February 2009
Our initial newsletter did not link to the below article. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Resetting the Economy
The past three months have seen a precipitous drop in production, a staggering loss of jobs, and an unprecedented decline in consumer spending. As the map below illustrates, the nation's economic problems are widespread. While a few regions are still bucking the trend, especially in Texas, the overall picture is bleak. The current situation cannot help but make us think about how we got here, how the future will unfold, and what our options for dealing with it will be. It is in this context that we raise the question: What would it mean to "reset" the economy? Click here to read more.
Project Round-Up
TIP Strategies works across the country to help communities, regions, and states build on their assets, challenge old ways of thinking, and encourage options for sustainable economic success. Look what we're working on.
Council Bluffs logoTIP Strategies is currently working with the City of Council Bluffs to prepare a regional economic development strategic plan. Situated in Southwest Iowa, the City of Council Bluffs has experienced steady employment and population growth over the past two decades, after an extended period of decline in the 1970s and 1980s. Factors contributing to this growth include the city's central location within the growing Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area; its proximity to critical transportation nodes; and its successful gaming industry. TIP is assisting the city in establishing specific economic development goals, policies, and actions to address the city's lack of commercial office space and sites ready for industrial development; retaining and attracting talent in professional jobs; and defining the city's image both inside and outside the region. The city intends to incorporate TIP's findings and recommendations into its revised comprehensive plan. The plan will be presented in March 2009.
KABA logo
The Kenosha Area Business Alliance (KABA) has engaged TIP Strategies -- along with Robert Hess of NKF Consulting -- to assist in the development of a strategic plan and target marketing study for Kenosha County. Home to approximately 165,000 residents, Kenosha County is located in southeast Wisconsin and is strategically positioned within the Chicago-Milwaukee Corridor. While the region has seen significant growth in recent years, there are also economic vulnerabilities that must be considered.
The plan will address issues critical to the long-term economic vitality of the county. These include:

       business retention and consolidation,
       the expansion of industrial/commercial real estate,
       economic development "brand awareness",
       downtown revitalization,
       industry diversification,
       business and education collaboration, and
       talent retention and development.
The plan is expected to be unveiled in late spring 2009.
WFS LogoWorkforce Solutions of the Lower Rio Grande Valley engaged TIP Strategies to conduct a business intelligence survey. As part of this work, TIP oversaw a phone survey of 500 businesses in the three-country region regarding hiring practices and training needs. The results of the survey will be used to inform Workforce Solutions' program delivery over the coming year. In the next phase of the project, TIP will help the agency launch an online version of the survey. Findings from this survey will be used to validate findings from scientific survey, enhance the agency's existing database of employers, identify potential prospects for training, and build awareness of business-focused services among employers and partner organizations.

new braunfelsComal County, the Greater New Braunfels Chamber, the City of New Braunfels, and other area organizations have hired TIP Strategies to better understand the talent needs of area employers. Located on the I-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio, Comal County is a rapidly growing area. Based on research, an area talent survey, employer interviews and focus group meetings, TIP will develop strategies to enhance the area's ability to prepare, retain, and attract talent needed to support the community's economic vitality. The project will also address how different segments of the population relate to work and place. This will allow the city, county, and other area stakeholders to make better decisions about education and training; city planning; human resource management; and economic development.  
What We're Reading @ TIP 
The staff at TIP Strategies often has spur-of-the-moment conversations about what we're reading. Here is our latest recommended reads: 
  "The Great Crash 1929" - John Kenneth Galbraith
The current economic crisis is schooling us in the fundamentals of economics - whether we are interested or not. And no one can observe the events of October 2008 without being put in mind of the Great Depression and the Crash of 1929. We have to wonder what Professor Galbraith, who died in 2006, would have made of current events. 
Even those with only a passing interest in historical events will find this book bracing. In less than 200 pages he captures both the mood of the late 1920s and the run-up to the market's collapse. The last chapter ("Cause and Consequence") is a must-read. It is here that we are invited to ask whether the Crash itself was enough to cause the Depression. It is a timely question. The aftermath of that Crash is even more disturbing as we struggle with stimulus packages and initiatives not taken then. By 1933, one of four workers was unemployed, and in 1938 it was still one in five. If read several months ago, the book may have given the impression that the fraud and corruption of the late '20s was unique to that time. But that was before the present-day Madoff scandal came to light. In short, Galbraith brilliantly captures the events of the 1920s, making the parallels between that time and today all the more eerie. 
"The Ten Commandments of Community Leadership"
- Maury Forman and Michelle Harvey

This is the latest in a series of economic development primers by Maury Forman. In a profession that sorely needs more training, more clarity, and a better sense of humor, Maury provides a service not available anywhere else. Following a format that typically includes the cartoon artwork of David Horsey (a well-known figure in the Seattle print media), Maury sums up volumes of work with a series of pithy admonitions. Leadership - at the community level - begins with vision and ends with a commitment to develop future leaders. While we may quibble about what was left out, or what was redundant, the fact remains that we have precious little to draw upon when we want to educate our politicians and our agency heads about the importance of leadership. Click here to read more.
Any recommendations for us? Send your favorite articles, books, podcasts, blogs, or videos to TIP Strategies.
Speaking Engagements 
Our team members regularly present on issues surrounding economic development. Contact us if you would like to have TIP Strategies as part of your next event.
Tom Stellman, President & CEO at TIP Strategies, and Karen Beard, a Project Director at TIP Strategies, will be intructors for Texas Economic Development Council's Basic Economic Development Course Feburary 16-18, 2009 in Austin, Texas.
Jon Roberts, Managing Director of TIP Strategies, is speaking at the International Economic Development Council's Introduction to Economic Development Training course in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, February 18-20, 2009.
Tom Stellman recently moderated a panel on Talent Development Strategies for Defense Communities at the Association of Defense Communities' Winter Forum.


Who We Are: TIP Strategies works with communities throughout the country to develop innovative, publicly supported economic development strategies.

What We Do: TIP provides clients with the tools they need to better understand their economy and the alternatives available to them. We offer a host of economic development services:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Impact Analysis
  • Workforce Analysis
  • Industry Cluster Analysis 
  • Entrepreneurship Strategies
  • Defense Communities

Our Approach:  At TIP Strategies, we believe that talent, innovation, and place provide essential building blocks for economic vitality. We realize that economic development cannot take place in a vacuum. While traditional tools and conventional approaches continue to have their place, we believe that successful strategies require a broader, more inclusive viewpoint.

Our clients attest that our commitment extends beyond any assignment we undertake.  TIP has steadily built a reputation for progressive thinking, client relations, and personal attention to the details of implementation.

We'd like to hear how TIP can be of assistance to you.

7000 N. MoPac, Suite 305
Austin, TX 78731






TIP Strategies, Inc. - 7000 North MoPac, Suite 305 - Austin, TX 78731 - 512.343.9113