Q: What takes 13,000 Coloradans, 8,500 online/survey responses, 64 counties, 50 work sessions, and six months to complete?
A: The "Colorado Blueprint," a plan announced Wednesday by Governor Hickenlooper to help reinvigorate Colorado's economy, grow businesses, and attract new jobs.
In a statement released Wednesday, Hickenlooper said of the plan, "Colorado has turned the typical economic development efforts on its head and created a plan with real benchmarks, measurable goals and concrete solutions to help every community create jobs and help businesses thrive."
The Blueprint details six major areas of focus: create a business-friendly climate; recruit, grow and retain businesses; increase access to capital; create and market a stronger Colorado brand; educate and train the workforce of the future; cultivate innovation and technology. Each major focus area then has four action steps.
In terms of breaking these down into more concrete, attainable goals, the plan emphasizes increasing Colorado's exports (both agriculture and tech), cutting red tape, increasing connectivity, and embracing the autonomy of local communities.
Outgoing economic development chief Dwayne Romero told 9News, "this is geared toward 24 specific tactical steps that all have measurable outcomes, timelines and responsibilities pinned to them. It's a start not a completion; it's supposed to live, not sit on the shelf."
While most of the initial coverage of the plan has been positive, The Durango Herald notes that several Western Slope counties requested that state government stop using local grant money to balance the budget; the plan makes no such promise.