Place Lessons Learned from the Strategic Leadership Visit
By Vickie Butler, Fayette Visioning Place Chair
On October 23, I, along with 45 other community leaders, boarded a bus headed to Greenville, Rock Hill and Fort Mill all in South Carolina and Sugar Hill, Georgia. The Fayette Strategic Leadership Visit was underway.
All of these communities provided excellent examples of how to create place. Greenville’s story about the hidden waterfall uncovered to bring a town back to life has inspired communities across the country to “find their waterfall.” Greenville’s Peace Center is a shining example of a community-driven performing arts center.
Rock Hill has made itself into a world-class sports competition town. Its soccer fields and cycling facilities attract tournaments and competitions from around the world that has created a direct economic impact of $155 million a year. Next on their project list is tennis.
The Baxter Village development in Fort Mill was an amazing mixed-use development that had a truly authentic feel to it. The restaurants and shops serve as the anchors for houses of great variety, size and price points. Nearby Kingsley was more focused on commercial and office but had beautifully mixed in apartments and hotels.
Sugar Hill, Georgia was particularly interesting story. To maintain quality development in the town core, the city itself has purchased land and seeks out the right partners. As they describe it, they control their own destiny.
On our trip, we saw a variety of infrastructure projects as well as programs that could serve as models in Fayette County. I look forward to seeing some of these great ideas come to fruition.
Hoshizaki Hosts Fayette Teachers for National Manufacturing Day
By Paige Muh, Community Development Director, Fayette Chamber of Commerce
On the morning of October 27, Hoshizaki America hosted engineering and business teachers from Fayette County’s middle and high schools to tour their facility and learn about modern manufacturing. The educators discovered that Hoshizaki’s clean, safe, organized work environment relies on high-tech processes that demand an increasingly skilled and talented workforce.
The event was planned in honor of National Manufacturing Day and was a collaborative project between Hoshizaki, Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute and the Career and Technical Education department of Fayette County Schools. The event demonstrated the community’s commitment to work together.
Larry Alford, regional manager of the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute, outlined the event objectives.
- Recognize the impact manufacturing and Hoshizaki has in our community
- Showcase the careers Hoshizaki offers across many disciplines
- Illustrate the organized, clean, safe, challenging nature of advanced manufacturing
- Demonstrate the need for partnerships between education and industry to address workforce shortages and enable all students to identify and pursue exciting careers
- Highlight the creativity shown by Fayette County Schools to engage and support STEM initiatives and work-based learning
After the plant tour and demonstrations of production and fabrication techniques, Hoshizaki’s executive team met with the teachers to further expound on the background and skill sets that they look for when hiring employees. The executive team emphasized that hands-on experience and strong soft skills are essential requirement for any job candidate, in addition to their technical expertise.
Exposing Fayette County teachers firsthand to today’s manufacturing environment can directly benefit Fayette County students. Teachers can tailor curriculum concepts to real-world business and industry applications; they will be better able to communicate career opportunities and expectations to their students; and collaboration between industry and education through work-based learning can be fostered.
ABOUT HOSHIZAKI AMERICA, INC.: Hoshizaki America, Inc. is a global leader in the design, manufacturing, and marketing of equipment for the foodservice industry. With corporate headquarters in Peachtree City, Georgia, and a second manufacturing facility in Griffin, Georgia, operates some of the most automated production facilities in the industry.
Developer’s Day in Fayette County
Attracting business relocations and expansions to your community is tough work. With more than 15,000 communities in the U.S. alone vying for about 1,500 to 2,000 projects a year, the competition is fierce. The industry is also driven more and more by site selection consultants. These companies are firms that specialize in working with businesses to find the best location. They identify what is important to the company and then seek out a community that is a good match. They look at workforce availability and cost and available buildings or greenfields that are ready to go. They look at the quality of the local school systems, housing stock and prices as well as what there is to do in the community. Thanks to the web and social media, site selector can assess if a community is welcoming to new business and people or if the culture is anti-business or close-minded. Site selection consultants typically go to state project managers first so it is critical that local communities have strong relationships with the Department of Economic Development, regional partners and Georgia utility companies.
A common marketing practice in economic development is to host a “developers’ day.” The local economic development entity will invite state and regional economic development partners along with site selection consultants that specialize in helping companies in target industry sectors to their community. The day features tours of available sites, presentations about the area and opportunities to connect with local business leaders.
The Fayette County Development Authority (FCDA) hosted Developers’ Day on November 1 to show off Fayette County. The visit included a visit to a site in Tyrone, a stop at Pinewood Studios and at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground. The tour also included drive-by visits to a half-dozen sites in the three larger cities. “FCDA’s staff has worked hard to find available sites and to craft the great story of Fayette County,” stated Darryl Hicks, FCDA chair. “We are looking forward to the opportunity to sell our community to this important target group and hope to reap the reward of more leads and more announcements in the coming years.”
Fayette Visioning’s Second Annual Summit will be held on December 9 from 7:30 – 10:00 a.m. Come celebrate Fayette’s community superheroes who work to build Fayette County as the premiere place to be. Learn what projects are on the horizon including inspired ideas from the recent Strategic Leadership Visit to Greenville, Rock Hill and Fort Mill, South Carolina and Sugar Hill, Georgia.
Fayette Visioning Summit – Celebrating Superheroes
Friday, December 9
7:30 – 10:00 a.m.
Crowne Plaza Atlanta SW Peachtree City
201 Aberdeen Parkway, Peachtree City
Exercising the right to vote is one of the most important activities any U.S. citizen can do and an informed voter is critical to the election process. There is no lack of information about the presidential candidates but the down-ballot races, particularly at the local level, may require more work to gather information on the candidates and issues. Local policy makers can have just as large an impact on our daily lives as the president so learning about local- and state-level candidates and is critical.
To provide citizens an opportunity to learn about the candidates, Fayette Visioning partnered with Fayette Chamber of Commerce, Fayette County Democratic Party, Fayette County Issues Tea Party, Fayette County Republican Party, NAACP-Fayette County, GA and the Rotary Club of Peachtree City to host a candidates forum on September 27, which also happened to be National Voter Registration Day. More than 100 people were in attendance.