The town of Watertown wanted quantitative analyses conducted to determine where strategic investments and resources could be made to enhance its economic vitality.
The analyses would lead to the identification of economic base industries, essentially the drivers of the economy. The comprehensive competitive assessment of these industries would be used to identify which industries may be gaining or losing competitive advantage and which of those industries are best suited for targeted economic development and business support. This analysis sought to answer the following questions:
- Where are the businesses located?
- What has happened as a result of the recent economic recession and have the number of businesses increased or decreased?
- What are the region’s key industries and are they growing or shrinking?
- How does the business mix of Watertown compare with surrounding towns and what are the larger regional trends?
- How have wages per worker, a proxy for productivity, been affected economic recession?
- How may the recently passed “CT Jobs Bill” and the state’s current manufacturing reimbursement legislation affect long-term economic growth in Watertown?
- What is the underlying structure of the local economy?
CERC submitted an in-depth analysis of the community, including demographic, economic and industry profiles of Watertown that identified industries with both locally and regional established or emerging competitive advantage, as well as the impact of recent state policy initiatives. The report and presentation of findings to the town’s EDC provided context and beginning discussions for the phase two analysis.
The analysis led to the determination of which industries might best fit Watertown. These results will be the basis for the development of a targeted industry list across a broad spectrum of industries as a way to generate logical and likely economic development markets for the town.