Year of Publication

2017

College

Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Executive Summary

Like many other municipal governments, Lexington utilizes a web of partnerships to support economic development. These relationships take many forms; LFUCG employs grants, tax incentives for businesses, and contracts with other organizations. Unlike some of its peers, though, LFUCG does not have a strategic plan in place to drive decision-making processes and sharpen its focus on outcomes. This report sets the foundation for future strategic management efforts by identifying opportunities and weaknesses that might be addressed by LFUCG through an environmental scan and establishing a performance management framework for existing contractual economic development partners. The key findings are as follows:

  • There are two informal priorities that drive economic development policy. Through its efforts, LFUCG seeks to increase wages and increase jobs in Lexington. These two priorities can be leveraged to capture return on investment across programs and time.
  • While LFUCG is not responsible for all aspects of economic development, there is an opportunity to better coordinate strategy between stakeholders, both locally and regionally. For example, while human capital is a focus of many external institutions in Lexington, there are not a great deal of municipal resources dedicated to this pillar of economic development.
  • Furthermore, while many resources focus on business development, there is very little evident strategy that is neighborhood-based, even as there are large disparities between areas of Lexington in key economic indicators.
  • While at least one economic development partner, Commerce Lexington, provides extensive quantitative performance metrics, there is an opportunity to align new metrics across financial partners with their respective logic models and LFUCG’s informal development priorities.

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