Economic Development Strategic Plan - RFP

City of Wooster

Economic Development Strategic Plan


Submission Deadline: January 31, 2022

Official RFP:


The purpose of this Request for Proposals is to obtain competitive proposals from qualified individuals or firms, to facilitate the development of an Economic Development Strategic Plan for the City of Wooster, Ohio. The Economic Strategic Plan will serve as the blueprint in considering changes in economic development policy and programming, community marketing including a focus on development and redevelopment sites, infrastructure planning, and economic development team member coordination, within the City of Wooster and with a focus on enhancing opportunities for prosperity for the community’s existing and future residents and businesses.


Wooster is a growing City of approximately 27,232 people located in northeast Ohio. The City serves as the county seat of Wayne County and is home to the College of Wooster and The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). The City of Wooster strives to balance economic development with agricultural, historic, and environmental preservation while continuing to be a comfortable and vibrant community for its residents. Economic development within the City of Wooster has been a team effort of several independent governmental and non-governmental organizations. In addition to the City of Wooster municipal government, members of the community’s Economic Development Team include the Wayne County Economic Development Council, the Wooster City School District, Main Street Wooster, the Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce, the Wayne County Planning Department, and TeamNEO/JobsOhio. Multiple other regional entities contribute to supporting our community’s economic development ecosystem, some with a focus on programming for large existing operations and others aiding entrepreneurial pursuits. These partners include the Ohio Department of Development, the Small Business Development Administration, Jumpstart Inc., the Minority Business Assistance Center by the Akron Urban League, OhioMeansJobs Wayne County, Schantz Makerspace and the 3D Lab at the University of Akron Wayne College campus, and the Ohio Department of Transportation.


The City of Wooster is requesting proposals to lead its economic development team, a consortium of independent local civic organizations and governments, in the creation of an Economic Development Strategic Plan which will outline the community’s long-term economic development goals and the roles each entity will support in order to grow and diversify Wooster’s economic base. The City seeks a consultant that will guide the creation of a community vision, growth and development policies, economic development role assignments and a collaboration plan, and implementation strategies. The City of Wooster anticipates that the process will be completed over approximately a three-month period. The consultant will have the following responsibilities with the assistance and cooperation of City staff:

1. The overall management of the Strategic Planning process

2. The inclusion of public participation in the planning process

3. The development and support a steering/advisory committee which will be representative of the City of Wooster government, the Wayne Economic Development Council, the Wooster City School District, Main Street Wooster, the Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce, the Wayne County Planning Department, TeamNEO/JobsOhio, and others.

4. Creation of the Strategic Plan Elements as outlined below with responsibilities of conducting described analyses and preparation of all draft and final plan documents.


The scope of this project is to guide the preparation of a Strategic Economic Development Plan and local governmental and inter-agency policies that will act as a blueprint to direct the future economic development of Wooster with a focus on the generation of opportunities for prosperity for residents and local businesses, diversification of Wooster’s industrial base, and positioning the community for business attraction. The resulting plan should be both a physical and policy based plan, provide strategic objectives, implementation plans or strategies, and performance metrics, among other support materials. The Strategic Economic Development Plan should complement the City’s existing plans. Elements of the Plan should include, but need not be limited to:

1. Analysis of How Economic Development Is Conducted Locally

a. Economic Development Team Member profiles and current roles

i. In addition to the City of Wooster municipal government, the community’s Economic Development Team Members include the Wayne County Economic Development Council, the Wooster City School District, Main Street Wooster, the Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce, the Wayne County Planning Department, and TeamNEO/JobsOhio.

b. Inventory of Economic Development Tools (Incentives, Development Policies)

c. Inventory of Sites and Infrastructure to Support Economic Development

d. Industry Cluster, Macroeconomics, Demographics, and Workforce Analyses

e. Wooster Business Retention and Expansion Profile

f. Wooster Business Attraction and Marketability Profile

2. Analysis on Industry Cluster, Macroeconomics, Workforce, and Resident Demographics

3. Strategic Plan Process

a. Comparative Analysis of City of Wooster’s Economic Development resources with Peer Communities (programs available, staffing, and level of service)

b. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

c. Goals Setting with Measurable Outcomes

i. Goals to increase prosperity for local residents, businesses, and start-ups.

ii. Goals to enhance economic resilience for the community.

iii. Goals to expand the community’s profile and marketability

iv. Goals to promote real estate sites for new development or reinvestment

4. Coordinated Action Plan

a. Roles and plan of action for the community’s Economic Development Team

5. Evaluation and performance metrics

6. Ongoing Plan for collaboration


The consultant should provide a digital copy in Adobe PDF format. All data and information that has been collected through the process shall also be provided in digital copies, including database files and master documents in .csv format or other mutually agreeable accessible format. All relevant geographic information system (GIS)-derived maps shall be provided in GIS format, including their associated data.


Proposals shall be submitted to the City of Wooster Economic Development Office electronically as a single PDF document formatted to print on letter-sized paper without scaling, and shall be limited to a total of 12 pages in length, excluding the RFP Professional Services Register Form. Proposals should include:

1. Completed RFP Professional Services Register Form (obtain from:

2. Cover letter

3. Statement of project understanding

4. Qualifications of firm/project team

a. Please provide a description.

5. Strategy and implementation plan which accomplishes the Strategic Plan Elements

a. A plan and cost for specifically addressing said elements as stated must be included.

b. In addition to providing the above within proposals, consultants are welcomed and encouraged to propose other strategic plan elements to consider.

6. Timeline. The City anticipates approximately a three–month period to complete the effort.

7. References for at least three similar projects completed during the past five years

8. Detailed fee proposal including a complete list of costs per task, expected reimbursable expenses and a total fee for the proposal. Each component of the work program should be itemized and hourly rates, travel, meetings, etc. should be included. The City has estimated approximately $25,000 for this project.


Firms selected for interviews will be chosen on the basis of their apparent ability to best meet the overall expectations of the City. The City reserves the right to reject any and all submittals. The following parameters will be used to evaluate the submittals (in no particular order of priority):

• Responsiveness to RFP criteria and ability or capabilities to deliver on outlined objectives

• Quality and strength of the RFP plan

• Basic knowledge of the community and understanding of the project its objectives

• Experience and quality of past similar economic development strategic planning efforts

• Qualifications and expertise in economic development programming for communities

• Consensus building experience working with diverse communities

• Cost estimate/range


The City of Wooster’s Bidding Information,, is the official source for this RFP and any clarifications. The schedule is as follows:


• Deadline for questions or requests for clarifications January 18, 2022

• Any clarifications issued will be posted by January 24, 2022

• Proposals are due as a PDF emailed by January 31, 2022 at 5:00pm to

o For files exceeding 20MB in size, please send a downloadable file link instead.

o Contact: Jonathan Millea, AICP, CEcD, Development Coordinator (P: 330.263.5250 | E: | A: 538 N. Market St., Wooster, Ohio 44691.)

• Finalist interviews week of February 14, 2022.

For additional community details, including economic development partners’ information, please visit the City of Wooster’s Economic Development Office online at Proposal must specifically address the Strategic Plan Elements and not exceed 12 pages (excluding registration form).

RFP Request by:






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