Pioneer Valley
Planning Commission

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Economic Development - Plan for Progress Summary



The initial Plan for Progress was created in 1994 when a number of Pioneer Valley community, business, education, and political leaders came together to develop a plan calculated to move the region from recession to robust economic growth. This effort was mirrored in a call from the Weld-Cellucci administration for a statewide economic development plan focusing on regions across the commonwealth. The purpose of the Plan for Progress was to unite the Valleyís various stakeholders around a common agenda for improving the regionís economic vitality and sustainability.

Over the last decade, the Plan has operated on a number of regional strategies that are managed by strategy teams and the Plan for Progress Coordinating Council. The Plan for Progress also established a group of trustees to shepherd the Plan and to support the implementation of its strategies. Since 1994, the strategies have been measured and revised by the trustees to keep the Plan relevant and responsive to changing economic conditions.


In early 2003, Plan for Progress stakeholders determined that it was time to overhaul the Plan and began a major process of gathering data, conducting focus groups, rewriting and updating strategies, and reaching out to involve new players in the Planís future. The result of this undertaking, the 2004 Plan for Progress, features a description of our region today, including demographics, geography, regional assets, employment, and education data. It follows the same successful model of its predecessor, centering on strategies that have been developed through focus groups, research, and business community participation. The 2004 Plan identifies these thirteen strategic goals as critical for growing the people, companies, and communities that grow the region:

In 2009, a fourteenth strategy was added – Develop a Green Regional Economy.
In addition to the bedrock strategic goals, the Plan for Progress lists seven cross-cutting themes that strategy teams must consider in their action plans in order to meet the regionís goals: cross-border collaboration (with the greater Hartford region), diversity, education, industry clusters, sustainability, technology, and urban investment.

Pioneer Valley Plan for Progress Performance Indicators
The State of the Pioneer Valley is a source for evaluating the current economic status and trends of the Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts. The data on this web site can be used to view the trends of selected economic indicators for the region. More specifically, it is also an online version of an accountability system for the Pioneer Valley Plan for Progress. This system was developed to provide a more quantitative understanding of how the region is progressing in the strategic goals laid out by the Plan. It does not attempt to evaluate current year statistics in isolation (judging whether a specific unemployment rate is good or bad), but rather looks at changes over time and the general trend of whether a situation is improving or not (observing whether the unemployment rate is increasing or decreasing).

The Plan for Progress Performance Indicators are a set of four groups of quantitative benchmarks that will assist in identifying economic trends and measure progress towards the Pioneer Valley Plan For Progress Strategic Goals and Action Steps. Each group of Indicators has a separate page on the site.

See the PVPC calendar for upcoming Plan for Progress meetings and events


Downloadable documents

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