Strategic Plan

Wake County has launched its first organization-wide strategic planning process to assess our community’s current state, develop a shared vision for our future, and define our direction and priorities. In collaboration with the public and community partners, we will identify goals and describe how we intend to accomplish them over the next five years. The county will use the plan to align policies, inform decision-making and improve outcomes for our residents.

Community and Employee Engagement

For our first strategic plan to succeed, we need community and employee engagement. Your input will improve our vision-setting and the creation of strategic goals and objectives. Opportunities to provide input include community partner stakeholder focus groups and surveys. Employees were asked to provide feedback online.

Community focus group meetings were held between July and October 2023. Based on responses, the following areas were identified as important priority issues (shown in alphabetical order):

  • Affordable housing
  • Crime, violence, and public safety
  • Development, construction, and growth
  • Education, including pay and support for teachers and staff
  • Engagement with the community and service recipients
  • Healthcare access, including behavioral health
  • Homelessness
  • Jobs and the economy
  • Parks, open space and greenways
  • Services for vulnerable residents
  • Roads and traffic
  • Transit services (including bus and rail)

What's Next?

County staff will begin drafting strategic goals and objectives and identify initiatives that support implementation. Staff workgroups will also link measurements that tell us whether our efforts are working to improve outcomes. A draft plan will be shared with the Board of Commissioners in early 2024.  

More community engagement opportunities are expected in early 2024. The county will use future engagements to inform the public about our programs, policies and choices--as well as share their input on priorities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Strategic Plan?

The strategic plan is an organized process that assesses our current state and describes our future direction. The process aims to create a shared vision by establishing strategic goals and initiatives that guide implementation and resource allocation over the next five years. We will describe our desired outcomes in the strategic plan and regularly monitor and report our progress. 

When complete, the strategic plan will inform near-term decision-making, such as priorities in department business plans and budget recommendations. 

Strategic planning outlines goals over the next three to five years. It fits between long-term plans of 10 or more years and short-term plans over the next two years.

Why does Wake County need a Strategic Plan?

Wake County is developing its first organization-wide strategy plan to establish a clear direction and vision for addressing future challenges. Wake is the nation's second-fastest-growing county with more than a million people, and the pace of growth requires thoughtful preparation. When developing the plan, the county seeks to:

  1. Engage the community, stakeholders, and the community,
  2. Focus our energy and resources on the most critical issues,
  3. Align efforts to address issues efficiently and maximize our impacts, and
  4. Measure our progress toward achieving desired outcomes.

What will we do with the Strategic Plan once it is complete?

Having a strategic plan allows us to:

  • Communicate our priorities within a forward-thinking and well-understood framework to make effective budget and policy decisions and secure the resources needed to sustain Wake County.
  • Provide stability during turbulent times by maintaining a "north star." The plan will help the county make informed decisions, address economic disruptions or turbulence, and better describe the impacts of evolving federal and state regulations.
  • Evaluate our policies, plans, programs, and service delivery for all Wake County residents.

The Strategic Plan is a living document. Wake County will regularly maintain and update the plan to address new and emerging issues or challenges.

What research is informing the County's Strategic Plan?

The strategic plan will refer to comprehensive and master plans developed for specific county services or issues that describe strategies and objectives over a long horizon (ten or more years). Below are some of the research, plans, and documents that inform the strategic planning process.