MARKETING RFP ISSUED BY CITY OF WASECA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
The goal of this website design and content marketing development project is to establish a strong market presence by offering a value-added web experience and broader market exposure for stakeholders that will increase visibility, value, and brand recognition to ultimately yield greater business investment in Waseca in the form of:
• More manufacturing businesses paying exceptional wages for their sector,
• Technology leading businesses, i.e., agricultural and medical technology, and med-tech supply chain related businesses, and
• Related expanded workforce, jobs, and capital gains within Waseca
• Other opportunities that emerge that take advantage of Waseca’s competitive advantages
• An increase in the median income and employment opportunities for the broadest array of residents,
• An increase in the city’s commercial and industrial tax base, and
• A further diversified manufacturing base
The new website and related content marketing should attract decision makers by easily delivering quality, up-to-date information and become the primary source that directs site selection consultants, investors, business executives, and entrepreneurs (regionally, nationally, and internationally) considering starting, relocating, or expanding facilities. The website design for Waseca’s economic development effort should reflect the city’s capability, pride in our community, and focus on Waseca’s business friendly mindset and strategic location. The website design should heavily utilize photos and infographics to make supporting data, demographics, workforce, etc. easy to use and retain. Waseca will use the website and associated content marketing as a tool to promote these resources to target audiences. Information should be both visually pleasing and easy to access, delivering directly to our main target audiences, stakeholders, allies and partners.
Economic Impacts due to Recent Employer Closures Printing has been a significant component of Waseca’s manufacturing industry since the 1940s. In 2008, at its highest point between 2001 and 2016, printing employed 1,200 workers in Waseca. Printing, at the time, accounted for 51 percent of all manufacturing jobs. The decline in printing jobs corresponds to a decline in manufacturing jobs in the community. By 2016, printing employment had fallen to 480 jobs and accounted for 30 percent of all manufacturing jobs. However, the concentration of printing jobs remained high. Of the total 445 jobs affected by the Quad Graphics (formerly Brown Printing) plant closure, 110 are at businesses other than the printing plant. The net loss of 720 printing jobs since 2014, including the nearly 400 lost during the 2017 plant closure, has affected 965 jobs total throughout the local economy. These job losses equate to a loss of an estimated $150.7 million in output, including $50.9 million in labor income. Salaries and wages are estimated to have generated $23,700,000 annually to the local economy. The closure of the Quad Graphics plant in Waseca caused a decline in economic output of $70.1 million in Waseca County, which is a significant loss to a community of just less than 10,000 people.
Economic Recovery Grant In 2019 the City of Waseca received a grant from the federal Economic Development Administration for the staffing of an Economic Development Recovery Coordinator to assist in the mitigation of under-employment impacts caused by employer closures. The position will attract outside business investment to the community, lead the reuse and redevelopment in city’s industrial zoned areas, help grow and expand local manufacturing, promote local workforce and industry assets, and develop and promote the city’s Opportunity Zone. Designated Opportunity Zone Part of the City of Waseca has been designated by the Department of the Treasury as an Opportunity Zone to encourage long-term investments in a low-income area, as established by Congress in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017. The goal of Opportunity Zone is to improve economic outcomes of these area by incentivizing investors through the temporary deferral of capital gains taxes. Investors can re-invest their unrealized capital gains, tax deferred, into the Opportunity Zone. Opportunity Funds are an investment vehicle that is set up as either a partnership or corporation for investing in eligible property that is in an Opportunity Zone. The City has not really promoted its Opportunity Zone and considers this economic development website / marketing initiative as having great potential to forward that effort. The Need to Establish Economic Development Website and Related Content Marketing The economic development website and related content marketing must serve a more comprehensive and ambitious economic development approach, especially considering the assistance the city has sought and is receiving, and the tremendous work that has gone into an economic development program aimed at turning the tide of job losses and employer closures. Our current website, while serving residents very well, falls short of communicating that Waseca is a premiere location for business. The City of Waseca, Minnesota is requesting proposals to identify a professional consultant qualified to plan, execute and deliver a new / modernized design for Waseca’s economic development portion of its website, and execute related content marketing services, placing functional and promotional information to tell the story of Waseca as a great place for locating a business. The consultant must have demonstrated experience in relevant project management and expertise with the best practices (including development, deployment and maintenance) regarding successful website design specific to economic development activities. The selected vendor shall be required to sign an agreement which the City determines to be fair, competitive, and reasonable. Waseca is located in south-central Minnesota, seventy-eight miles south of Minneapolis-St. Paul, twenty-eight miles east of Mankato, and fifty-five miles west of Rochester. We are a hard-working community with a thriving, diversified, and entrepreneurial local economy. Services provided by the City of Waseca and its Economic Development Authority, in working with its economic development partners from the local to national levels include, retention and expansion of existing businesses; business location and site selection services; business consulting; workforce development; retail recruitment; entrepreneurial/small business development; and targeted marketing for business and industrial recruitment/attraction.
Friday April 16, 2021 4:30 p.m. CDT
Paul Snook, Economic Development Recovery Coordinator at PaulS@ci.waseca.mn.us.