Highland EDA Community Survey Coming Soon

The Highland County Economic Development Authority is preparing a community market survey to help provide guidance for community development.  The survey is the next step in the EDA’s work with the Rural Community Development Initiative, or RCDI.

Betty Mitchell is the Economic Development Officer for the Highland EDA.

“Well, we’re trying to figure out what people in the county think is important about Highland County,” says Mitchell.  “Some of the challenges that we have, some of the things they’d like to see if we were able to attract more businesses here and as we look for resident attraction.  Things that we think will be especially important to people living in Highland County.”

RCDI was brought together by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to provide technical assistance to working groups in rural communities in Virginia.  Highland is one of seven groups throughout the state.  So far participants have been working on strategic planning, enhancing limited resources and creating efficiency in community organizations.  The partners in the Highland RCDI group, that are doing community and economic development work, are the Highland EDA, the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, The Highland Center and the Highland Tourism Council.

“So, this is a three-year grant and we are in about year and a half, and at this point we are tying to, kind of, take the pulse of the community as it relates to marketing strategies and things that we’ll want to work on as far as community development and revitalization projects,” says Mitchell.  “So it’s a good time for us to get this survey done, so that we can set the work plans for the next year and a half with the different groups involved with RCDI.”

When the survey is ready, the link to it will be available on the Highland Economic Development Facebook page, on the Chamber of Commerce website and on other community partner social media outlets.  There will also be a few hard copies available at the Highland Public Library.

“It will be available by the 29th or 30th of November and it’s going to have a short time frame,” says Mitchell. “It will be digital and we’re delighted that the Highland Public Library has offered if anybody needs any assistance in finding it on a computer, or filling it out, they’re willing to work with anybody during their normal business hours.”

The report out for these surveys will be at the Highland Strategic Market Planning Workshop, a facilitated workshop through the National Main Street Program.  The workshop is set for Tuesday, December 14 at The Highland Center from 5 to 8pm.  Everyone is welcome to attend and to participate in the discussion.

For more information, you can email highlandeda@htcnet.org

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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