Charting Kitsap's Economic Path: KEDA's "ONE Kitsap" Five-Year Plan For Economic Vitality

Charting Kitsap's Economic Path: KEDA's "ONE Kitsap"  Five-Year Plan For Economic Vitality Main Photo

14 May 2024

Featured Content, One Kitsap, Economy

In celebration of Economic Development Month, the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (“KEDA”) is embarking on a bold, ambitious journey to transform Kitsap County's economic landscape.

 Dubbed "One Kitsap," this five-year strategic initiative aims to deliver tangible results for the region through public and private partnerships. One Kitsap sets the stage for Kitsap's economic future with a clear focus on creating opportunities, fostering collaboration, and building sustainable capacity.

Setting the Stage: The Need for One Kitsap

As the region continues to evolve since the pandemic, KEDA recognizes the importance of aligning its efforts with Kitsap's unique economic development needs and opportunities. According to Joe Morrison, Executive Director of Kitsap EDA, "One Kitsap is an intentional approach, rooted in long-term thinking and ongoing execution, focusing on results and accountability to stakeholders."

The initiative's goals revolve around economic vitality, prosperity, and sustainability, aiming to increase the region's jobs, incomes, and GDP. One Kitsap is a platform for Kitsap to become more self-determining rather than being solely influenced by Greater Seattle, the State of Washington, and the federal government.

Collaborative Partnerships: The Foundation of One Kitsap

One Kitsap thrives on collaboration with diverse stakeholders, including private employers, local governments, tribal nations, educational institutions, and community organizations. Morrison emphasized, "KEDA is a public-private partnership, so our work efforts rarely happen in silos. Connecting and collaborating has long been KEDA's DNA and what we do best."

Through ongoing partnerships and targeted strategies, One Kitsap brings together various sectors to address economic challenges and seize opportunities. These efforts include coordinating and developing necessary infrastructure, assisting businesses, and fostering workforce development programs.

Achieving Impact: Five-Year Goals and Outcomes

The goals of One Kitsap are ambitious yet achievable, focusing on the following:

  • Commercial Space: Increasing overall industrial and commercial inventory by 350,000 square feet in buildings.
  • Vacancy Rates: Decreasing vacancy rates at major employers by 25% from 2022 highs.
  • GDP Growth: Increasing Kitsap County GDP by 3%.

Morrison explained how these goals will be achieved: "One Kitsap funds enable us to execute dozens of efforts across five years designed to increase economic opportunity in our community. We'll track progress through partnerships with Western Washington University and direct monitoring of our interactions and impact."


Learn more about One Kitsap

Building Long-Term Capacity for KEDA

One Kitsap places significant emphasis on establishing the organizational capacity for KEDA to deliver impactful solutions for years to come. While the initiative focuses on targeted efforts and programs, it also aims to build a more sustainable organization capable of serving the community effectively. Morrison noted, "All these tactics, programs, and initiatives have one thing in common: They strongly contribute to the economic vitality of this community."

The success of One Kitsap hinges on continuous communication and updates to stakeholders, with semiannual briefings and annual meetings to showcase progress and achievements. Morrison affirms, "It's true OneKitsap does put us on the path of being a more impactful economic development organization in our community—and yes, I hope that as part of this process, this virtuous cycle, we're a more sustainable organization as a result. But in the end, all that means is one thing: even if we build and reinforce the organization, it's so that it's the right organization that can most impactfully serve our community. And we're excited to get started."

One Kitsap is poised to transform Kitsap County's economic landscape over the next five years, focusing on collaboration, results-oriented strategies, and sustainable growth. Through intentional partnerships and targeted initiatives, KEDA aims to drive economic vitality and prosperity for the region, paving the way for a brighter future for Kitsap County.

To know more about One Kitsap contact us here.