NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – During Monday’s meeting, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted a new five-year strategic plan that will help guide the county through Fiscal Years 2024-28.
This marks the third strategic plan to be approved in county history, including previous plans in 2012-17 and 2018-23. A copy of the 2024-28 Strategic Plan can be found here, while a report reviewing the most recent completed plan is available here.
“Providing our residents with services and amenities is an important function of what county government does, but it’s equally important to know if what we are providing is meeting their needs and supporting them – that’s what this strategic plan is all about,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Bill Rivenbark. “Over the last 11 years, we’ve had tremendous success by leading with strategic intent and we remain committed to ensuring we provide staff with the framework to achieve our community's vision. During the process of building this new plan, our team listened to citizen feedback, met with community partners and county staff, reviewed data and gathered information to make sure our strategy aligns with the needs of our community. This plan will set the tone and guide us in decision-making as we move forward.”
Centered on the county motto “The Model of Good Governance,” the strategic plan was built around three community-focused outcomes – Workforce & Economic Development, Community Safety & Well-being, and Sustainable Land Use & Environmental Stewardship.
Workforce & Economic Development aims to provide equitable opportunities for residents to connect with education and highly skilled employment while fostering a business-friendly environment and offering resilient infrastructure to drive growth. The goal is to ensure that every resident has the tools to be successful while ensuring businesses in the community are supported with a knowledgeable workforce and reliable infrastructure.
Community Safety & Well-being focuses on assuring access to supports for physical and mental health, creating a community that mitigates health and safety risks, and making sure residents feel supported. Experience from the past five years underscores that a healthy and safe community is vital to achieving the county’s vision. In line with this, the newly adopted plan focuses on ensuring residents access the services essential for maintaining health and minimizing safety risk.
The final community-focused outcome, Sustainable Land Use & Environmental Stewardship, creates safeguards and protections for natural areas and cultural amenities while using planned growth to provide ease of access to basic needs. The county remains committed to finding the right balance between preserving the unique qualities of our community and encouraging a growing and thriving community.
Additionally, the plan features a foundational basis for operating county government under the model of good governance, which centers around effective county management, strong financial performance and responsible stewardship.
To monitor the plan’s effectiveness, key metrics have been established for each of these focus areas. These specific, data-driven targets will be monitored and adjusted, as needed, over the next five years to ensure we deliver on our commitment to this community.
“A strategic plan is a tool to guide decision-making for an organization, but it’s important to be adaptable as needs change,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “If the last few years taught us anything, it’s that we must be flexible. That’s why it’s important to remember this is a living document, capable of changing as needed. The strategic plan will guide the work of our 2,000 dedicated county employees and more than $2.5 billion in county funding over the next five years. It will help shape the work of many community partners, including the New Hanover Community Endowment – which must, by its chartering documents, follow and support the New Hanover County Strategic Plan. That alone makes the county's strategic plan an important guide, to help ensure needed resources are deployed into our community for real and transformational change.”
To learn more about the FY 2024-28 Strategic Plan, click here.