Workshop focuses on growth

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 22, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &045; A Community Leaders Educational Opportunity Workshop was held yesterday at Rooster Hall to educate leaders and those involved with economic development from the area.

Several speakers talked with those in attendance about community needs and what they could do to foster economic development in their communities during the workshop through the Economic Development Association of Alabama. The event was sponsored by the City of Demopolis, the Black Belt Mayors and the University of West Alabama.

Tucker said the program also is a way to provide information on how to help bring jobs to the areas of the leaders at the workshop. Speakers stressed the importance of knowing the facets of recruiting and retaining businesses to the economic development process.

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Dunaway spoke largely about the importance of strategic planning for a community. She asked individuals at each table to come together and find the one major thread they feel is crucial for the visions they hold for their communities. Infrastructure, education and retail growth were several of the responses she got to her question.

Several mayors from around the region attended the conference and said, while all of the information was not new, they learned from attending the workshop.

The workshop featured speakers detailing such subjects as communities working together for development and the economic development process. The site selection process was also highlighted as important for attracting industries.

Gilbertown Mayor Bobby Graham said the workshop showed him more than ever that leadership is going to be key to economic development.