Mayor unveils economic plan

Mayor Vincent Gray proposed a five-year, $1 billion-dollar economic development strategy Wednesday, the result of a five-month partnership with the GW School of Business and neighboring universities.

Gray announced the vision to bring 100,000 new jobs to the city and $1 billion from new taxes. His plans include making D.C. more of a global business and tourist destination, creating a massive technology center and building a world-renowned medical center.

At the plan’s unveiling Wednesday, Gray praised the work of 16 students across the District who helped interview 185 private businesses with an advisory group co-chaired by business school Dean Doug Guthrie and David Thomas, dean of Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.

“I want to thank each of those prestigious schools for their commitment,” Gray said, adding that the plans “are vicious, but they are achievable.”

He added that money for the plan was set aside in the fiscal year 2013 budget and that additional funding would be allocated in future budgets to create “a city that is not necessarily self contained, but a city that is self sufficient.”

Guthrie said that without the students working behind the scenes, it would not have been possible to create an economic strategy of this scale.

“When I came here a little over two years ago, I had a dream of really being a part of the kind of process of building a business school that is not just deeply embedded in and is engaged in social issues, but training business leaders to use their business skills and acumen to become citizens of the world that we live in, to become citizens in this place,” he said.

Gray launched the collaborative initiative in June after about two months of preliminary research. The economic plan is the first to take effect since he took office in 2010.

The plan will be executed over the next five years, said Victor Hoskins, deputy mayor for planning and economic development.

“This strategy will be implemented by the universities, by the government and the private sector,” Hoskins said. “We are going to do this together; we cannot do this alone.”

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