About the Study

The Schoharie County Economic Development Strategy is intended to set a direction for the long-term economic growth and vitality for Schoharie County.  The work is being conducted for the County by Fairweather Consulting along with EDR under the guidance of the County Administrator’s Office  with oversight by the Board of Supervisors’ Economic Development Committee.

The project will involve the following tasks:

Task 1.  Project Initiation

The project team of Fairweather Consulting and EDR meet with the County
Administrator’s office to finalize the project approach and management

Task 2.  Stakeholder Outreach

In consultation with the project leadership, Fairweather Consulting will develop and implement an outreach plan to solicit input from key stakeholders, including among others, County Supervisors, business leaders, economic development and tourism organizations, chambers of commerce, workforce investment boards, educational providers, and state economic development officials.  The Task began with an economic development summit convened at SUNY Cobleskill.  You can view the presentation made at the summit here.

Task 3.  Economic Analysis:  Defining Current & Potential Economic Drivers

Fairweather Consulting will review previous studies and economic analyses to develop an understanding of current conditions in the County and the larger region.  This will will include:

  • Industry performance and cluster analysis
  • Downtown/hamlet retail analysis
  • Tourism analysis
  • Agriculture and food systems analysis

 

Task 4.  Evaluation of Economic Development Assets and Resources

In addition to its economic base, Schoharie County has many economic development assets that contribute and/or can contribute to its economic competitiveness.  Fairweather Consulting will inventory these assets and describe the role they play or could potentially play in the County’s economy.  Such assets will include (but are not limited to):

  • Real estate (industrial/commercial sites):
  • Labor force:
  • Educational institutions:
  • Infrastructure:
  • Transportation systems:
  • Business climate factors
  • Quality of life factors:
  • Economic development organizations/partners:
  • Policies and incentives

 

Task 5.  SWOT Analysis

The results of all of the analyses in task two through four will be summarized in a SWOT framework, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the County’s economy as well as outlining potential opportunities and threats it faces.  The information summarized in the SWOT analysis will serve as the basis for the discussions with the project leadership as well as other stakeholders they identify

Task 6.  Interim Presentation

Upon completion of Task 5—or at the approximate halfway point of the strategic planning process—the Fairweather Consulting team will meet with the project leadership and provide a brief presentation on the status of the project and key findings

  

Task 7.  Development of Goals and Objectives

Based upon the results of tasks 1 through 6, the goals and objectives necessary to solve economic problems or capitalize on the resources of the County will be drafted.  It is anticipated that the goals and objectives will be presented in two sections.

Economic Development Vision—Defining Goals:  The plan vision will identify the economic drivers and industry targets that should be the focus of retention, expansion and attraction efforts for Schoharie County.  From this vision will be derived the preliminary goals of the strategic plan.  These will be stated as broad primary objectives by which the drivers and targets will be expected to foster continued economic development throughout the County.

Operational Direction—Establishing Objectives:  The second section will define objectives for each of the priority goals.  These will be stated to include objective, reliable and realistic outcome-based metrics for each objective.  These objectives will be the foundation upon which the strategic plan progress will be measured.

 

Task 8.  Action/Implementation Plan

Task 8 will produce an action/implementation plan for the strategy that identifies and prioritizes the specific actions necessary for implementation.  For each recommendation, the action/implementation plan will identify the responsible organizations (including partner organizations, local governments, etc.), time frames, and funding requirements, as well as anticipated impacts.  To the extent they are available, potential funding sources will be identified for each recommendation.

Task 9.  Economic Development strategy

Following the completion of tasks 1 through 8, a complete economic development strategy will be compiled composed of the following elements:

  • Industry Targets
  • Key Tools
  • Organizational Strategy
  • Partnerships & Collaborations
  • Goals, Objectives and Metrics
  • Potential Funding Sources

 Deliverable—Final Report and its contribution to the project:  The strategic plan document becomes the official record of the goals, objectives, actions, partnerships and other commitments required to foster the desired economic development in Schoharie County.  The deliverable will include an accompanying PowerPoint presentation and press release.

Stakeholder and community input is important to us. You can learn more about meetings and other related events through the project’s events calendar page.  Any questions or comments?  Feel free to leave your thoughts on our “news” page or contact us via email.