Midland (TX) Economic Development Corporation – Economic Development Strategic Plan
ChallengeMidland is located near the geographic center of the Permian Basin in West Texas, a historically oil rich region accounts for nearly a quarter of the nation’s petroleum reserves. The role of the city within this regional economy has been primarily to serve as the preferred location for the executive, administrative, and other “white collar” functions of oil companies operating in the area. It has also become the regional retail center.
While Midland has undoubtedly benefited greatly from the recent oil boom, its dependency on the oil and gas sector puts its economy at risk. In addition, it is confronted with a worker shortage that has limited the ability of employers in the region to expand.
ApproachRecognizing these challenges, the Midland Development Corporation hired TIP to assist in crafting a new economic development strategic plan as a response. Our methodology included an assessment of relevant regional and local economic and demographic trends affecting Midland as well as an analysis of its real estate market. This resulted in the development of a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats matrix (SWOT) to determine the community’s options for increasing its tax base and diversifying its economic base. Once Midland’s opportunities were assessed, TIP conducted research on various benchmarks to provide best practice lessons on how the community could take advantage of its assets.
OutcomeThe resulting plan identified three opportunity zones to be the focus of the MDC’s economic development strategies. The opportunity zones included (1) the Central Business District; (2) La Entrada / Midland International Airport; and (3) Claydesta. For each opportunity zone, TIP recommended strategies and actions to address the city’s primary challenges and promote the objectives of talent attraction, business recruitment, and innovation. The plan also outlined organizational recommendations for MDC to undertake in order to better position itself for successfully implementing the strategic plan.
Photo credit Bill Hathorn