Montgomery County is one of the most prosperous and successful communities in the United States. It boasts numerous strengths, including world-class research institutions, globally recognizable brands, a highly educated and diverse populace, and attractive neighborhoods. And yet, Montgomery County (and the entire Washington DC region) faced a profoundly changed economic landscape resulting from the Great Recession, cuts in federal defense spending, and broad changes in the corporate real estate market.
As a direct response to changing economic conditions and increased regional competition, the Montgomery County Executive and the County Council called on TIP Strategies to prepare a Comprehensive Economic Strategy (CES). The CES offered an honest evaluation of the county’s challenges and outlined a new approach to economic development. The plan presented a vision of Montgomery County as a global magnet for creative companies, technologies, and people. To achieve this vision, the plan set out priority strategies in four interconnected areas: business vitality, creative economies, talent, and place-making. TIP also provided recommendations regarding the County’s existing industry targets, identifying assets and potential opportunities in sectors including biohealth/biosciences, information technology and cybersecurity, financial services, and advanced manufacturing. Since formal adoption of the CES in October 2016, the County formed a multi-organizational working group to coordinate implementation efforts. The top implementation priority was improving the county’s business climate.