Economic Development Strategic Plan Update

The Chester County Economic Development (“CCED”), Chester County, and the Chester Development Association (“CDA”), cordially invite you to participate in the 2011 Chester County Economic Development Strategic Plan update.

As you may recall the process was started in 2008 to create the Chester County Economic Development Strategic Plan which involved community leaders and existing industrial leaders from across Chester County.  We held focus groups and interviews and in total involved around 70 individuals.

The 2011 update will include but is not limited to the following:

Community Assessment – In the 2008, Sanford Holshouser completed a SWOT analysis as part of the planning process. In the update, we will revisit strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats by meeting with staff and a small leadership group (or wider community group described below). An example of a SWOT update is the new opportunities associated with the Nourse Auto Mall project.

Organizational Review – A review of CCED funding, programs, staff, and leadership structure will be completed to determine what resources are needed to carry out the updated strategic plan. In 2008, we benchmarked the organization. We know from our work with CCED that it is a leader among rural economic development organizations (EDOs) – but there is always room for growth and improvement.

Target Industry Validation – The target industry analysis recommended Automotive, Fabricated Metals Products and Machinery, Plastics and Rubber, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, and Value-Added Food Products. We will determine if these targets are still viable, recommend any new targets that align with Chester County’s assets, and re-prioritize targets for recruitment. Recently, we discovered that EDOs are focusing on a fewer targets rather than 5-6 to get more bang for the marketing buck.

Strategic Plan Update – The update report will detail what has been accomplished out of the 2008 study, uncompleted tasks that are still legitimate, uncompleted tasks that have no traction, and new strategies and action steps that will take CCED beyond status quo.

Implementation Plan – We will give guidance on implementation such as taking advantage of low hanging fruit, as well as setting a course to accomplish long-term tasks.

During this update process the approach has been and is a  Community-wide Approach – we have included leaders from across the County by engaging them in one-on-one interviews and are presently launching an online citizen input survey.

This survey is 10 questions and is part of the Chester County economic development strategic plan update. The planning process includes gathering input from a wide range of community leaders. Your response will remain confidential and will be compiled by Sanford Holshouser Economic Development Consulting with input from other local leaders. This survey will be available through June 12th. If you have any questions, please contact Karlisa Parker, Chester County Economic Development at 803-377-1216 or by email at Thank you for participating in this important economic development initiative.

You may access the survey at: Or go to  and press “Take Survey” Button.