City of Waxahachie – Economic Development Strategic Plan
The Challenge The loss of local manufacturing jobs had been absorbed by employment growth in other sectors, including transportation & warehousing, healthcare, and retail. However, Waxahachie lacks the shovel ready sites and buildings necessary to compete with other cities in the region for significant industrial prospects. Moreover, the city lacks the tools and resources to manage a comprehensive economic development program, including marketing and recruitment, business retention and expansion, and downtown revitalization. To address these concerns the City of Waxahachie, on behalf of the WCC, hired TIP Strategies for the creation of an economic development strategic plan.
The Approach In order to understand Waxahachie’s relative economic position and highlight its competitive advantages and disadvantages, TIP began by conducting an economic assessment of the area, while conducting interviews with local business and community leaders. TIP then developed target sector profiles using a quantitative, qualitative, and strategic approach, including factors such as available workforce, industrial sites, incentives, conversations with regional economic development leaders, and a broader understanding of socioeconomic trends. Additional work included a review of primary development and redevelopment opportunities in the region, in accordance with EDA requirements. Additionally, TIP provided considerations for future business and industrial parks, including a matrix of selected site and building requirements. These allowed TIP to develop a strategic plan with an comprehensive understand of Waxahachie’s economic resources and weaknesses, and their optimal target industries.
The Outcome The result of the effort was a detailed plan for Waxahachies economic development future based on a clear vision. The recommendations for achieving the vision included improving the town’s image along the important I-35 highway, promoting economic diversification, becoming a destination for higher education and healthcare services, serving as an alternative to northern Metroplex cities for higher-level investment and jobs, and preserving and enhancing the community’s authentic quality of place. These recommendations are the result of a nine-month process incorporating input and ideas from key stakeholders and organizations throughout the city; with the overall goal of positioning Waxahachie for long-term growth and prosperity.