This economic development action plan is intended to give direction and framework to the proactive approach to economic development established by the Industrial Development Board or MEDC (McKenzie Economic Development Corporation). This plan is meant to be specific yet allow room for opportunities that may present themselves. It should not be viewed as concrete but as a framework from which to plan and operate a proactive marketing effort that is fairly comprehensive in approach and scope. The plan seeks to develop on the successes of the community’s history while embarking on several new initiatives focused around the region and its partnerships. The plan will focus on outbound marketing efforts as well as continuing to build relationships with the prospects as well as site consultants. This plan includes the programs for Business Attraction and Business Retention & Expansion (BRE).

 

MEDC

General Description
McKenzie Industrial Development is a 501(C)(6) nonprofit corporation that serves the citizens of McKenzie Carroll County. The Board was established in 1983, and its purpose is to further develop and diversify the McKenzie-Carroll County economy through sound, controlled industrial growth.

McKenzie Vision
To make McKenzie the rural model for inclusive innovation and economic growth, coupled by the community’s assets and business infrastructure.

Mission
To create a vibrant, prosperous and growing McKenzie through extraordinary economic development.

Values
MEDC is community-driven, reliable, professional, and resourceful. We value collaborative, sustainable and educational solutions.

  • Reliable
    We embrace the highest standards of excellence. We will be transparent and credible, ensuring the public’s trust.
  • Professional
    We are committed to the principles of truth and honesty, and we will be equitable and ethical, approaching all situations with integrity.
  • Resourceful
    We are dedicated to the efficient and effective use of resources, and we are accountable for our actions to those we serve.
  • Collaborative
    We believe that the greatest good is accomplished through partnerships and inclusive relationships and ideas. We embrace diversity and empower others to be engaged and committed.
  • Sustainability
    We believe that all work must focus on long term viability, embracing the stewardship of our resources and continuous improvement.
  • Educational
    We integrate our knowledge into collaborative partnerships with our institutions to cultivate skilled workforce and develop future leaders of the community.

Carroll County, TN, is:

  • Located centrally in the eastern United States within a day’s drive of half the nation’s population and manufacturing employment
  • Positioned strategically amid the growing metro areas of Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee
  • Connected logistically with four-lane highway access to Interstates 40 28 miles south, and the Nashville International Airport as well as Memphis International Airport, plus one short line junction with Class I railways and a CSX mainline.

To fulfill its mission, MEDC pursues an integrated, three-part strategy:

  • Nurture the profitable development of McKenzie’s existing businesses, not only to retain but to expand their investment in the community;
  • Enhance the community’s quality of life general and economic environment specifically to make McKenzie a better place to live, work, play, and do business; and
  • Market strategically and competitively to targeted new business prospects that are both desirable and sustainable for the community’s long-term growth and prosperity.

Operational Advantages
The operation and direction of the Corporation has stability, continuity, and a long run focus since it is not subject to political appointments.

Functions/Activities
The Industrial Board purchases, develops, and markets industrial sites, and provides information requested by industries seeking new plant locations. The Corporation also works with existing industries for the purposes of retention and local expansion.

Strategy: Business Attraction

  • Aggressively promote the city and seek potential new business focusing on the area’s current industry clusters- Aluminum, lawn and garden, automotive, forestry, and manufacturing.
  • Market the area to regional and national site consultants and business relocation specialists.
  • Develop targeted business contacts through direct contact, trade shows and personal visits.
  • Create, manage and update online marketing venues including websites and social media.
  • Work to develop building and sites to market to potential clients.
  • Develop a CRM to maintain contact with potential clients and consultants.
  • Meet regularly with state and regional economic development allies to educate them on the potential of West Central Tennessee.

Action Item - Visitation/Events - Business Attraction

Visitation Program

At least 3 times throughout the year, MEDC staff will set meetings with site consultants through either appointments or events. This may be done in conjunction with other visits and or events.

Goals
The visitation will accomplish:

  • Increase awareness through face to face contacts;
  • Respond directly to any concerns/ questions/ misunderstandings about the region;
  • Explain new developments or opportunities in the region.

Timeline
We will schedule events in conjunction with other partnerships and strategies.

Events

MEDC staff will participate in at least 3 events for State and site consultants throughout the year. This may be events in partnership with WTIA, SEDC or TEP through luncheons or networking events.

Goals
The visitation will accomplish:

  • Increase awareness through face to face contacts;
  • Respond directly to any concerns/ questions/ misunderstandings about the region;
  • Explain new developments or opportunities in the region.

Timeline
We will schedule events as they present themselves.
Note: During one of our festivals I would like to host 3 to 4 key site selectors.

Action Item - Outreach

Annual Relationships Management Surveys

It is important for MEDC to build and cultivate relationships with local, regional, and State partners and potential projects. To track these relationships, we will send an annual survey to the following partners:

  • Existing industry
  • Existing and new company projects

Note: Eventually this will go out to committee members.

Timeline
Send out end of first quarter and release cumulative results at Industry Appreciation Event in May.

West Tennessee Industrial Association (WTIA) Cooperative Marketing Program

By partnering with WTIA, opportunities will be created to market directly to site consultants and prospects while enhancing the region’s profile among all clients considering the area.

Goals
Participation with the Association will allow:

  • Allow marketing dollars to stretch further;
  • 4 out of state recruitment meetings;
  • 4 out of state consultant events;
  • Participation in private meetings with site consultants during in-state events;
  • Link on WTIA website;
  • And additional staff support for scaled projects and goals.

Timeline
Ongoing.

Marketing Collateral

Using printed and electronic media, create marketing collateral to drive prospects to the revamped website.

Goals
The campaign will accomplish the following:

  • Continue to keep our region in the forefront of decision-makers thoughts;
  • Provide hand-outs and electronic media opportunities to “sell” clients;
  • Establish relationships with prospects and or site consultants.

Timeline
Plan during first quarter, implement as soon as possible.

Social Media Strategy

Staff will develop a comprehensive social media strategy that will use outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc. to connect with clients, consultants and opinion makers on the opportunities available in the region.

Goals
The strategy will accomplish the following:

  • Create direct connections to decision-makers and influencers;
  • Broaden awareness of the region;
  • Generate additional interest in the region

Timeline
Strategy development during first quarter implemented in third quarter.

Internal Public Relations

A joint effort will be made to inform internal publics as to the activities and successes of MEDC.

Goals
A focused PR initiative will result in the following:

  • Greater awareness of the work of MEDC in the region;
  • Increased coverage of the efforts with local media outlets;
  • Growing positive image of the organization.

Timeline
Ongoing.

Internet

The internet is our most reliable and powerful marketing tool. As part of the development, a website redesign will include key components targeting our area assets.

Goals
The website will accomplish the following

  • Provide accurate and comprehensive data to site decision makers;
  • Offer new information and data regularly;
  • Enhance building database for both industrial and commercial spaces.

Timeline
Ongoing.

Strategy: Business Retention & Expansion

  • To meet annually on-site with every existing industry identified in the area who would meet qualification for State program assistance
  • Be an advocate for existing businesses with local, state and federal government
  • Encourage expansions by assisting companies with accessing state incentives and picking up any small fees incurred
  • Plan seminars and training events based on the needs and interest of our existing businesses
  • Develop surveys and other instruments to provide assistance to existing businesses such as wage & benefit surveys, workforce analysis, etc.

MEDC shall have three objectives:

  • Retain existing manufacturers, qualified distribution centers, and qualified service providers;
  • Expand employment and increase investment capital and workforce by these businesses;
  • Promote the existing business base as the area’s number one recruitment tool and source of both lead generation

Action Item - Visitation/ Events - BRE

Industrial Appreciation Event

The Industrial Appreciation Event provides a networking event for key decision-makers within our existing businesses. This event will be held in conjunction with the Industry Appreciation Month.

Goals
The following programs will be offered

  • A relaxed appreciation event for business leaders;
  • Additional networking opportunities;
  • A chance to promote the good activities of our existing businesses.

Timeline
Appreciation event in second quarter.

Wage & Benefit Survey

This will provide employers with a tool to enhance their competitiveness, this item offers a comprehensive Wage & Benefit Survey. As part of an ongoing program we would partner with the North-West Development District and WTIA to produce regional results.

Goals
Provide employers with a snapshot of hiring, compensation and benefit programs.

Timeline
Ongoing.

Annual On-Site Calls

MEDC will visit with local key decision-makers on-site at every manufacturer, qualified distribution center and service provider during the fiscal year. This will provide decision-makers with an opportunity to provide input regarding company performance, needs and wants while allowing MEDC to share information regarding relevant programs, opportunities or assistance.

Goals
The visitation program will accomplish the following:

  • Every company will receive at least one visit during the year;
  • Each visit will result in a record for our database;
  • Follow-up will be provided after each visit.

Timeline
Ongoing.

Corporate Calls

Many of our facilities are part of a large operation. Often the corporate decision-makers are not aware of programs and opportunities available to grow local operations. By visiting with corporate, MEDC can assist with retaining and expanding local facilities, as well as promoting the area for new operations.

Goals
The corporate call program will accomplish the following:

  • Visits will be made to the corporate office of local companies;
  • A gift will be presented with each visit representing our area;
  • Each visit will result in a record for the database
  • Follow-up will be provided after every call.

Timeline
This program will be coordinated with other travel efforts and depend on when those meetings will take place.

Action Item – Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

The strength of this plan is its ability to be flexible and react to changing needs and priorities. To this end, providing funds for unplanned opportunities without delaying other activities is an important planning function.

Goals
To have funds available for additional marketing opportunities/ activities/ and programs as needed.

Timeline
Ongoing.

Summary

The development of this plan is to show a value of our actions in the community by outlining the intent of our marketing budget. Also, developing some agendas to focus on throughout each quarter.