Strategic Plan 2022-2027

At its meeting of March 2nd, 2022, the 495/MetroWest Partnership’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to adopt a five-year strategic plan for the organization:

The plan was developed with the guidance of Ann Budner of ABudner Strategy Consulting, with assistance from Jay Vogt of Peoplesworth in facilitating stakeholder engagement. The process began in the Spring, with the formation of a Strategic Planning Committee. The committee consisted of:

  • Alison Field-Juma, Executive Director, OARS: For the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers
  • Greg Bunn, Executive Director, MassHire Metro South/West
  • Karen Chapman, President & CEO, Corridor 9/495 Chamber of Commerce
  • State Representative Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston)
  • Daniel Feeney, Principal, Vice-President, Beals + Thomas  
  • James Freas, Economic Development Director, Town of Natick
  • State Representative Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury)
  • Kristen Las, Assistant Town Manager, Town of Shrewsbury
  • Shelby Marshall, Select Board Member, Town of Westborough 
  • Rob Nagi, Principal, Senior Project Manager, VHB     
  • Jason Palitsch, Executive Director, The 495/MetroWest Partnership
  • Beth Reynolds, Economic Development & Community Outreach Director, Town of Ashland
  • Trish Settles, Deputy Director, Central Mass. Regional Planning Commission
  • Jeremy Thompson, Manager of Policy & Planning, The 495/MetroWest Partnership

Planning Process
The planning work was divided into four phases, conducted entirely virtually:

  • Initial development of needs assessment process with the Strategic Planning Committee
  • Virtual Needs Assessment with the entire Board of Directors, membership of which is balanced among key stakeholder groups
  • Discussion of Guiding Principles (Mission, Vision and Values), Goals, and Strategies with the Strategic Planning Committee
  • Completion of the plan by our consultant and Partnership staff
The entire process took five months. Ann Budner of ABudner Strategy Consulting facilitated the planning process and Jay Vogt of Peoplesworth led the needs assessment.

The plan will be presented to the Partnership's Board of Directors at its March 2022 quarterly meeting for potential adoption.

Plan Overview
The plan contains introductory materials including an overview of the process followed, a history of the organization, and information on the 495/MetroWest region. A summary of the Needs Assessment, as well as an analysis of key strategic issues, is also included. The plan includes new Guiding Principles for the organization (Mission, Vision, Values), as well as five Strategic Goals identified as key to the organization’s, and the region’s, long-term success. Each Strategic Goal also includes more specific objectives, which in turn contain specific strategies and tactics. 

Guiding Principles
The plan includes updated Mission, Vision, and Values statements for the 495/MetroWest Partnership:

Mission: The Partnership leads the advancement of the 495/MetroWest region as an exceptional location for people, businesses, and communities.

Vision: The 495/MetroWest region enjoys sustainable economic growth, well-stewarded natural and built resources, and diverse transportation and housing choices. Together, these assets make our region a desirable place for all to live and work.

Values: We consider our values as we decide how to best advance the interests of our region and our stakeholders.

    • Collaboration and Innovation – The Partnership draws strength from the breadth and depth of our public and private sector stakeholders. We advocate for their common interests and work together in pursuit of innovative, thoughtful, shared solutions to regional challenges.
    • Economic Development – Our approach to economic development holds that our region’s transportation, housing, water, energy, and workforce resources are key to supporting strong businesses and continued growth; we advocate for our regional needs on these key issues to foster a climate that is desirable for both businesses and residents.
    • Complementary Growth – A skilled and educated workforce, affordable and workforce housing, accessible and reliable transportation, and effective management of resources go hand in hand. These are both economic development issues and quality-of-life issues.
    • Stewardship of Natural Resources – We advocate for thoughtful utilization of water, land, and energy resources and reducing our vulnerability and contribution to climate change; these principles are critical to the health of the public and the economy.
    • Equity and Inclusion – Our region’s increasing diversity is an asset. Anyone who chooses to live and/or work here should be treated respectfully and equitably, and be welcomed to participate fully in all of our 36 communities. The Partnership is committed, together with our stakeholders, to eliminating systemic barriers where encountered in our work.

Strategic Goals
The plan includes five Strategic Goals identified as key to the organization’s, and the region’s, long-term success:

  1. Operational Efficiency & Effectiveness: Strengthen the Partnership’s unique ability to speak for the needs of the 495/MetroWest region
  2. Transportation: Foster geographic equity by continuing to serve as the leading advocate for transportation investment in our region
  3. Natural & Built Resources: Advocate for and coordinate initiatives that build the sustainable use of natural and built resources in the context of climate change and other regional constraints
  4. Housing: Identify a regional strategy to increase housing diversity, including affordable and workforce housing
  5. Workforce Development: Strive to meet the workforce development needs of the region, including employer and job seeker needs