DRC to lead economic development and drive education; will increase advocacy role to further regional prosperity
DALLAS, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) is realigning its resources to more effectively drive economic development, strengthen Dallas' public education system and be an advocate and catalyst for regional issues.
The five-year Blueprint for Economic Prosperity -- the DRC's first strategic plan in 10 years -- redefines the organization's focus on Dallas, Collin and Denton counties, which represent more than 90 percent of its membership and significant economic development opportunities.
"Economic development and prosperity is the top priority for the Dallas Regional Chamber," said James C. Oberwetter, president of the Dallas Regional Chamber. "Our job is to help make the Dallas region the most economically prosperous region – and most desirable place to live and work – in the United States. We must act while the window of opportunity is wide open."
Recognizing that a well-educated workforce is critical to companies looking to expand or relocate to the area, the plan also calls for significant reforms for public education to raise the number of high school graduates and the number of Dallas area residents holding advanced degrees.
"While business growth for Dallas and the region is job number one," Oberwetter said. "Another great area of focus is education and improving the public school system. We will enter this arena on a sustained basis, looking for ways to reform educational approaches to allow more students to get a quality education in the Dallas Independent School District. Our members want and need better prepared graduates to serve as the foundation for their growing workforce."
The new plan includes specific goals and with clear measurement tools to gauge the Chamber's performance, with a focus on economic development and strengthening the area's public education system.
Energized under the new strategic plan, the DRC believes it can drive the Dallas region to:
- Become a top 10 region for Fortune Global 500 headquarters and a top three region for major public and private U.S. headquarters by 2015.
- Become a top five GDP market in the United States by 2015.
- Add more total jobs than any other U.S. region from 2010 to 2015.
- Be a top five U.S. region for new technology jobs created from 2010 to 2015.
- Increase annual venture capital investment by 50 percent to become a top 10 U.S. region.
- Improve the Dallas ISD high school graduation rate from the current 67% to 80% by 2015.
- Increase the percentage of Dallas region residents who hold advanced degrees from the current 10% to 15% by 2015.
- Set detailed goals and targets, aligned with statewide assessment, to improve the percentage of Dallas ISD students who are college and career ready.
"Improving Dallas' education system has been an effort I have focused on since I became Mayor; in fact, we made it one of the City Council's Key Focus Areas," said Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert. "Now, with the Dallas Regional Chamber realigning its Strategic Plan to drive improvements and excellence in education and focus on economic development, DRC will greatly increase the momentum to prepare this region and its people for a much more prosperous future."
The strategic plan was developed over a six-month period in consultation with internationally renowned Boston Consulting Group, and headed by a DRC "Future Committee" of 34 Dallas area business and civic leaders in collaboration with members of the DRC board of directors, chamber members and nonmembers, public policy leaders, leaders of chamber and civic peer organizations and the DRC staff.
The plan's development included more than 130 interviews with Chamber members, board members, peer organizations, public officials, DRC staff and citizens; surveys of 350 members and potential members and benchmarking for best practices and performance against 18 other chambers. As part of this new strategic direction, the Chamber underwent a reorganization of its more than 40 employees to better align resources with strategic priorities.
"The DRC board embraced the strategic review of our current operations and engaged in this comprehensive process to ensure our mission, goals, and objectives would provide for both economic well-being and exceptional quality of life for our companies and for the people of Dallas and the region," said David Corrigan, Chairman of the Board, and President and CEO of Corrigan Investments.
Additional information and an overview of the strategic plan entitled "Blueprint for Economic Prosperity" is available online at www.dallaschamber.org/strategicplan. The strategic plan webpage also contains a video message from Oberwetter explaining the newly defined geographic focus, a listing of frequently asked questions related to the strategic plan, and will continue with updates and reporting of success. A printed version of the executive summary may be obtained by contacting DRC offices at 214-746-6600.
The Dallas Regional Chamber is the area's leading membership-driven business organization committed to promoting prosperity through sound public policy, focused economic development, member education and engagement. The Chamber is a not for profit organization committed to the betterment of our region. For more information, please contact the Dallas Regional Chamber at (214) 746-6600 or visit www.dallaschamber.org
SOURCE Dallas Regional Chamber