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Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018

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2010: Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy: Vision Hampton Roads - Capabilities PDF Print E-mail

The Hampton Roads Partnership (HRP) is a unique public-private organization formed in 1996. The Partnership is comprised of a Board of Directors including the chief elected officials of 17 local governments, business leaders, college and university presidents, military commands, and labor. As of June 30, 2009, the Partnership consists of 116 Board members.

HRP is the only organization bringing leaders of the region together to focus on the strategic issues that will improve Hampton Roads’ competitive position in the global economy. This makes the Partnership uniquely capable to administer, implement and attract private sector investments to the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) project.

The Partnership was responsible for implementing several major components of what is considered the first comprehensive regional plan for Hampton Roads – Plan 2007. Led by the Hampton Roads and Virginia Peninsula Chambers of Commerce, Plan 2007 was the outcome of a year-long visioning/planning process in the early 1990s involving hundreds of business leaders and citizens. The plan outlined a vision and goals for the region around education, infrastructure, quality of life, government, economic development and private sector leadership. Plan 2007 served as a foundation for other subsequent region-focused planning exercises briefly mentioned below.

In 1996, the Virginia General Assembly passed the Regional Competitiveness Act. The Act called for metropolitan areas to bring public and private leaders together in partnerships to develop regional plans focused on improving economic competitiveness. The Act also provided incentive funds (based on population) to regions that met specific criteria. Such criteria included the submission of a comprehensive application with an assessment of regional initiatives and plans to enhance regional cooperation. During the five years of the Regional Competitiveness Program (RCP), the Hampton Roads Partnership received $11 Million in state funds to leverage along with other resources to implement objectives of the regional plan.

Before the RCP funds were allocated, the Partnership updated Plan 2007, focusing attention on implementing objectives around port growth issues, technology-related economic development, transportation, tourism, workforce development, and regional cooperation. An outcome of this planning effort was the formation of many important regional organizations that still exist today. These organizations include the Hampton Roads Research Partnership (HRRP); Hampton Roads Technology Council (HRTC); Hampton Roads Technology Incubator (HRTI); Opportunity, Inc. (workforce development); and, the Hampton Roads Film Office (HRFO).

In 2007, the Partnership’s Board of Directors approved the 2007 Strategic Plan and Metrics document under which we operate until the complete of the 2009-2010 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. The areas of focus within this plan include Education: school readiness, educational attainment and technological research; Transportation: traffic congestion, land use, and public transit; and Economy: overall quality of jobs, port and maritime logistics, and technology industry cluster development. During this planning cycle, the Partnership led a comprehensive Modeling and Simulation strategic planning process and received funds to conduct a Long-term transit vision for the region to be included as part of a statewide vision plan.

In February of 2009, the Partnership launched Hampton Roads Performs, a regional source for data that shows how the region is performing on 36 key indicators, including areas featured in the 2007 Strategic Plan and Metrics document. The site will be used as a performance measuring tool showing the impact of the CEDS implementation.

The Hampton Roads Partnership has been characterized as a convener, a facilitator, an organization effective in laying the foundation for regional success. Many of the regional successes achieved during the Partnership’s existence are a result of the relationships formed and strengthened through the organization’s work. These relationships extend beyond the board members to include: other community organizations and industry; local elected officials; and state executive and legislative levels of government. The Partnership is credited for helping to foster a change in thinking and acting with regard to successful regional cooperation.


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