Strategic Plan Progress Metrics

In 2012 the county committed fully to advancing its strategic plan (you can find the entire plan here) by formulating its annual budget around policy focus areas and articulating 6 broad community measures of success. Effectively, how do we know if the strategic plan is being successful? The county set the time horizon for the plan and its measures of success as 5 years – July 2012 until June 2017.

While the plan created and adopted by the county commission identified 5 policy themes or foci, the community went further by saying loudly that economic development is the first priority among 5 equals. The county uncovered this priority fact by surveying the community in late 2012. (The county just completed its second community survey in November 2014, and those priority facts will manifest themselves into priorities set by the county commission going forward – expect a full report on your opinions in March 2015.)

So, where do we stand as a community 2.5 years into advancing the county’s strategic plan – especially on the metrics the county set for economic development?

The metrics in terms of goals . . .

  • New Hanover County will be successful if at least 6,000 new, private sector jobs are created by 2017
    • Since July 2012 the private sector has created 4,600 net new jobs in the county
  • New Hanover County will be successful if its average weekly wage increases by 10 percent before 2017
    • Since July 2012 the local average weekly wage has increased by 3.6 percent
  • New Hanover County will be successful if the private sector invests at least $1 billion of capital investment by 2017
    • Since July 2012 the private sector has invested $700 million of new taxable capital
  • New Hanover County will be successful if the rate of juvenile recidivism decreases by 5 percent before 2017
    • Since July 2012 juvenile recidivism locally has decreased by 7 percent
  • New Hanover County will be successful if at least 80 percent of children entering kindergarten are ready for school by 2017
    • Since July 2012 the county has redoubled its investment in the early child and family but we do not yet have a metric to report that is verifiable; however, partnerships with the public, private, and home-school system are being developed to measure our success
  • New Hanover County will be successful if the rate of obesity declines, on average, 6.5 percent by 2017
    • Since July 2012 the county has redoubled its investment in opportunities to engage in an active lifestyle, commissioned a community health assessment with an eye toward obesity reduction, and developed a tool for determining the wellness of most local children ages 4, 5 and 6

I’m of the opinion that, as a community, if you agree

  • more and better jobs is a sign of success,
  • tax base growth is a sign of success,
  • kids who commit crime don’t commit another crime is a sign of success,
  • kids are academically, emotionally, and socially ready for school is a sign of success, and
  • obesity is a predictor for personal health and community health and that we need to stem the tide of obesity is a sign of success . . .

then New Hanover County is making progress as a community, and that in particular the county government is making good on its promise to make you safe, healthy, and well.

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