Participants needed for focus group

Published 9:13 am Friday, January 14, 2011

GATESVILLE – As Gates County positions itself for future economic development, input is needed from its citizens to help shape those plans.

Armed with a grant to offset the planning costs, the Gates County Cooperative Extension Service, partnering with the county’s Board of Commissioners, is soliciting local residents to share their views for the future. They are invited to do so at a Tuesday, Jan. 25 meeting (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.) at the Merchants Millpond Visitors Center.

Due to space limitations, those wishing to take part in the focus group meeting are urged to contact BJ Okleshen at the Gates County Extension Center (357-1400) no later than Thursday, Jan. 20. Lunch confirmations must be made.

“In order for this process to be a success, we need a diverse group of county stakeholders, residents, etc. to participate in the focus group,” said Reba Green-Holley, Gates County’s Cooperative Extension Director. “To be successful, this group will share their vision for economic development in Gates County along with the perception of the county’s strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully, the results of this project will be a springboard for future growth.”

Green-Holley added that the grant – entitled “Growing Gates” – will be implemented with collaboration from the School of Design at North Carolina State University. Their job is to document Gates County’s strengths and weaknesses as they relate to economic development. From there the NCSU group will identity possible economic development strategies for Gates County.

“The NCSU School of Design will develop a conceptual framework, which can be used in the future to develop detail projects that will assist the county with its economic development plans,” Green-Holley concluded.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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