The Wake County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Feb. 19, 2018, to approve its strategic goals and objectives. The seven goal areas the commissioners identified will help guide the county’s funding decisions, project prioritization and resource usage.

The board’s strategic goals represent a long-term focus on key areas of emphasis, and they are coupled with objectives and initiatives that are both short- and long-term in nature.

The goals include:

Community Health

Goal: Promote an effective behavioral and physical health system of care and practices that benefits all residents.
Objective: Identify efficient, effective, proactive, and collaborative ways to better support and build capacity for the treatment and management of Wake County residents who experience behavioral health challenges.

  1. Work with the Sheriff’s Office and community partners to develop sustainable strategies for assisting detained and/or incarcerated individuals that suffer from mental illness.
  2. Evaluate and develop sustainability plan for WakeBrook operations.
  3. Work with Wake Director’s Group and community partners to improve coordination and integration of services and resources related to behavioral health needs, including improved utilization of 211.
  4. Leverage partnerships to enhance data sharing related to behavioral health services.
  5. Expand opportunities to provide stable housing choices to frequent users of community services through permanent supportive housing and other available tools (i.e. housing first).
  6. Explore opportunities to continue Medicaid eligibility for individuals incarcerated in County jails.
  7. Evaluate options to expand telemedicine for case management and other behavioral health services.
  8. Enhance crisis services available to Wake County residents.

Objective: Support building a "culture of health" based on the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation model for healthy communities.

  1. Improve health of populations through the development of infrastructure and education that encourages an active lifestyle.
  2. Continue focus on public health in school-aged population through improved access to health services and promoting active lifestyles.
  3. Support efforts to share medical records between safety net providers through a common platform.
  4. Work with Community Health Needs Assessment process to support and address identified priorities.

Economic Strength

Goal: Create a business-friendly environment to attract, retain and grow business, diversify the economic base and create job opportunities for all citizens.
Objective: Support Wake County Economic Development's efforts to bring targeted jobs and business to Wake County.

Enhance Wake County site readiness and infrastructure planning readiness for business development.

Objective: Leverage, coordinate and collaborate with our municipalities, nonprofit organizations, universities, capital markets, and entrepreneurs to increase opportunities and support for entrepreneurial ventures.
Initiative: Collaborate with workforce development and regional research partners to support small business creation and entrepreneurship programming that targets economically challenged and/or minority participants throughout Wake County.

Objective: Develop economic development strategies and tools that encourage responsible employment practices, environmental stewardship, affordable housing, high quality of life and return on investments that produce societal benefits.
Initiative: Consider multi-criteria policy for economic development incentives to include work with vulnerable communities.

Objective: Facilitate buildout of high-speed internet access in Wake County to enable coverage, speed and affordability for all citizens.
Initiative: Work collaboratively with stakeholders to explore opportunities to remove barriers, leverage resources and more quickly facilitate buildout of high-speed internet connectivity throughout Wake County.



Goal: Through collaboration with education stakeholders, achieve a well-educated, skilled citizenry prepared for success in a global workforce.
Objective: Encourage collaboration amongst a continuum of education providers in Wake County to allow for the seamless integration of strategic plans and programs that address early childhood education through post-secondary curriculum and workforce continuing education.

  1. Expand capacity and access to Pre-K programs through public private partnerships.
  2. Partner with WCPSS and community agencies to reduce childhood hunger.
  3. Explore expanding the number of affordable housing options near public schools to help increase diversity in schools.
  4. Identify ways to support WCPSS and Wake Tech as they expand early college and CTE program opportunities throughout the county.

Objective: Develop a long-term plan for WCPSS and Wake Tech operating and capital needs that are bound by strong financial policies designed to maintain the county's outstanding financial position demonstrated by achievement of the highest credit ratings.

  1. Develop a long-term plan for local funding for the WCPSS annual operating budget that establishes annual goals and targets, which are predictable, sustainable and aligned with the needs of WCPSS.
  2. In partnership with WCPSS and Wake Tech, support a 2018 WCPSS bond referendum, and continue implementing financing strategies to address needs identified in the 7-year CIP.


Great Government

Goal: Promote a vision of a county government that partners with all levels of government to empower, protect and serve its citizens through a culture of respect, collaboration and innovation.
Objective: Find opportunities to improve the customer’s experience throughout the County and treat every citizen with dignity, respect and appreciation.

Initiative: Establish guidelines for departments to use in measuring customer satisfaction and soliciting customer feedback.

Objective: Improve effectiveness, efficiency, transparency, and responsiveness of government through innovation and technology.

Initiative: Identify and pursue programs, practices, technologies and other opportunities that enhance the innovation and creativity within the organization.

Objective: Create a culture of health within the county government that supports enhancing the health and wellbeing of employees and their families.

Initiative: Measure and improve effectiveness of our employee health and well-being programs.

Objective: Implement data-driven decision-making processes and methods wherever possible across the County.

  1. Establish an analytics function and resources to assist departments with obtaining and utilizing effective data analytics to solve business objectives and reach departmental goals.
  2. Establish a public-facing performance dashboard to capture, document and display key performance measures for the organization.
  3. Establish a countywide performance management program, including guidance for departments to use for development of qualitative and useful performance metrics.


Growth and Sustainability

Goal: Establish a deliberate and realistic approach to address growth and mobility while preserving our environment and healthy communities.
Objective: Implement a comprehensive approach for developing Wake County's open space, parks and greenways to address gaps, leverage opportunities and resources, and enhance collaboration with municipal partners.

Initiative: Prepare for a new parks, open space, and greenway bond referendum that will provide for more recreational opportunities and environmental education, assist in the development of a countywide interconnected greenway system, and provide additional watershed protection.

Objective: Promote sustainability efforts throughout the county.

  1. Review and update 2004 Energy Design Guidelines.
  2. Update comprehensive solid waste plan to extend the life of the landfill through recycling and technology, and improve strategies to reduce litter.

Objective: Address quality and quantity issues associated with water resources.

  1. Collaborate with the Water Partnership on One Water initiatives, including 1) revise water resource policies to reflect current scientific data and understanding, 2) protect watershed and stream buffers, 3) participate actively in protection of Falls and Jordan Lakes, and 4) promote conservation measures on lands in current and potential watersheds.
  2. Encourage farmland preservation; revisit goals of Wake County Agricultural Economic Development Plan (WCAEDP).

Objective: Plan for issues associated with continued growth in Wake County.

    1. Determine the impact that projected population growth will have upon the demand for County services.
    2. Update and integrate Wake County’s growth plans as it relates to land use and transportation systems.

Objective: Guide the implementation of the Wake County Transit Plan.

    1. Monitor and oversee the deliverables and processes established by the transit governance interlocal agreement.
    2. Continue to support and seek public participation in the development and implementation of the transit plan, including consumer experience goals and service metrics.
    3. Collaborate with municipal, community and private partners to encourage best development practices in corridors and areas identified for transit investment, including serving communities in need and creating affordable housing.
    4. Seek opportunities to increase collaboration between transit providers and the Wake County School System.
    5. Promote opportunities to maintain affordability of transit services and address needs in vulnerable communities and rural areas.

Public Safety

Goal: Provide a safe, secure and healthy community through coordinated, efficient and effective public safety services.
Objective: Develop strategies to build trust, cooperation and accountability among agencies, programs and initiatives that incorporate public safety agencies and resources throughout the county.

Initiative: Coordinate public safety data collection and interagency coordination to inform and assist public policy decisions and identify areas for strengthening.

Objective: Identify and reduce hazards posed to existing and future buildings (both public and private) and develop adequate planning and communication infrastructure to prevent, mitigate and respond to emergencies related to hazardous materials.

Initiative: Work with municipalities and community agencies to incorporate findings of HMCRA into established standard policies.

Objective: Study and identify opportunities for enhanced public safety communications and interoperability within the county.

Initiative: Study and identify opportunities for enhanced public safety communications and interoperability within the county.

Objective: Develop and implement strategies to improve personnel retention and workforce wellbeing in public safety departments.

  1. Develop and implement strategies to increase public safety personnel recruitment and retention rates.
  2. Develop timeline and begin implementation of best practices for volunteer recruiting, retention, and utilization in emergency services. 

Objective: Implement programs to assist public safety personnel when working with the community, particularly those with mental illness.

  1. Evaluate and implement tools available to assist public safety personnel working in crisis management, de-escalation and mental health first aid.
  2. Work with stakeholders to identify strategies to provide interventions for at-risk school-aged youth to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline.

Objective: Explore and maintain diversion opportunities to improve health and wellbeing of those who are incarcerated or at risk of incarceration and to address recidivism.

  1. Utilize data to implement programs that increase diversion opportunities and reduce length of stay in jail.
  2. Continue pursuing opportunities for education and job training for detainees through community partnerships.
  3. Continue support for recovery (drug treatment) courts as a diversion opportunity.

Social and Economic Vitality

Goal: Improve economic and social opportunities in vulnerable communities through strategic partnerships.
Objective: Create more affordable housing opportunities in Wake County and support efforts to reduce or end homelessness.

Initiative: Work collaboratively with all partners to preserve and increase the County's affordable housing inventory, reduce homelessness, and improve the wellbeing of our most vulnerable citizens.

Objective: Develop a comprehensive approach to addressing the needs of Wake County's most vulnerable regions and communities to improve the overall wellbeing of their residents.

  1. Use and share data to develop economic, physical, behavioral, and environmental health strategies and baseline indicators at the individual, community and population level to track improvement in specific vulnerable regions of the County.
  2. Support a higher quality of life for citizens in vulnerable Southeast and Eastern Wake County communities through community partnerships, policy changes, and County programming.

Objective: Support collaboration among agencies, nonprofits, governments and the community to deliver more evidence-based services to our citizens.

    1. Based on evaluation, target Human Capital Development strategies in specific vulnerable communities in Wake County.
    2. Develop and implement a comprehensive plan to identify and address issues related to hunger, food insecurity and food deserts in Wake County.
    3. Assist Wake County’s foster children in transitioning to successful independent living after leaving the foster care program.
    4. Identify and implement opportunities to reduce logistical barriers that prevent vulnerable populations from accessing services provided by government and nonprofits, including increasing co-location and contracting of services.

The Board of Commissioners and staff worked together to develop these goals, as well as the objectives and initiatives that fall under each one. The Board refined the goals and objectives during work sessions in April, August and October.

Accomplishments from last year's goals