UCA's Strategic Growth Institute awarded contract by Asheville HUB Alliance for economic development study

The Asheville HUB Alliance of Asheville, N.C. has selected the Strategic Growth Institute at the University of Central Arkansas to assess the framework of Asheville/Buncombe County’s economic development organizations.

The analysis will recommend specific measures and strategies to improve the effectiveness of the area’s economic development organizations and how they work together. SGI’s assessment of the current situtation in Asheville/Buncombe County and analysis of national “best practices” will form the basis for recommendations. Facilitation of a consensus-driven process to further refine the recommended model and develop an implementation strategy will follow.

The Strategic Growth Institute (SGI) offers economic and community development consulting to states, cities and economic development organizations nationwide from its location at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. SGi offers a new approach that focuses on the link between community development and economic development — success in one leads to sucess in the other.

Robert Pittman, Executive Director of SGI, and Jennifer Tanner, Managing Director, are both nationally-recognized economic development consultants. SGI’s sister organizations at UCA include the Community Development Institute and the Masters Program in Community and Economic Development. Also involved in the project, as a subcontractor to SGI, will be the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), an association of economic development organizations based in Washington, D.C.

“We are proud to be partnering with IEDC on this project,” Tanner said.

The Asheville HUB Alliance’s Evaluation Committee selected SGI after screening 22 proposals from nationally-recognized consulting organizations and universities. “SGI’s understanding of the unique political and operating environment of community-based EDOs, and demonstrated ability to help states and localities restructure their EDO frameworks put them into the finalist group,” said Dave Brown, Executive Director of the HUB. “Their professionalism and willingness to respond quickly to the Evaluation Committee’s requests and value in their project approach, made SGi the winning consultant. We are also enthusiastic about SGi teaming with IEDC’s Research Group and their ability to multiply each other’s knowledge of best practices and benchmarking data for the benefit of this project.”