In December 2017, the City of Fort Worth and TIP Strategies completed an economic development strategic plan (EDSP) built around themes of competitiveness, creativity, and community vitality. The EDSP tied these priorities to four tangible and measurable outcomes over a five-year horizon: high-wage job growth, a more sustainable tax base, an economy that capitalizes on high-growth businesses and creative individuals, and a commitment to quality of place. A year after adopting the plan, the City sought to understand its progress on implementation.
In early 2019, the City of Fort Worth engaged TIP to assess progress made on goals and objectives during the EDSP’s initial year. Interviews with City staff and partner organizations shed light on current trends, capacity issues, and alignment efforts. An update of key data points for Fort Worth and its domestic benchmarks provided the foundation for a discussion of the City’s competitive position. Findings were presented to the City Council in the form of a PowerPoint presentation and summary report. The review found that most of the initiatives and actions slated for 2018 were in progress or had expected start dates in 2019. Recommended next steps included aligning resources to support target industry and corporate HQ recruitment programs, promoting the successes and story of the city through a more aggressive media strategy, and blending old and new Fort Worth in business recruitment and expansion and neighborhood development efforts. Insights from this engagement positioned the City and its partners to stay on track over the remainder of the five-year implementation period.