On Tuesday, May 14 over 60 local leaders, activists, young professionals and change agents gathered at the Lettie W. Jensen Center, Amherst to identify and launch projects to support Portage County Prosperity 2040, a county-wide initiative for future economic and community development.
Prosperity 2040 is co-sponsored by the City of Stevens Point, Portage County, the Village of Plover, and the Portage County Business Council, with support from the Portage County Towns Association. The initiative was co-funded by a grant from the Local Government Institute of Wisconsin.
The focus of the third and final workshop on May 14 was “Strategic Doing,” a method developed at Purdue University that helps broad stakeholder groups identify high impact projects to support their long term vision. At the Jensen Center, meeting participants represented a cross-section of small businesses, nonprofits, the social sector, education, agriculture, and government. Each participant selected one strategy (see list below) critical to the County’s future success, as identified through the previous two workshops.
Prosperity 2040 Strategies
By the end of the evening, seven pathfinder projects were launched to begin the “doing”. Projects ranged from a neighborhood vegetable sharing program to promote healthier lifestyles to an electric car-buying cooperative to a community awareness campaign focused on increasing funding for roads and infrastructure.
Sarah Agena, Flexible Nutrition Solutions said, “Last night was an exciting first step to take action on the issues we know will be critical to our region’s success. This is really about doing and community engagement. It is great to see the Business Council, municipalities and all the community involved. I met a lot of new, engaged people through the process.”
The next steps in the process include:
Portage County residents who want to get involved can contact Todd Kuckkahn, Executive Director, Portage County Business Council at firstname.lastname@example.org; 715-344-1940. Residents are also invited to weigh-in on priorities for the future by logging onto Polco.us and search for “Portage County Prosperity 2040.” Registration is free and participants can respond to several polls to guide priorities.
About the project: Portage County Prosperity 2040 is one of the Local Government Institute of Wisconsin’s (LGI) “Future Regions” initiatives. LGI established Future Regions to encourage multiple units of local government to work together to address regional issues. Learn more: http://www.localgovinstitute.org/future_regions.
About LGI: LGI was formed by the Wisconsin Counties Association, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, the Wisconsin Towns Association and the Wisconsin Alliance of Cities (now the Urban Alliance) in 2008 to promote greater cooperation and collaboration between units of government in the delivery of services.