10 Ways to Attract and Retain Community Members
March 30, 2018 by Blandin Foundation
Stevens County Economic Improvement Commission executive director Michael Haynes laid out, in a recent editorial, 10 ways to keep his county thriving in a time when rural places are loosing population. They focus on creating strong relationships and improving existing community assets.
1. Recognize and acknowledge that our business owners, investors, managers, and employees have made our robust and growing commercial and agricultural economy what it is today. Sell us to ourselves.
2. Identify and act on strategies that can be developed in partnership with our business, education and government groups. We all have a stake in this.
3. Recognize and promote the fact that our economy is strong and better than most believe that it is. Again, sell us to ourselves.
4. Continue to support Leadership Morris, Blandin Foundation Community Leadership Programs and other opportunities to grow our leaders. Get smarter.
5. Continue the opportunities for our schools to provide and to broaden “Career Days” to include mentorships, working internships, part-time jobs, and employer provided post-secondary financial assistance for our 11th and 12th grade students and to include tours of community businesses and other organizations for our elementary school students. Start when our children are young to keep them here and not there, wherever there could be.
6. Form a “Welcome Wagon” effort to welcome our new friends and neighbors. First impressions count and don’t new friends need a visit from the neighbors (us)?
7. Encourage everyone to become members of the Stevens County “quality of life” sales force. If we can’t or don’t sell ourselves, who else will?
8. Continue to encourage and support our existing and new businesses to provide more and better services that will keep our dollars from leaving home. Help our local business make the profit from business, not some other business somewhere else – wherever that somewhere else is.
9. Increase the number and the quality of our affordable housing units. If we are to get more people to move or to remain here, they need someplace to live.
10. Expand our Morris Industrial Park and continue to provide infrastructure improvements to roads and other public services.
What else would you add to this list?
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