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EDC board begins strategic planning transformation

In response to the economy, the changes in state and federal business support programs, and the 2010 Economic Summit Action items, the Clallam Economic Development Council's board of directors took first steps in transforming its economic development strategies at the July board meeting.

After an informative renewable energy presentation by Sequim's Marine Science Laboratory director, Dr. Charles Brandt, the board approved five areas of focus which had been suggested by the Economic Summit funders (Port of Port Angeles, City of Port Angeles, Clallam County).

The areas of focus are composites, renewable energy, natural resources (forest and agriculture), tourism and marine trades. After board discussion, each area of focus also had lead entities identified that will provide periodic updates and progress reports:

_ Composites (Lead: City of Port Angeles and Port of Port Angeles)

_ Renewable Energy (Lead: Innovation Partnership Zone partners Battelle/PNNL, Peninsula College and EDC; Port of Port Angeles and City of Sequim)

_ Marine Trades (Lead: Port of

Port Angeles)

_ Natural Resources (Lead: Olympic Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development)

_ Tourism (Lead: Olympic Peninsula Tourism Commission)

"The community involvement during the summit activities along with the growing opportunities in renewable energy projects has the potential of dramatically changing our region's economy in a very short time frame," said

Mike McAleer, president. "These areas of focus will help the EDC sharpen its strategies in business retention and recruitment in response to the community's input."

The board underscored its continued support for the original clusters developed in the early 2000s that included education, building trades, technology, forest resources, agriculture, finance, tourism, marine trades and health care.

"As an ongoing project, the EDC

will be refining a strategic plan that leverages the Innovation Partnership Zone relationships, the Olympic Finance Development Authority, business attraction efforts and the industry cluster work to position ourselves competitively in the new economy," said John Calhoun, first vice president.

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