What are the challenges facing this community and the region?

  • Unemployment
  • Lack of Jobs/Opportunity
  • High School dropout rate
  • Limited tax base
  • substance abuse
  • Coal industry
  • Affordable housing
  • "Bad" health habits – smoking, sedentary lifestyle, heart disease and diabetes
  • Family dynamics (grandparents raising grandchildren, single parent households, etc.)
  • Stigma of area

What do you see as the assets and strengths of this community and the region?

  • Location – access to roads
  • Utilities
  • School System and Educational opportunities
  • Recreational Facilities
  • Faith Community
  • Rail System
  • River
  • Union College
  • Logging Industry
  • Outdoors – biking, fishing, hunting, walking
  • High speed internet access
  • Determined people who are mission oriented
  • Low cost of living
  • Agricultural community
  • National Guard
  • Local hospital

What is our community known for?

  • Caring Community
  • College
  • Tradition and a community that appreciates history
  • Mountains and lakes
  • Beautiful surroundings

Why haven't you gotten there yet?

  • Short –term planning/thinking
  • Voter apathy
  • Knee jerk reactions to situations
  • Lack of strategic plan
  • Lack of marketing ourselves and our community
  • "Brain Drain" – youth are leaving and not returning

What are implementable ideas?

  • Increase tourism to the community
  • Invest in youth
  • Offer affordable housing opportunities and public transportation
  • Specific job training