Innovation-Based Economic Development Strategy for Holyoke and Pioneer Valley
For the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, HDR led the development of an innovation-based economic development strategy in Holyoke and the Pioneer Valley. The key objectives were to: 1) identify industry opportunities and economic growth that can be achieved by leveraging the benefits of the Massachusetts Green High-Performance Computing Center and other key local and regional assets; and 2) develop an action-oriented economic development strategy for the City of Holyoke and the Pioneer Valley region to achieve the economic potential of these initiatives and opportunities.
Key elements of this strategic plan included:
- Competitive Economic Assessment and Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis—HDR developed a baseline of economic conditions and a SWOT analysis focused on socioeconomic and industry trends, and competitive factors such as workforce, site readiness and permitting, transportation, energy and broadband.
- Energy Strategy Development—Based on hydroelectric power, Holyoke has a unique competitive advantage in New England. This strategy examined the renewable energy options in Holyoke and opportunities for production, research, entrepreneurship and manufacturing.
- Industry Cluster Strategy—HDR identified industries with growth potential consistent with local/regional assets and the supporting strategies needed for the promising target industries in digital technology and information technology services, precision manufacturing, energy research and urban agriculture.
- Innovation Ecosystem Strategy—HDR developed specific strategies in the areas of talent/workforce development, entrepreneurial support, site readiness and land use, and economic development delivery and marketing.
- Public and Stakeholder Input—The strategies and action plan were informed by extensive input from the Innovation District Task Force, industry and site location experts, and the local/regional community of economic development, workforce and real estate leaders.