Anchorage to get crowdsourced fiveyear economic plan

first_imgOn Tuesday, an economic development group in Anchorage launched a new survey to crowdsource how residents think the local economy should grow in the next five years.Listen nowThe survey is the first step in what’s known as a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, or CEDS, according to Pamela Kauveiyakul, the Business and Economic Development Director for the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation.“We’re asking people very directly, ‘What do you think makes Anchorage’s economy strong or weak?’ Or ‘What do you think the opportunities and threats are?’” Kauveiyakul explained. “And that could be very different from different people’s perspectives. This may be in alignment with what conventional thinking is. But it may also be something new that we haven’t seen or heard of before, and we would love to see that, too. We would love to see things that maybe we hadn’t thought of.”The survey closes February 3rd, and as it begins analyzing results, AEDC will also start a process of soliciting input from community and industry groups. The private non-profit entity hopes that after revisions, a final document will be ready in August or September.The CEDS plan is non-binding, but meant as a guiding document for stakeholders, including the municipality and partners in the private sector. It will mirror another economic push in Anchorage, the “Live. Work. Play” initiative.“‘Live. Work. Play’ is a means of figuring out… initiatives that will attract people here to Anchorage. And CEDS is what they do when they get here,” Kauveiyakul said, citing “workforce development opportunities” and potential “growth sectors” as the kind of information the organization hopes to source in the drafting process.In addition to reaching out to familiar partners on conversations about economic development, AEDC is also making a push to target “economically distressed” areas. The designation comes from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, which uses Census information to identify neighborhoods that have high unemployment and low average incomes. In Anchorage that includes Fairview, Spenard, and Mountain View. AEDC will go through conventional methods for getting input like consulting community councils, but is in the process of making an outreach plan in order to get better results.“We will also be reaching out to leaders in those areas, or other areas that work closely in those neighborhoods who might have a better idea of how we can reach more of an audience there than maybe traditionally we had before,” Kauveiyakul said.The CEDS survey is available to Anchorage residents online through February 3rd.last_img