Dec 19, 2011

MadREP Publishes New Report: ‘Advance Now’ Target Cluster Analysis

published the Advance Now Target Cluster Analysis, an assessment of the Madison Region’s employment concentrations and leading industries, as well as workforce and occupational strengths. This research is intended to identify the existing and emerging sectors with the greatest potential to spur employment growth.

The Target Cluster Analysis marks the completion of the second research phase of Advance Now: Madison Region’s Strategy for Economic Growth, a comprehensive, action-oriented regional economic development strategy that will systematically move the Madison Region’s economy forward.

Researched and written by consultants from Atlanta-based Market Street Services, the Target Cluster Analysis takes a “bottom up” approach to target identification, examining the attributes of the region’s workforce. This methodology measures occupational strengths, training capacity, infrastructure capacity, and quality of life concerns, as well as the more accustomed practice of measuring employment concentrations and the presence of top employers in potential target sectors.

Market Street Services analyzed the region’s occupational clusters and concentrations, reviewed regional industry-level wage and employment growth over two- and five-year spans, and assessed qualitative information attained during the stakeholder input process to develop five business sector targets.

Legacy targets are transitioning sectors in the regional economy with important historical influence and “next generation” potential:

  • Advanced Manufacturing (machinery & materials; pharmaceuticals & chemical; instruments & precision components)
  • Agriculture and Food Systems (plant & animal cultivation; food processing; food systems development & distribution)

Leading targets are mature sectors with immense opportunities for growth:

  • Health Care (medical care & wellness; health informatics; management & support operations)
  • Life Sciences (research, development, & testing; production & distribution)

Emerging targets are sectors with the potential to create further economic opportunities within the region:

  • Design and Technology (technology & software; design & communications; direct-to-consumer & specialty retail)

In each target cluster, Market Street has defined specific niche areas and cross-cluster opportunities to help focus economic development efforts. In addition, Travel and Experience is identified as an opportunity area (rather than a formal target) for the Madison Region.

Research conducted in the Competitive Assessment and Target Cluster phases will be used to determine draft goal areas as a basis for the Advance Now strategy. The draft goals will be presented and discussed at a Community Leadership Summit hosted by MadREP and Market Street Services on Tuesday, January 18, 2012, 1-3pm at the Sheraton Madison Hotel (706 John Nolen Drive, Madison). Input from this Summit will shape goals and objectives for the Advance Now strategy.

The final phase of the Advance Now development process culminates in April 2012 with a detailed implementation plan that includes one-to-five year action plans to be carried out by partners across the entire Madison Region.

Download the Target Cluster Analysis Executive Summary or Full Report.