Lubbock, Texas: Building Innovation

March 24, 2016

By: John Karras, senior consultant, TIP Strategies

Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

One recent project that has yielded significant positive outcomes is the strategic plan [PDF] TIP completed for the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA). Since the plan was finalized in March 2015, two of the five priority projects TIP identified have already been partially implemented: 1) attracting catalyst R&D investments into the community in partnership with the Texas Tech University system and city leaders; and 2) establishing a community college campus in an under-served portion of the city.

Below is a brief summary of early results from these two priority initiatives:

Research & Development: LEDA’s financial commitment to support programs related to entrepreneurship & innovation as part of Texas Tech’s new research park were highlighted in a November 2014 press release [PDF]. Thanks in part to the strategic plan, LEDA has committed over $250,000 to the effort. LEDA’s 2014-2015 annual report [PDF] reveals that their contributions are already yielding results. The research park’s first tenant was announced in February 2015, several months before the park opened. (Chromatin, an agri-science company based in Chicago is moving its R&D division to Lubbock.)

Community College: A South Plains College media release [PDF] details LEDA’s involvement in expanding the college into Lubbock, specifically to an underserved part of the city, which TIP identified as a critical gap in the region’s talent development system to be addressed by the strategic plan. LEDA is committing $1.9 million initially (with another $1 million held for future investment) as part of a coalition of community partners that is developing a major new center for South Plains College in East Lubbock—an area that has experienced disinvestment for many years.

The plan has played a key supportive role in moving these initiatives forward, leading to some investments and job growth. Yet, this is just the beginning. We’re excited to watch as LEDA continues to implement the plan.

North Louisiana Economic Partnership: Impressive First Year Results

March 15, 2016

By: Caroline Alexander, senior consultant, TIP Strategies

Downtown Shreveport, LA

Image credit: Downtown Shreveport, LA by Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

In June 2014, the North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP) adopted its five-year strategic plan, developed with the assistance of TIP Strategies. The plan was created to serve as a roadmap for the organization under the leadership of NLEP President, Scott Martinez, CEcD.

TIP’s principal and CEO, Tom Stellman, recently attended NLEP’s Annual Meeting to provide an update on plan implementation and outcomes to the organization’s Board of Directors. Tom was happy to report that the staff at NLEP has been fully engaged and fully committed to the plan.

NLEP’s initial successes include: 1) designation as Accredited Economic Development Organization by IEDC; 2) hosting the inaugural Top Skills Workforce Summit; 3) capturing 212 million media impressions, and landing projects representing over $40 million in new investment.

In the first year, NLEP raised additional funds to support implementation, including additional staff. They also increased stakeholder engagement, adding almost 30 new investors. They modified their by-laws and staffing structure to align with the strategic plan recommendations. With this enhanced implementation structure in place, they set out to achieve the vision laid out in the plan.

NLEP strengthened their economic development marketing campaign and built staff capacity in key industry sectors. They hosted the inaugural Top Skills Workforce Summit and continued to work with partners to improve the alignment of regional education and training resources with employers’ needs. They also put in place the structure for launching a regional advocacy program.