On Sept. 8, the Camden Economic Development Advisory Committee will hold the first in a series of planning sessions on Camden’s economic future. This first session will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the High Mountain Hall at 5 Mountain Street.

These sessions, along with additional work by the committee, will provide the foundation for a strategic action plan for economic development in Camden. This first session will be both educational and participatory. In addition to information being developed by Camden staff, previous analysis concerning economic development will be presented. These presentations will be followed by a facilitated strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats session.

Camden is rich in economic development planning and reports. Many reports, such as the Camden Working Waterfront, the Blue Ribbon Task Force Final Report and Recommendations, the Apollo Tannery Site, Report and Recommendations, and the Camden Comprehensive Plan provide great ideas and direction. Recent reports, like the Ragged Mountain Recreation Area Redevelopment Plan, provide future direction for important venues in the community. These reports, and their recommendations, will become the starting point for the strategic planning process.

The goal of this strategic plan will be to provide the community with focus and direction as it relates to economic development efforts. Starting with the SWOT analysis, the strategic plan will work to identify the opportunities and barriers to specific actions that the community needs to take to achieve its recommendations. It will, in turn, establish a schedule, benchmarks where appropriate, and identify the key stakeholders responsible for each action. Most importantly, the strategic plan will organize these actions by priority, providing a clear path for the community to follow.

The Sept. 8 SWOT session is the opportunity to influence the future of Camden economic development activities. Please come and share ideas. For any further questions, feel free to contact Mathew Eddy at the Camden Town Office at 236-3353 or at Meddy@eatonpeabodyconsulting.com.