Community leaders in Greater Cheyenne have embarked upon a strategic planning process to help make the community a more prosperous and vibrant place to live, work, and do business. By initiating this process to develop an ambitious yet actionable Community and Economic Development Strategy, numerous organizations and community partners in the Greater Cheyenne region are taking a vital step to secure and advance the community's future competitive position.
Phase 1 Stakeholder Engagement
Conducted in December 2017, Forward Greater Cheyenne must be adequately informed by the wants and needs of Greater Cheyenne’s residents, workers, and employers. A series of one-on-one interviews and focus groups were conducted. This input was complemented by feedback from 2,383 residents, who responded to the regional survey, providing a tremendous level of input that helped ensure that the Community Assessment and the Community and Economic Development Strategy are well-informed and mindful of the needs, wants, and opinions of residents, workers, and businesses in Greater Cheyenne.
Phase 2: Community Assessment
Completed in February 2018, the Community Assessment represented the first step in the Forward Greater Cheyenne process; a critical step in understanding the Cheyenne area's position and the issues that it faces in an increasingly competitive environment for new jobs, talent, and corporate investment. It examined a wide variety of demographic, socioeconomic, economic, and quality of life indicators to tell a story about the community and uncover the key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges that must be leveraged and addressed to support a more vibrant future. Quantitative analysis is complemented by community input received from interviews, focus groups, and a public survey.
Phase 3: Economic and Workforce Profile
Completed in April 2018, the Economic and Workforce Profile builds on the Community Assessment, providing a closer examination of the community's current economic and workforce composition, and the types of economic activities that can support the community's evolution in alignment with its vision for the future.
The profile builds on pre-existing research, notably the Cheyenne LEADS Workforce Study (2014). This comprehensive economic and workforce analysis enumerated the various assets supporting different sectors and provided in-depth guidance regarding the skills gaps facing the community, through the lens of industry opportunities and occupational clusters that aligned with the community's asset base. The Economic and Workforce Profile builds on that report, other pre-existing research completed by community partners, and the key findings of the Forward Greater Cheyenne Community Assessment to clearly identify the strategic implications of these key findings with respect to the community's economic vision, and its ability to support that vision through targeted economic and workforce development.
Phase 4: Community and Economic Development Strategy
Completed in July 2018, the Forward Greater Cheyenne Community & Economic Development Strategy presents a series of eight strategic initiatives that are designed to specifically address the findings from the research phase and help Greater Cheyenne achieve its vision for the future. Each strategic initiative is accompanied by an objective statement and comprised of more specific tactics and actions. The strategic initiatives represent an ambitious new approach to community and economic improvement in Greater Cheyenne, one that will require considerable new investment from partners across the region. But if effectively and efficiently implemented, it can change this community's trajectory in a manner consistent with residents' vision for the future. Forward Greater Cheyenne reflects the community's collective recognition that action must be taken. This Community & Economic Development Strategy represents the collective action that it must take. With adequate commitment to the initiatives contained herein, coupled with sufficient resource development and collaborative implementation, Greater Cheyenne can realize its vision and provide greater opportunities for generations to come.
Phase 5: Implementation Plan
Following Steering Committee approval of the Community & Economic Development Strategy, a complementary Implementation Plan will be developed to accompany the strategy, detailing a variety of recommendations to support effective implementation of the eight strategic initiatives. This includes but is not limited to guidance and recommendations related to: organizational and implementation structure required to effectively advance the Strategy and its various initiatives; financial and staff capacity; fund raising needs; priorities and timelines for implementation, and; performance metrics. The guidance contained in the Implementation Plan will be a critical companion to the Community & Economic Development Strategy.