What are the 3-5 most important issues you need to consider for updating the initiative and why they are they important for the future?


Note: Please answer each question completely and thoroughly (all parts).  The answer will be graded on the breadth and depth of the answer.  Be sure and cover all of the relevant parts of the topic (breadth) and include enough detail to show that you have an “A” understand the material (depth).  Use lecture notes, articles, and personal research to develop your answers.  Also, where appropriate, consider the context of the question.  For example, would the type of situations or conditions influence your answer?

Warning!!  Properly cite all outside sources used using APA format.  Failure to cite sources is plagiarism which is not acceptable and can carry severe consequences.

  1. You are an economic development professional for a community and have been asked by the local university to deliver an hour-long lecture to a graduate community development class about the impact of entrepreneurship and business activity on community economic development.
  • Make a list of the three to four major learning objectives of your lecture.  Note:  Learning objectives are what you want the student to learn, be able to do, etc. from attending.  In-other-words summarize the major takeaways from attending.
  • Develop a topic outline of the presentation.  Explain the general content of each topic area and why the topic is included (i.e., justify its inclusion in the presentation).  Include the approximate time each topic area will take to deliver.  Note: It is good to use an outline format.

Note:  Another way to look at this question is to ask, what would a community developer need to know about the value of entrepreneurship and business activity to the community and why it should or should not be encouragedHint:  The lecture notes and readings are a good place to start.  25 points.

  • You have just started a consulting firm that helps cities and towns develop strategic plans for fostering economic development programs.  The city of Kerrville, Texas has contacted your firm and requested a proposal (no longer than two pages) to help the Kerrville Economic Development Foundation and its board of directors to develop an economic development strategy for the city and surrounding area.  Explain in the proposal, 1) the value of the service you provide (the value of strategic planning), 2) the process used (the steps you would use), and 3) some preliminary economic development suggestions to catch their attention (opportunities based on community strengths).  You are not being asked to develop a plan, but develop a proposal of how it would be done by applying the strategic planning process.  Only the community can develop a plan.  A consultant is just a facilitator.  Remember, your firm is not the only firm submitting a proposal.

Note: Kerrville is a city of about 24,000 in population located about 60 miles northwest of San Antonio in Kerr County in the Texas hill country.  You need to target your proposal specifically for the city of Kerrville.  There is information about Kerrville available on the internet.  The lecture notes and some article readings will really help with this question.  Apply the information you have learned.  Hint: The question is asking you to apply the strategic management process to a specific situation. The question is about the process and not the specifics of any strategic plan.  Your role is to facilitate the process and to explain the process and how you would carry it out.  Your role, however, is impacted by the specific community and you need to take that into account.  25 points.

  • Although you are just starting your career as an economic development consultant, you have been “asked” to write a “white paper” suggesting “Next Steps” (i.e., looking at the future) for the Texas Governor’s Industry Cluster Initiative (click on link) – should the Initiative continue along its current path or should it begin developing new directions?  Remember the initiative started in 2005 and probably needs to be rethought after more than ten years.  This is not an invitation you can easily refuse.  As you think about what to write, you realize that you might be working in a variety of settings – from rural to urban, and anything in between.  As you plan your paper, address the following:
  • What are the 3-5 most important issues you need to consider for updating the initiative and why they are they important for the future?
  • Where do you think you might find research on those issues? 
  • And, do you have an idea of what you might propose for the future of the initiative?  (i.e. What are your conclusions?)

Note:  I’m not asking you to write the paper, simply to identify the key issues needing to be considered for updating the initiative, where you might find information on those issues, and if you have a sense of what you might suggest for a future direction.  Remember, the initiative was done several years ago and you are looking toward the future.

25 points

  • As a new consultant, you accept the task of directing a city’s effort to win the National Civic League’s All-American City award.  The two major issues the city leaders have identified as the key challenges to address are education and health.  Specifically, the educational attainment rates are very low and the costs of healthcare and health insurance are skyrocketing, especially because of the incidence of diabetes.  In fact, recently these two challenges have driven new and prospective businesses away from the city, which is why the city has approached you to help.  To solve these problems will require quality leadership and they want you to identify the leadership challenges.  Therefore, what are the leadership challenges that you foresee and what is your strategy for overcoming them? 

Note: The question is not about specific solutions to the education and health problems, but what type of leadership and strategy are required to face the challenges you identified that maybe encountered addressing the problems.  This is a leadership question and not a health care or education question.  You are identifying leadership issues the leader may face in dealing with the community and strategies for handling the challenges. Specific solutions to the healthcare and education problems are not necessary. Use the lecture notes and readings to help develop the answer.  25 points.

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