Partnership kicks off strategic plan

In the months since the unification of the Education Partnership of the Permian Basin and Educate Midland was announced in July, groundwork for a strategic plan has been laid.

During a recent leadership team meeting, they were able to start the kickoff, Executive Director Adrian Vega said.

“… We’re very excited because ultimately with the development of our strategic plan, it will provide us with a very clear roadmap as an organization to move forward with the work we’re doing,” Vega said.

The organization has received support from other entities such as the Dallas Federal Reserve, which is underwriting the plan through an Advance Together grant.

“… We’re working with a group called Boldly Go Philanthropy … Their name speaks for itself … They’re experts in the field of collective impact. So it’s not just strategic planning, it’s strategic planning for collective impact organizations,” Vega said.

Vega said the lead consultant is out of Nebraska, but he has done work nationwide, including in Texas.

“… He actually helped with the startup of RGV Focus, which is the collective impact group in the Rio Grande Valley. He’s also done some work in the Houston area, and also in the Austin area with the E3 Alliance, which is another collective impact organization. So he’s very familiar with Texas and the work that takes place here,” Vega added.

He said one of the reasons the Rio Grande collective impact organization has succeeded is that they were able to work on a strategic plan when they were formed. As with the Education Partnership, their group involves multiple institutions from municipalities to higher education.

“… They’ve done a real good job of really aligning the arrows. And if you look at their … post secondary outcomes, and the work they’ve been doing just with educational outcomes from TEA, they’re really kind of top of the list throughout the state in terms of regional work,” Vega said.

The Education Partnership had a leadership team and action networks.

“But when Educate Midland joined the group, then it just became evident that for long-term sustainability we really needed to have a clear roadmap with the unification because part of the work is not just here’s the five-year roadmap. It’s also coming up with a strategy for funding, or a strategy for staffing to be able to support the plan,” Vega said.

This will be a five-year plan.

“The process is going take a few months. There’s four phases. We’re currently in phase one, which is really an internal assessment of the organization and so when they were here last week, they were able to begin gathering information about the organization. They were able to interview board members; they were able to interview staff members; they were able to meet with the leadership team to provide an overview.”

“Phase one will take a few weeks to collect all that information, synthesize that information. And then (in) phase two, they (Boldly Go Philanthropy) will broaden their scope by meeting with different individuals from the action networks, or from the leadership team to get more input, more information, more perspective. And then phase three we’ll then be able to synthesize that information and begin putting together the strategy of what was found and then phase four would then be to come back to the group and then the board for approval,” Vega said.

He said the process should be completed by May.

In terms of adjustments, Vega said they will see.

“But really, that’s going to be our true North star. That’s going to really drive the work. I think with it taking a few months to develop and by getting all the input and the feedback that,” and have it vetted, that will be what they are going to stick with, Vega said.

“Now typically when any organization develops a five-year strategic plan, probably around year three or going into year four, they’re reevaluating but then they’re assessing, okay, what do we need to do to begin to ramp up how you know how successful were we in hitting our goals, or our benchmarks … So I would say probably around year three or four then definitely we’ll see where we’re at. But I don’t imagine us deviating, per se, because the whole point of the creation of this is to determine … what are we going to focus on in terms of strategies, or what outcomes are we shooting for …,” Vega said.

He added that this is the next phase of growing, moving forward and helping the community move forward.

“(It’s) very exciting to be at this stage in … the lifecycle of our organization and community,” Vega said.