Brian Cole of Building Communities Issues National Business Plan

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25-year economic development veteran Brian Cole has launched Building Communities economic development strategic planning to help American communities reverse their economic downturn, create jobs, and improve their overall quality of life.

Building Communities is a new and better method to develop a community-based economic development strategic plan.

Economic development expert Brian Cole has issued a business plan that calls for the in-state presence of Building Communities in every state in America by 2015. Building Communities is a new, objective, comprehensive, and expeditious approach for communities to envision and enact the future of their choice.

Until the development of Building Communities, American cities could only use subjective approaches to selecting community and economic development strategies and building capacity to implement such plans.

Building Communities changes this dynamic by offering very objective tools that communities can logically use to determine the strategies that they will have the best likelihood of success with in creating jobs and improving their local quality of life.

Brian Cole’s business plan recognizes that the traditional private sector approach of developing plans that take one year to build and cost $100,000-$300,000 will not work in this recessionary time. Alternately, the business plan calls for in-state partnerships in all 50 states that can deliver between five and 50 plans per state in a matter of months at substantially less cost.

Such partnerships will likely come from six different sources.

University-Led Initiatives. Universities seek to positively impact the state or region that they principally serve. The Building Communities research function can be especially appealing to universities.

State Certified Cities Programs. States have an interest in the capacity of their respective communities to package and manage projects and initiatives. Unfortunately, states cannot always count on the individual communities to manage financial and technical resources well. States, therefore, create certified cities programs to stimulate increased local capacity for community and economic development. The objective nature of Building Communities is especially beneficial here.

Utility Leadership Projects. In many states, electric utilities play a significant role to support economic development initiatives knowing that increased business activity means increased electric load throughout their service territory. Utility programs are frequently focused on the ability of localities to advance business development initiatives.

Federal Grant-Funded Projects. Several federal agencies focus their resources on economic development initiatives. The federal government has an interest in stimulating the planning capacity of states and regions, and ensuring that federal investment is wisely directed in infrastructure and the economy. Recent federal investments in rural sustainability planning fit Building Communities very well.

Foundation Initiatives. General foundations typically issue responsive grants and/or foundation initiatives. Foundations that are leading initiatives focus on the capacity of communities and their ability to advance community development priorities. Foundations need an objective, measurable approach to investing in communities.

Building Communities Non-Profit. If a state does not have any of the five opportunities listed above, Building Communities can initiate services on a statewide or regional basis within that state.

“Any of these six options will serve the respective state very well,” said Brian Cole, President of Building Communities. “Whether it is a state or federal agency, an educational institution, a utility, or a private foundation, Building Communities is positioned to be an excellent collaborator to bring strength and vision to localities.”

The Building Communities strategic planning approach has been featured in newspapers and economic development journals from coast-to-coast. Advantages to communities include:

  •     A menu of 25 Executable Strategies
  •     The Key Success Factor Test which allows communities to select their most viable strategies
  •     The Community Organizer Tool which allows the community to self-assess and direct capacity-improving initiatives for implementation
  •     Specific organizing, planning, and execution Essential Action Steps relevant for each strategy
  •     A built-in implementation process ensuring action is taken

“Building Communities is a new and better method to develop a community-based economic development strategic plan,” according to Cole. Decentralizing operations into all 50 states is designed to have a nationwide presence by 2015.

About Building Communities: Building Communities is an economic development strategic planning company assisting communities throughout the United States to envision and enact their future through unique, proprietary methods and software that expedites the ability of communities to select strategies that they can succeed with to create jobs and improve their overall quality of life. President, Author, and community and economic development specialist, Brian Cole, brings 25 years of experience in planning and implementing successful projects, initiatives, and strategies. Find out more at the Building Communities website or read the blog.

About Brian Cole: Brian Cole has 25 years of experience in planning and implementing economic development projects, initiatives, and strategies as a local and state official, county commissioner, and as a private sector consultant and author. More on Brian can be found at


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