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  • Cathy O’Connor

Development collaboration enhances region

Regional economic development makes sense on several levels.

Over the past few months, the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments has been working with TIP Strategies to update the Capital Area Economic Development District of Oklahoma’s 2012 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. CAPEDD is the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s designated Economic Development District that covers ACOG’s four-county region, including Canadian, Cleveland, Logan and Oklahoma counties. The updated plan includes an assessment and analysis to set the broad priorities that will enhance the region’s competitiveness and drive the economy forward.

The region’s economy has long been defined by oil and gas. The vulnerability associated with overdependence on this sector has not been lost on civic leaders. Diversified investment generated through Oklahoma City’s MAPS program has resulted in new projects and a renewed sense of optimism. It is now possible – perhaps for the first time in the region’s history – to see the region’s economy as driven by more than the petrochemical industry.

While our region is enjoying record-low unemployment levels, we face an intense national competition for talent. The skill sets required for growing companies increasingly depend on tech-savviness, regardless of the industry. To compete in this new environment, the ACOG region must do more than attract new companies. It must do more than invest in a reliable infrastructure. And it must do more than satisfy the needs of its existing citizens.

Read the full article at The Journal Record.

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