Year of Publication
Martin School of Public Policy and Administration
Woodford Tomorrow, a citizen economic development planning group in Woodford County, is interested in promoting cluster development. Clusters are a geographic concentration of businesses and institutions which interact and collaborate within a particular economic sector. This report provides quantitative analysis of three clusters: (1) health, (2) agriculture, and (3) arts, entertainment, and tourism. The majority of this data comes from the consulting firm Economic Modeling Specialists Inc.
The agriculture cluster has many industries, specifically in the crop and animal production and manufacturing sectors, which appear to be potential industries to target. The hotel and motel industry seems to be an opportunity to develop the arts, entertainment, and tourism cluster more fully. This corresponds with the March Woodford Tomorrow meeting, in which there was discussion of the lack of hotels and the potential for value to the county if a hotel was present. The health cluster does not appear to contain any industries that could be targeted for large businesses to attract to Woodford County.
Before Woodford Tomorrow targets any industries for attraction or expansion within the county, an analysis of the demand for the cluster industries would be helpful. A demand analysis would complement the potential target industries found in this report. This effort would assist potential investors in industry attraction or expansion to determine the realistic market for the proposed venture.
Other policy recommendations include understanding and enhancing the county’s amenities, such as its recreational infrastructure, and growing local capitalism and entrepreneurship in the county. Finally, the Woodford Tomorrow group should be promoted further for more membership and public awareness, because this is a community development organization that helps build social capital.
Cluster analysis of a larger scope—the Lexington metropolitan area—would likely provide a more complete assessment of the region’s cluster strengths and opportunities.
Middleton, Tom, "Local Economic Development: Researching Clusters in Woodford County, Kentucky" (2011). MPA/MPP Capstone Projects. 104.