RCDA approves development plan

The Randolph County Development Authority approved a three-year plan Wednesday that’s designed to improve what its executive director called the area’s “quality of place.”

The strategic plan, which goes into effect July 1, is intended to further the RCDA’s mission of enhancing the county’s standard of living by promoting, developing and advancing business prosperity and economic welfare.

“Some people call it quality of life,” Morris said at the RCDA board’s monthly meeting Wednesday, “but I like to think of it as ‘quality of place.'”

Using the strategic plan as a road map, Morris said the RCDA aims to achieve its mission by furthering three major areas of economic development – business development, workforce development and community development.

“We evaluated many different aspects of the Randolph County community and economic climate, and this plan is a summary of what we discussed,” Morris told the board. “The three main areas are business development, workforce development and community development, all of which are dependent upon one another to be successful.”

Also laid out in the plan is a list of “strategic priorities,” which include: increased marketing of Randolph County, commercial site development and marketing, expansion of the RCDA’s business retention/expansion program, increased countywide relations, development and support of workforce development program, leadership training and participation in regional economic development efforts.

“As a development authority, your number one activity is marketing,” Morris said. “You’re selling your area as a place people want to raise a family, have a job and build a life.”

These days, workforce quality is playing an increasing role in companies’ decisions about whether to relocate to Randolph County – or any area, for that matter.

“Workforce is a key component now,” Morris said. “Economic development is not happening without a quality workforce, so we will be heavily focused on that area.

“We will do whatever it takes to ensure Randolph County has a good, solid workforce,” he added.

RCDA president Bonnie Serrett said the plan provided comprehensive coverage of the RCDA’s initiatives.

“It’s great when you sit down and develop a plan like this,” she said, prior to the board unanimously approving the plan.

“This is what we will use to focus ourselves on a day-in and day-out basis,” Morris said.

The next RCDA board of directors meeting will take place at 4 p.m. July 10 at the RCDA office in the West Virginia Wood Technology Center.

Contact Katie Kuba by email at kkuba@theintermountain.com.