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Strategic Plan

In 2020, the ACEDC, in partnership with the Montrose Group, began to update the 2016 Strategic Plan. The purpose of this updated strategic plan was to identify the organization’s short, mid, and long-term goals, and to identify measurable objectives with broad strategies. The ACEDC stands to support living wage jobs in Athens County, increase land use and site development plans, support and expand industry, and increase opportunity for the citizens and businesses of Athens County.

Strategic Plan Tactics

In order to achieve continued success, the following goals need to be met: reducing the over-reliance on government and low-wage service jobs, and diversifying the Athens County economy. To achieve these goals, the ACEDC needs to enact these seven action steps:

  • Conduct industrial site inventory and identify potential development sites.
  • Work with the City of Athens to redevelop urban sites and attract developers to Athens.
  • Partner with other organizations to facilitate and coordinate a strategy to build STEM workforce programs to retain and attract tech talent.
  • Facilitate regular meetings between Ohio University, business leaders, and community leaders to address issues facing the region.
  • Pursue state and federal funding for the expansion of broadband infrastructure in Athens County and partner with a private sector entity to implement and utilize the funding.
  • Address the housing shortage in Athens County by working with Ohio University to develop a public-private partnership at the Ridges. Also working with the City to provide downtown mixed-use zoning, working to provide down payment assistance and rental subsidies, encouraging the City to provide tax abatement, and more downtown parking for mixed-use projects.
  • Focus on the development of the three Athens County opportunity zone sites.
Download ACEDC 2020 Strategic Plan 

Defining “Living Wage”:

The ACEDC board has determined $15/hour as an appropriate living wage. This not only expands the tax base, but improves the quality of life for Athens citizens. Companies that commit to this wage and offer acceptable benefits will be considered for economic development incentives and tax abatements.