This column originally ran in the San Marcos Daily Record on Jan. 6, 2021.
To anticipate and guide what should be a record-setting time of economic growth, I am pleased to report that the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP) is implementing a collaborative economic development strategy: Vision 2025.
Set as a five-year Economic Development Strategy, Vision 2025 is a consensus-based blueprint to guide our community’s actions toward economic growth and the mission of GSMP in the years to come. With the strategy, community stakeholders will make the region at large a more prosperous, successful, and vibrant place to live, work, and do business.
The mission of GSMP is still unchanged: we continue to facilitate the creation of new and good-paying jobs for our two-county region through attracting relocating and expanding businesses.
However, with an updated five-year strategic plan, we are able to focus our efforts on how we strategically grow our local economy and attract the best jobs possible for our region.
For context, the work of GSMP was previously guided by Vision 2020, which the community at large developed together in 2014. That strategy helped catalyze numerous community improvements in recent years, ultimately attracting several new companies, retaining many more and creating thousands of new jobs for our residents.
In February 2020, GSMP began a similar process on behalf of its regional community and economic development partners. During that process, a diverse Steering Committee comprised of public, private, and non-profit leaders guided the Vision 2025 planning process. That process addressed the full range of issues that influence our region’s competitiveness, including its talent, education and training resources, infrastructure and mobility, quality of place, resiliency, among so many others.
It also addressed the full range of issues that influence a region’s ability to compete. This exhaustive process also took into special consideration to identify emerging themes for a post-COVID economy and carefully incorporated these themes into this Vision 2025 plan.
After months of developing this plan, Vision 2025 was finalized and approved at GSMP’s annual meeting in October 2020. The resulting strategy includes actions and tactics designed to address challenges, capitalize on opportunities, and advance the region and its distinct communities, residents, and businesses forward to a new period of heightened competitiveness and prosperity. Additionally, where appropriate, it integrated some of the emerging, though still uncertain, implications of COVID-19.
As a result of this process, Vision 2025 identified the key goals that the Greater San Marcos region will pursue for sustainable economic development:
1.) Support Quality Employment Growth
2.) Optimize the Local Talent Base
3.) Accommodate and Manage Quality Growth
4.) Enhance Community Appeal
We will be diving into each one of these goals in the columns to come. I look forward sharing how we are already implementing strategy and showing the work of our committees and working groups.
Developing an updated strategy for the region is essential for the desired outcomes of a healthy and vibrant economy, especially one that provides a sustainable quality of life for its businesses and citizens. While there is undoubtedly still uncertainty and challenges ahead, this has been an opportune time to prepare for that new reality. Vision 2025 lets us envision the possibilities to leverage existing assets, maximize emerging opportunities, and aggressively address any existing and emerging weaknesses and challenges.
Our Vision 2025 documents, including the implementation plan and all the members of our steering committee, are available on our website. If you have questions about this strategic plan, or have inquiries as to our ambitious goals, I am always available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @JasonGiulietti.