Time to Plan, Act, Measure…

 In News

This is the time of year we all take stock – a time when we look back at the year that is about to end and plan for the next. We saw some big changes this year. A President Trump will likely begin to set dramatically different priorities for the nation. Technological innovation is a constant change maker and this year was no exception. Here at ABCD Corporation, a change in leadership brought the opportunity to build upon legacy accomplishments and set a course for next generation investment.

Changes like these make planning critical. Too often though, those same plans produce no clear course for action. Worse yet, they can create lofty expectations based upon unobtainable goals. With that in mind, earlier this year ABCD initiated five (5) working group discussion focused on key pillars within ABCD’s overall operational plan. Those pillars include:  1) Housing; 2) Entrepreneurship; 3) Core Programs; 4) Reuse and Infill; and 5) Community Brand and Engagement.

Numerous stakeholders were engaged in these discussions bringing a variety of domain expertise and vision for future growth and development. The goal was to develop a series of specific action items and measures for tracking progress. While many new opportunities were identified, a central theme that connected them all was the need to attract new talent to our region. While there are new jobs and businesses being created locally, many more employment opportunities will result from future retirements. Without a robust talent pipeline to both backfill positions and fuel new business growth, communities like ours can be at risk. We must think big, plan and allocate the resources needed to bring talented individuals back to our community.

We are clearly well positioned to do so. Our mountain environment, higher education partners and proximity to major population centers are key assets that need to be further leveraged. In addition to the ABCD planning efforts, Blair County will also be updating its comprehensive plan. That makes 2017 a very unique time to set the course for the next decade and beyond.

For the next five months starting in January, we will use this Blair Business Mirror column to highlight each of the five (5) planning pillars for ABCD. We will also share any updates and happenings that may develop along the way. This is an important year for the Blair County community. If you are invited to engage in the process, please do so. Your opinion matters. Just keep in mind, make no small plans. Think Big. Be Bold. And then make it happen. Merry Christmas and we wish you a prosperous New Year!

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