Over the course of more than 25 discussions with 450+ District stakeholders, we heard important feedback and many great ideas. Below are some of the takeaways and themes from these conversations. Many of the ideas we heard evolved into strategy initiatives. However, some ideas did not turn into initiatives because they required further development, partners or additional resources. You can view these interesting but not-quite-ripe ideas here. If you have thoughts about how to move any of these ideas forward or new ideas, submit them here. The strategy team will review submissions regularly.
The Economic Strategy Advisory Committee included public and private sector leaders who provided guidance at critical junctures in the strategy development process. In November 2016, we convened the committee to share what we heard from hundreds of stakeholders and solicit committee members’ bold ideas for action.
Wide-reaching ideas with the potential to affect a range of industries and communities.
Grow established and emerging sectors by leveraging the District’s competitive advantages
- DC can diversify its economy by adapting existing capabilities to emerging sectors, such as the social impact economy and security technology. Particular areas of capabilities include: public policy, science/engineering, large scale project management, law, and cybersecurity.
- Leverage the unique advantages proximity to the Federal government offers.
Create a more business-friendly environment in the District
- Improve ease of doing business by streamlining DC government processes (particularly permitting and licensing) to be more customer-centric.
- Facilitate innovation through the DC government by supporting forward thinking procurement processes and test-bedding technologies.
Develop and promote DC’s economic brand and local identity
- Build on the strong sense of DC pride and bolster the local business community, including both longstanding businesses and startups.
- Go to market as one region by cooperating with neighboring jurisdictions, building on respective strengths.
- Take advantage of international business opportunities (e.g. professional services exports).
Find ways to better link District residents to opportunities
- Create inclusive growth that gives DC residents a pathway to the middle class through workforce development, training, and vocational certifications for those without four-year college degrees
- Ensure a pipeline between completion of higher education/ training and actual, well paying jobs
There are some key supporting factors necessary to fostering a healthy economy
- Build on DC’s attractiveness as a place to live and create infrastructure – particularly affordable housing — that is able to support all age groups, from millennials starting families to boomers aging in place
- DC’s infrastructure (public transit, air connections) has been a competitive advantage, but SafeTrack and traffic congestion are negatively affecting the business climate
Ideas to foster growth and opportunities in particular industries and business segments.