Specifically, the consulting group started with an information review in order to learn more about the history and background of the region. Next, a Marketing Review of several key organizations was conducted, including the GMEP and PCEDC, as well as the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, to better understand how the region is currently marketed to target audiences. The consulting team visited the Greater Manhattan region and met with more than 50 stakeholders via interviews, focus groups, a workshop, and a community tour. After gathering this input and information, Avalanche developed recommendations regarding target industries for the region and described regional strengths and strategies for the continued development of these industries.
The report generated development recommendations and outlined the region's abilities to lead in the following industries:
- Animal Health & Science – This industry focuses on livestock production and protecting the well-being of livestock animals. This includes regulating animal products, performing veterinary services, animal health research, and laboratory testing. A possible niche sector for this industry pet food nutrition and production.
- Biosecurity & Food Safety – This industry includes businesses that research and develop products that protect the human, livestock and crops from biological terrorism, infectious disease, and other threats. Activities includes studying infectious diseases that affect humans, livestock, and crops, testing vaccines, and modeling pathogen outbreaks and disease control methods.
- Computer Science & Information Technology – This industry encompasses software production, Internet services, computer systems design, data centers, data security, and technology consulting services. Computer Science & IT is one of the fastest growing industries in the nation and is a staple for all industries.
- Crop & Grain Science & Milling – This industry includes businesses that are involved in the research and development, processing, and sales of crop and grain agricultural goods in both raw and finished form. This industry has a heavy concentration of research and development in Greater Manhattan, and provides the opportunity for a niche sector in crop and grain data analysis to thrive.
- Metal Fabrication Machinery & Equipment – This industry requires highly automated production processes and skilled workers to operate computer controlled equipment and weld machinery components together to develop metal and wholesale products for distribution.
Each specific industry has unique location criteria which often determine where companies choose to locate including its workforce needs, infrastructure demands, business climate preferences, and other criteria. Pottawatomie County has a number of assets that may be applied to the growth and development of these industries, and many opportunities exist for the County to address certain areas requiring improvement.