Economic development practitioners are known for continually “taking stock” of their community, and discussing this along stakeholders, both political and economic. The scorecard layout used in the PowerPoint presentation described here expedites its use as both an orientation piece for stakeholders and a concise way of evaluating economic development conditions affecting the community. Six common themes are shared across three levels of geography: the state, the surrounding economic region of which the community is a part, and the community itself.

Although the material can be easily modified, there may be some advantage to using it essentially intact, as an “outsiders” view of issues commonly worthy of attention. A companion worksheet, “ED evaluation automated scoresheet” has also been prepared as a companion piece. The sample slide presentation and worksheet are provided below:

  1. Slide Presentation

  2. Worksheet

PowerPoint presentation: Scorecard for economic development organizations

Purpose/intent of this scorecard

  • Intended for local-area economic development organization/department

  • Scorecard format: Each line item for each area is scorable for point in time, based on level of “cause for concern”

  • Summary of high-level potential competitive challenges and opportunities

  • Reminder of how outsiders will build up a perception (although modifiable, template is externally sourced, with arms-length topical focus)

  • Help inform ongoing strategic planning processes

  • Sharable with decision-makers, as appropriate

Topics: Conditions by geographic unit – state, region, and locality

  • Physical conditions

  • Political-philosophical positions, generally and specific to economic development

  • Strategic positions

  • Economy

  • Workforce

  • Popular sentiment

State

Physical conditions

  • Location: access to markets, materials, labor

  • Vulnerability to natural hazards

  • Vulnerability to human development hazards

state_physical_condition.png

Political-philosophical positions

  • Scale of inclusiveness/embrace of change*

Strategic positions

  • Statewide ED policy: presence, quality

  • Strategic incentives, compatible with legislative positions

  • ED support agency: presence, strength, and level of engagement

Economy

  • High-employment sectors** exist due to competitive advantages, rather than shortfall in economic diversity

  • Exporting sectors may be susceptible to contraction

    • Due to automation

    • Due to anticipatable business decline

Workforce

  • People coming into workforce have adequate range of opportunities

  • Education and training resources are at or above average

Popular sentiment

  • General public engagement in ED issues at statewide level:

    • ED implications of public policy are communicated/understood

    • Working population is involved in ED-related policy decisions

*For example, do legislative measures reflect a future-oriented, planetary perspective, or nostalgia for the past and “local first” mentality.

**Proportionately high, indexed to US sector mix.

Region

Physical conditions

  • Location: access to markets, materials, labor – relative to rest of state or other neighboring regions

  • Vulnerability to natural hazards

  • Vulnerability to human development hazards

Political-philosophical positions

  • Dominant industry(ices) does not unduly influence policy

Strategic positions

  • Coordination throughout region

  • Strategic incentives: presence and applicability to locality

  • Regional ED organization: presence, strength, and engagement

Economy

  • Regional economic base aligns with or otherwise complements local economy

  • High-employment sectors** exist due to competitive advantages, rather than shortfall in economic diversity

  • Exporting sectors susceptible to automation or general decline

Workforce

  • People coming into workforce have adequate range of opportunities in region

  • Education and training resources in region are accessible to local residents

Popular sentiment

  • Regional stakeholders’ ED influence is distributed throughout region, including locality

[Community X]

Physical conditions

  • Location: access to markets, materials, labor – relative to surrounding or other neighboring regions

  • Vulnerability to natural hazards

  • Vulnerability to human development hazards

Political-philosophical positions

  • Dominant industry(ies) does not unduly influence policy

Strategic positions

  • Current, documented

  • Comprehensive

  • Strategic incentives specific to locality

  • ED organization: presence, strength, and local commitment to

  • ED roles coordinated among local organizations

  • ED roles coordinated with regional organizations

Economy

  • Local-serving businesses are appropriately represented for community size, etc.

  • Export sectors are appropriately diverse

  • Business-support activities are available locally

  • Local jobs and local resident workforce are reasonably aligned

  • Infrastructure for existing/targeted businesses is available or feasible and planned appropriately

  • Exporting sectors susceptible to automation or general decline

Workforce

  • People coming into workforce have range of opportunities realistic for the community

  • Education and training resources are reasonably accessible to local residents

Popular sentiment

  • ED implications of local policy decisions are communicated/understood

  • Working population is involved in ED-related policy decisions