Strategic Plan

ACEDC Strategic Planning Efforts

In 2020, the ACEDC, in partnership with the Montrose Group, began to update the 2016 Strategic Plan. The purpose of this updated strategic plan was to identify the organization’s short, mid, and long-term goals, and to identify measurable objectives with broad strategies. The ACEDC stands to support living wage jobs in Athens County, increase land use and site development plans, support and expand industry, and increase opportunity for the citizens and businesses of Athens County.


Strategic Plan Tactics

In order to achieve continued success, the following goals need to be met: reducing the over-reliance on government and low-wage service jobs, and diversifying the Athens County economy. To achieve these goals, the ACEDC needs to enact these seven action steps:

  • Conduct industrial site inventory and identify potential development sites.
  • Work with the City of Athens to redevelop urban sites and attract developers to Athens.
  • Partner with other organizations to facilitate and coordinate a strategy to build STEM workforce programs to retain and attract tech talent.
  • Facilitate regular meetings between Ohio University, business leaders, and community leaders to address issues facing the region.
  • Pursue state and federal funding for the expansion of broadband infrastructure in Athens County and partner with a private sector entity to implement and utilize the funding.
  • Address the housing shortage in Athens County by working with Ohio University to develop a public-private partnership at the Ridges. Also working with the City to provide downtown mixed-use zoning, working to provide down payment assistance and rental subsidies, encouraging the City to provide tax abatement, and more downtown parking for mixed-use projects.
  • Focus on the development of the three Athens County opportunity zone sites.


2016 Strategic Plan Successes:

Since the 2016 strategic plan, the ACEDC has achieved considerable success. These successes include:

  • Working with the City of Athens to establish three Downtown Redevelopment Districts.
  • Implementing a more robust Business Retention & Expansion program with OhioSE. These BRE efforts generated total compensation impact of $36,000,000.
  • Development of the Theisen Industrial Park Site by having all ground studies completed through grant funding. An RFP was released, and a firm selected for the architecture and engineering of two speculative buildings, with the attraction of grant funding from JobsOhio for infrastructure funding.
  • Assisting OU with the Ridges site development plan, and the identification and recruitment of developers.
  • Securing over $3,000,000 from state & federal sources, which supported companies and funded
    business infrastructure improvements needed to facilitate job retention & creation.


Defining “Living Wage”:

The ACEDC board has determined $15/hour as an appropriate living wage. This not only expands the tax base, but improves the quality of life for Athens citizens. Companies that commit to this wage and offer acceptable benefits will be considered for economic development incentives and tax abatements.



Download and Read the 2020 ACEDC Strategic Plan:

ACEDC Strategic Plan Update FINAL_