By Brooke Stevenson
The Sevier County Commission recently adopted a five year strategic economic plan.
The plan was adopted to be in compliance with criteria of the Three-Star Program.
The Three-Star Program was developed to meet the needs and challenges of the evolving economic environment in urban and rural communities and to partner with communities to create opportunities for sustained economic growth.
In order to achieve the mission of the program, the Department of Economic and Community Development commits to assist any communities in developing and implementing the strategic economic plan.
The plan includes the county’s economic goals in promoting economic growth, a plan to accomplish those goals and a projected timeline in achieving the goals.
Included in the goals are items pertaining to existing industry, manufacturing recruitment, workforce development, retail/service, tourism, agriculture, infrastructure assessment and educational assessment.
The plan is separated into seven different sections.
First is, “Identify and development of New Industrial Park.”
The actions proposed for this section are to identify and evaluate property (utilize TVA services), option property, develop and implement infrastructure plan, and regional coordination.
The second section is “Develop a Youth Sports Facility.”
This section’s proposed actions are to identify and evaluate various types of parks, meet with various youth sports organizations, identify and evaluate potential property, and build cooperation between three cities and the county.
The third section in the plan is “Business Recruitment/Existing Industry.”
Proposed actions detailed in this section are to actively promote opportunities to help existing industries be more competitive, foster open communication with existing industries by engaging them regularly, assess current barriers to industry growth/expansion, work to remove or diminish those barriers, refine industrial recruitment plan to utilize existing industries and other available resources, engage in pursuing opportunities that raise the standard of living and improve the quality of life, and sports complex.
The fourth item in the plan is “Health Care Program.”
Actions in this section include to promote greater access to affordable quality healthcare, expand Smart Card provider network and increase level of benefit, support new hospital through the integration of new and existing programs and benefits, and to actively promote group health options that are more affordable and to offer higher levels of benefit.
Fifth is “Workforce Development Project.”
The proposed actions under this category are to analyze results of general survey, formulate additional surveys that are industry specific, institute industry specific surveys and collect data, and to analyze results of industry specific surveys.
“Community Needs Assessment” is the sixth category detailed in the plan.
Actions include building on results of the Workforce Project to identify countywide community needs in the area of education, housing, transportation, technology, infrastructure, and social services, benchmark needs in these areas and establish a plan of action for each, and to create a central clearing house of information outlining what community services currently exist and what needs to be addressed.
The last category in the plan is “Conservation, Preservation and Environmental Aims.”
The actions proposed are the development of countywide plan in conjunction with Keep Sevier Beautiful, and to promote available energy saving programs within the community.
County Adopts Economic Plan
By Brooke Stevenson