The OEDC found itself in a unique position in early 2017. The Washington State Senate’s proposed budget called for unprecedented reductions to Commerce’s economic development programs amid various budget deficits. In an effort to prepare for and formulate a proactive response to these budget reductions, Commerce engaged TIP Strategies to facilitate a multi-day strategy session for the OEDC leadership team in the Fall of 2017. The scope of work included reviewing relevant planning documents, interviewing key personnel, presenting current trends and best practices in state economic development programs and leadership, and developing a summary of key takeaways and preliminary recommendations.
The overarching goal of the strategy session was to glean insight and ideas from key OEDC leadership, align the leadership around a common set of tasks and policy decisions, discuss details surrounding the new environment for the OEDC amid budget reductions, and to ensure the OEDC could continue to operate in an efficient and effective manner. Today, the OEDC continues to execute on strategies and policy recommendations that were identified during the strategy sessions. As a result of this planning work OEDC was successful in maintaining agency funding; realigning and prioritizing department programs and communications; as well as driving efficiencies, transparency, and enhanced economic development partner relationships around the state.