Members of the Thrive 2055 Coordinating Committee have selected four initiatives to pursue in the project’s second year. Highlighting the importance of regional coordination as a vehicle to achieving desired outcomes, the newly created initiatives seek to boost:
· Regional Economic Development to grow family-wage jobs to enhance our residents’ ability to provide for their families; support the growth of entrepreneurship and local small businesses; attract job-creating commerce from around the world; and improve the fiscal health of our communities.
· Regional Transportation to enable families to spend more time at their destinations and less time in traffic; reduce operating costs for businesses in the area; see our tax dollars spent more efficiently on transportation projects; and improve accessibility to local businesses, hospitals, schools and places of employment.
· Education and Training to encourage lifelong learning and the development of globally competitive, creative talent; provide more opportunities for businesses and local residents to stay inside the region to fulfill employment needs; and elevate the prosperity of the region’s earners.
· Natural Treasures to wisely utilize our unique natural resources while ensuring a legacy of scenic beauty, outdoor recreation, clean water, fresh air and wholesome food for our children; leverage the entire Thrive 2055 region as an outdoor tourism destination; and improve the health of our people as we explore all the outdoors has to offer.
The initiatives were approved during a Dec. 5 meeting. Dan Jacobson, Thrive 2055 Coordinating Committee chair, said each initiative brings focused action to the project’s regional ambition and priorities as determined by the committee and the public in October.
“These issues received top-priority focus due to several rounds of public input, extensive regional research as well as much deliberation and discussion by the Coordinating Committee,” Mr. Jacobson said. “There is a sense of urgency driven by a strong desire to begin action in a meaningful way on these initiatives. We must begin now, and we must work on what is most important.”
Thrive 2055 encourages individuals to follow progress at www.Thrive2055.com to learn about upcoming input opportunities. The project is also seeking volunteers from all across the 16-county region to serve in new working groups, which will help determine specific action items of each initiative. Those with interest and/or expertise in a particular area can get involved by visiting www.Thrive2055.com/GetInvolved.
Thrive 2055 is a local, volunteer-driven project whose goal is to advance a future characterized by “Educated people with good jobs living in a great place.” Guided by the principles of Community, Leadership, Connections, Competitiveness and Collaboration, the project is focused on engaging people in the 16-county region to make the most of our economic opportunities while preserving what we love about our home communities. Funding for the three-year project comes from local companies, private foundations and local governments.
The 16 counties of the tri-state region include Jackson and DeKalb in Alabama; Dade, Walker, Catoosa, Murray and Whitfield in Georgia; and Bledsoe, Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea and Sequatchie in Tennessee.