The region -- Virginia Association of Planning Districts Region 16 -- includes the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Spotsylvania, Stafford, Caroline and King George.
Christine Chmura, president of Chmura Economics & Analytics, reviewed cluster data in her keynote presentation. "Clusters are those indexes you need to go after to see employment and capital investment grow in your region," she told those gathered.
Report: Target Cluster Study Findings
Chmura's study identified six clusters anticipated to experience the most growth in the region's immediate future. She said these were the 'priority targets' on which regional leaders should focus.
- Business Services
- Finance, Insurance and Real Estate
and Life Sciences
- Information and Communications
- Public Administration
- The region's historic average annual growth rate is 2.4 percent, compared with 1.1 percent for the Commonwealth and a little less than 1 percent nationally.
- Employment growth is up 1.7 percent from a year ago.
Spears did have warnings for area leaders, however. "More than 40 percent of our region's workforce commutes outside the region for employment," she said. "Our current land use plans promote sprawl and crawl. Transportation issues have plagued our region for years, and now impact our ability to move around the region as well as up and down I-95."
"Our future prosperity is threatened without transportation and infrastructure improvement," she said.
'We need opportunities for young professionals in the region to stay put and not be stuck in gridlock," UMW President Richard Hurley told summit attendees.
Fred Rankin, Mary Washington Healthcare president and CEO, outlined the goals and strategies moving forward.
- Infrastructure Development
- Business Development
- Workforce Planning
- Regional Collaboration
Related Story: Young Professionals Choosing to Stay in Region, Survey Finds
Follow Fredericksburg Patch for the latest news and events.
Facebook | Twitter