1. What is Forward Together? Forward Together is an unprecedented, community-driven effort to establish a common economic vision that will drive Genesee County communities forward. The vision will be presented in the form of an Economic Vitality Action Agenda. Our communities have all developed strong and independent planning processes, but now is the time to align these efforts and drive the region forward, together.
2. What is an Economic Vitality Action Agenda? The final product of the process, the Economic Vitality Action Agenda, will include a community-derived vision statement for economic vitality. It will seek to integrate the findings, goals and recommendations from other community planning processes while also filling gaps in research and analysis that has not been performed. This Action Agenda will include a collection of recommendations (projects, policies and programs) that, when taken together, will help drive our community toward its vision for economic prosperity.
3. Why does Genesee County need an Action Agenda for economic vitality? From an economic standpoint, several challenges—from a global recession to the water crisis—have delayed the County’s positive forward momentum, but the community has great potential. With these challenges and potential in mind, now is an important time for county-wide collaboration to address economic concerns and build upon the community’s assets. The Action Agenda will be focused on efforts to promote long-term change in such a way that existing institutions (government, civic groups, non-profits, etc.) can be more responsive to the community’s needs and aspirations. All communities can benefit from a “road map” for their economic future.
4. How does this relate to the City of Flint’s and the County’s other planning efforts? This effort will leverage existing planning efforts. Currently, the City of Flint is in the process of developing a plan for business development within the City boundaries, while Genesee County is working on a comprehensive land use and transportation plan for the County. The creation of the Economic Vitality Action Agenda will be completed through direct collaboration, engagement and data sharing with each of these efforts, while simultaneously broadening the focus to include business, talent and place related to the entire County.
5. How will this affect me? As a resident, employee, land owner, business owner or another stakeholder, you stand to gain from this process and the implementation of its recommendations. This is especially true if you become active in the events and engagement. Ultimately, Forward Together is intended to deliver greater prosperity and quality of life to all segments of the community.
6. Who is leading the planning process?The process is being led by a steering committee made up of individuals from across the County that represent diverse community interests. They will meet regularly throughout the process to plan outreach activities, discuss technical analysis and set the general direction for the Action Agenda. The process will be managed by the City of Flint, Genesee County and the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with Planning NEXT of Columbus, Ohio and Ninigret Partners of Providence, Rhode Island.
7. What will happen at public meetings? Public meetings will be informative, interactive and fun. The Planning Team will share some background about the process and relevant key findings, but the majority of the sessions will be spent in small group discussions. Through mapping projects, guided discussions and other activities, the Planning Team hopes to gather thousands of comments throughout the process.
8. Do I have to be an expert to contribute ideas? Absolutely not! By living, working or raising a family in a Genesee County community, you know so much. Your intuition is vital to the Action Agenda’s success. Whether you’re just moving to the area or a multi-generational life-long resident, your perspective is important.
9. How will my input be used? When you contribute an idea to Forward Together, you are contributing directly to the Economic Vitality Action Agenda. Your ideas will serve as the foundation for the community’s vision, contribute to the Action Agenda’s goals, inspire specific actions (like a new project, policy, or program), or set the course for implementation. All input will be recorded, databased, categorized, and analyzed by the Planning Team. This process will be documented in summary memos after each engagement round.
10. What is the timeline for completing the Economic Vitality Action Agenda? The process started in February 2019 and is expected to be completed by late fall 2019.
For more information please contact:
Tyler Rossmaessler at 810-600-1404, firstname.lastname@example.org or simply submit the form below. By submitting your email, you will also be opting in to the Forward Together email list to stay up-to-date with upcoming process events and news.