Pontiac Economic Recovery Strategy
Recovery Plan Empowers Community and Builds on Inherent Potential for Growth
With the help of a federal grant in 2014, Oakland County, Michigan reached out to OHM Advisors to help craft a strategy for the City of Pontiac’s recovery from economic distress. Over the last several decades a failed urban renewal project and the massive loss of automotive companies, assembly plants and jobs drove Pontiac into state emergency financial management. Formerly an industrial hub, the city and its residents endured years of high unemployment rates, low median income and rampant community blight.
Our planning team used a unique approach to rewrite the economic narrative for Pontiac through a highly-involved, collaborative process led by a steering committee of city and county department representatives and Downtown Business Association members, supported by a diverse advisory group from area businesses and organizations. Using an objective evaluation of the city’s current economic conditions and a community assessment based on residents’ local insight and opinions, we established six plan pillars that incorporate the opportunities in Pontiac—such as building on self-employed, entrepreneurial workers and focusing on the city’s growing healthcare and knowledge-based services.
The plan creates an attainable roadmap for the city’s economic turnaround. It details practical strategies that encourage connectivity and financial support from local and regional organizations. These strategies aim to grow business support services, strengthen neighborhood and advocacy groups, and increase access to job skills training programs. Already, projects outlined in the plan and implemented by a committed mayor and city government have made a significant impact and built tremendous momentum toward Pontiac’s overall economic recovery effort.
Project Highlights: economic development planning, urban revitalization, community redevelopment