September 29, 2014
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Welcome to the fourth issue of Sheridan's monthly economic development eNewsletter! This month, we're examining the Professional Services target industry and sharing why it is important to Sheridan's economy.

I encourage you to to others in the community who might find it useful and join the mailing list for future issues.

Welcome home, Sheridan!
- Mayor John Heath
What is the Professional Services Industry?

Professional Services is a relatively broad industry descriptor, including a variety of professional, scientific, technical, administrative and non-profit activities. Far from being a catch-all, this industry is unified by the similar business needs  and workforce trends of the included professions.

Professional Services Subsectors
Sheridan's target industries are broken down into subsectors using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). This makes it easier to track and compare the performance of subsectors against the same fields state and nationwide. Nearly all of Sheridan's Professional Services subsectors are projected to grow through 2017.

Related Occupations
Related occupations are another way of evaluating the role of an industry to Sheridan's economy. Sheridan is home to nearly 3,200 Professional Services related occupations, with the strongest being Bioagricultural Engineering, Geology & Natural Resources, and Biogeological Engineering. Sheridan also has a relatively high concentration of legal and political positions due its position as the county seat.

The strongest growth through 2017 is forecasted in the Office Administration (30 new jobs), Finances (19 new jobs), Business Research (18 new jobs), Secretaries (16 new jobs) and Management (Back Office - 12 new jobs).

Quality of Life - A Driving Force for Professional Services Business Location

The relatively minimal site location requirements for Professional Services occupations - office space and connectivity - mean that location is often highly influenced by quality-of-life considerations.


Sheridan's exceptional quality of life and status as a regional hub are part of why Professional Services have played an important role in the local economy, and why they continue to be a viable target industry.

Fostering New Growth While Building Current Businesses
Recommended Approach
The Target Industry Study, prepared under the direction of the Sheridan Economic and Educational Development Authority (SEEDA), recommended the following ratios for balancing economic development efforts:
  • 40%- Retain: 
    Almost half of economic development efforts should focus on retaining and growing existing businesses.
  • 40% - Recruit: 
    Given Sheridan's high quality of life, a significant part of additional efforts should seek to recruit established businesses to the Sheridan area.
  • 20% - Startup:
    Some effort should be applied to provide support for startups and entrepreneurs, particularly due to their potential for innovative response to market conditions
Importance of Balance
Because Professional Services are an important component of Sheridan's existing economy, a significant focus of economic development is to foster retention and growth of the businesses already here. The community must balance between fostering our existing businesses and recruiting new businesses, while providing support for start ups and entrepreneurs in the industry.

This balanced approach bolsters the existing economic drivers in Sheridan, while allowing for flexibility and growth to adapt to changing market conditions that may impact subsectors of the Professional Services target industry.

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