporates four chief features:
DEMAND -- A market evaluation of demand drivers for your community from an external point of view.
SUPPORT -- A means of gathering public input for formulating and vetting recommended economic development strategies.
FEASIBILITY -- A rigorous development testing method for analyzing strategic alternatives.
EXECUTION -- A committment to action that measures performance and allows for change.
For projects ranging from attracting new capital investment to revitalizing urban neighborhoods, successful economic development relies on understanding demand drivers, whether arising from market orientation, social motivation, or economic diversification.
DCG Corplan’s proven market assessment expertise can help to make your job more comprehensive by offering a number of strategic services:
Economic development projects are increasingly becoming the subject of a well-educated and politically-aware public that demands accountability for their tax dollars. And, given the availability of on-line resources, public projects are gaining a much larger audiance than just the client group or approval body.
DCG Corplan provides a sounding board for public comment before projects are fully realized. Through our web-based interface, valuable public comment and input becomes a strategic resource, resulting in advance testing of alternatives and program options.
On-line surveys, message boards, and postings of project scope items can help to engage the public early in the process, thereby avoiding embarrassing pitfalls in later stages. Adding to the interent-based input, visioning sessions, focus groups and public forums are conducted by DCG Corplan to help shape the programs developed during the strategic plan.
Economic development programs must ultimately face realities of adequate physical planning, infrastructure, etc. While engineering and design professionals will eventually be required, a basic examination of land, sites, or buildings is often more appropriate for determing the suitability of existing facilities to meet the economic development objectives.
DCG Corplan's background in commercial and residential real estate, waterfront redevelopment, adaptive use, and industrial site planning can be relied upon to arrive at realistic assessments of development potential quickly and affordably. Discussions with local developers, realtors and owners will shed light on the most appropriate means of positioning facilities or properties for specific economic development initiatives.
DCG Corplan employs both Benefit/Cost and Pro Forma analytical tools to evaluate the scale, timing, and duration of public investments, as well as identifying sources of possible financing, granting or determining investment structures.
Where waranted, DCG Corplan will recommend establishment of special incentives required to offset relocation or start-up costs for new industries. Financial modeling of incentive offering is always accommodated through this procedure.