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April 18, 2013

Initiative pushes unified vision for community

MILLEDGEVILLE —

Resource consolidation fosters better long-range growth and community economic success. A strategic or master plan identifies who wants to go where and when.

The Unified Community Vision plan initiative, created by the Business Development Committee under the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce, strives to create collaborative vision and goals for community improvement. The first six months began with collection of strategic plans from key Milledgeville education, business and other vital stakeholders.

Business Development Committee chair and Digital Bridges director Tommy Cook said few local organizations had future blueprints in place. Working with the Middle Georgia Regional Commission (MGRC), the committee hopes to find common goals and establish a unified plan to direct efforts moving forward.

Mayor Richard Bentley wrote for technical assistance from the MGRC on behalf of the project.

“We asked if they’d help us construct a plan that would tie together all of the strategic initiatives of the different organizations around Milledgeville,” Cook said. 

During a recent information gathering session, the committee noticed many local entities either had no long term plans or just weren’t following them.

Dr. Dale Young, interim dean of the College of Business at Georgia College and Business Development Committee member, said not acting on a plan is just as harmful as not having one. With help from the MGRC, Young said the vision plan’s goals are making sure community stakeholders know the best places to focus and use scarce resources.

“All communities need to recognize that resources are limited; it’s critical for communities to move in a single direction and to be highly focused in the efforts they make toward community improvement and economic development. Therefore, a visioning exercise like this is a critical first step that eventually would move you to a very specific strategic plan. Until there is a unified vision and a clear set of priorities, it’s difficult to move forward with any planning,” Young said.

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