Halifax County’s Vision 2020 process received a boost from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. Congressman Virgil Goode, U.S. House of Representatives 5th District, presented a check in the amount of $35,000 to Joe Satterfield, Chairperson of the Vision 2020 Steering Committee on Wednesday, July 28.
Congressman Goode was instrumental in helping Halifax County’s Vision 2020 Steering Committee receive the grant. The Southside Planning District Commission #13 prepared the grant application for the Vision Steering Committee. The Halifax County Chamber of Commerce is the recipient of the grant and serves as the fiscal agent for Vision 2020.
The grant will assist in funding the Vision 2020 Strategic Plan, a process facilitated by Market Street Services, Inc., the consulting firm from Atlanta GA. The development of the four-step process consisted of the followingcomponents: Competitive Realities – a document focusing on recent economic trends, local economic sectors, community demographic data, and Halifax County’s competitive climate as it relates to education and workforce development; business costs; infrastructure; and quality of life.
The second step was Community Input. Market Street received input from over 1,000 Halifax County citizens through interviews, focus groups, online surveys and community leadership meetings.
The third step was the Community Strategic Plan, which incorporated all the research and feedback received from over 1,000 citizens of Halifax County. This strategic plan established goals, objectives and action steps to develop short-term job growth, and long-term economic sustainability in Halifax County. Benchmarks and performance measures were incorporated to ensure that the plan is initiated and monitored successfully.
The final step delivered the Implementation Guidelines. Market Street Services is considered the preeminentfirm in the United States in working with communities to develop a visioning process. Utilizing their years of experience and expertise, they scripted the implementation strategies, using our citizen’s ideas, to ensure the effective implementation of the Halifax County 2020 Strategic Plan.
Vision 2020 Community Strategic Plan has five overarching goals. The first goal is about creating good jobs in our community. This is the key to attracting new residents, and keeping the ones already in the County.
The second goal states that it is essential that schools are of the highest quality, and workers get the training necessary in order for Halifax County to remain competitive for new jobs.
Goal three covers another key aspect of competitiveness – infrastructure. Companies will not locate in communities that do not have the infrastructure they require. At the same time, it is critical for Halifax County to protect the rural character that makes it unique.
The fourth goal states that progressive change starts with visionary leadership. This goal is about maximizing the potential of our existing and future local leaders.
The fifth and final goal is to make Halifax County a “wonderful place to live, work and visit”. This is the ultimate goal to be accomplished by 2020.
Each one of the goals has specific objectives with implementation strategies and identified organizations and agencies that should be the “keeper of the goal”. In other words, every strategy involves diverse groups to ensure it is being implemented, and it is imperative to have one organization to be in charge of each strategy.
The Vision 2020 Steering Committee is comprised of over 30 citizens of Halifax County representing diverse segments. Committee members gathered to accept the generous check from Congressman Goode and to thank him for his assistance in delivering the much-needed financial support. This check completes the funding needed for this phase of Vision 2020. Local funds raised from both public and private sources totaled $40,000. Local partners are Halifax County, Town of South Boston, Halifax Regional Health System, Halifax County Chamber of Commerce, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, R. O. Harrell, Inc., South Boston Rotary Club, Slagle Fire & Equipment, The Davis Company Realtors, True Value, Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, ABB, CCI Systems, Edward Jones Investments, Joe Satterfield and Doug Bowman.