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Economy Update – January 2017

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Economy | Comments Off on Economy Update – January 2017

Economy Update – January 2017

2016 Year in Review: Goals, Successes and Indicators

Education Update – January 2017

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Education | Comments Off on Education Update – January 2017

Education Update – January 2017

2016 Year in Review: Goals, Successes and Indicators

Community Update – November 2016

Posted by on Dec 9, 2016 in Community | Comments Off on Community Update – November 2016

Community Update – November 2016
Community Lessons Learned from the Strategic Leadership Visit
By Mike Stachura, Fayette Visioning Community Chair

I was honored to participate in the Fayette Chamber’s Strategic Leadership visit in late October to Greenville, Rock Hill and Fort Mill all in South Carolina and Sugar Hill, Georgia.
One of the biggest impacts I saw in these communities was that of a shared vision. In each of the four communities we visited, one feature was shared by all: civic, economic, and community leaders held a united vision for what their community could become if all worked together to achieve that dream. Their dreams needed concrete goals and plans.  Their bright, talented, and engaged leadership came from all segments of their cities and towns and they were working together to make their vision become a new reality. The new businesses, housing, recreational, and civic developments reflected thoughtful planning, financing, and engagement of the local citizens.
The second takeaway I had from the trip was that all these communities embraced their diversity. These four communities –Greenville, Rock Hill, Fort Mill, SC and Sugar Hill, GA—faced tough decisions about their futures. Some of the issues included an aging population, deteriorating homes, lack of businesses, poor infrastructure and economic challenges. Yet, they forged unified development plans that included addressing the needs of each segment of their community — walkable streets and paths, live-work-play communities, new/innovative places for businesses to relocate, and recreational areas for all ages to enjoy. Plus they are using their creative plans to welcome tourists, visitors and guests. All three of the South Carolina communities have become welcome weekend tourist destinations for NC, SC, and GA residents.  Sugar Hill is controlling its destiny to build a beautiful place for its constituents.

We look forward to taking the ideas we were exposed to and figuring out how to make the best ones work in Fayette County.

Place Update – November 2016

Posted by on Dec 9, 2016 in Place | Comments Off on Place Update – November 2016

Place Update – November 2016
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.

Education Update – November 2016

Posted by on Dec 9, 2016 in Education | Comments Off on Education Update – November 2016

Education Update – November 2016
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.

Economy Update – November 2016

Posted by on Dec 9, 2016 in Economy | Comments Off on Economy Update – November 2016

Economy Update – November 2016
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 Summit – December 9

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Education | Comments Off on Fayette Visioning Summit – December 9

Fayette Visioning Summit – December 9

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

Community Update – October 2016

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Community | Comments Off on Community Update – October 2016

Community Update – October 2016
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.
Fayette Visioning encourages all citizens of voting age to vote and to learn about the candidates.  The Fayette Chamber of Commerce has provided links to candidates’ websites in one place. (http://www.fayettechamber.org/elections-information).

Place Update – October 2016

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Place | Comments Off on Place Update – October 2016

Place Update – October 2016
The development process is an interesting, often messy, mesh of citizen input, comprehensive planning and market forces. The public provides input on what kind of development they’d like to see and it is not uncommon that some want no development whatsoever. The planners try to determine what growth is best to sustain community vitality within constraints of utilities and infrastructure capacity. Developers want to build what the market will buy so they, their employees and contractors can earn a living and get a return for the risk taken and capital invested.
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs requires comp plan updates every five years and complete revisions every 10 years. Fayette County and the municipalities must update or revise their comp plans by June 30, 2017. For the first time, Fayette County and the cities are working together to create a cohesive plan for the entire County. Comp plans require significant public input during updates and revisions. The County and municipalities have begun the revision process, which includes citizen committees and numerous public comment sessions. Citizen participation is critical during the revision of the comp plan as it will serve as the future land use map, a guide for future growth and the basis for which zoning codes and development plans are created.
Each local government is now holding meetings on the comprehensive plan and will be conducting online surveys.  When the surveys are ready, Fayette Visioning will assist by sending out to newsletter subscribers and sharing through social media and ask all to complete the surveys.

Education Update – October 2016

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Education | Comments Off on Education Update – October 2016

Education Update – October 2016
Eighth-grade teams in Flat Rock Middle School’s Business Education & Computer Science Connections class participated in the school’s inaugural Shark Tank project.  This entrepreneurship project, inspired by the hit ABC show Shark Tank, required student groups to bring to life a product idea with a simple marketing plan, messaging and when appropriate, a product sample or prototype. Groups consisted of three to five students.  The types of goods and services the groups developed ranged from electronic products to online retail to catering to a bakery.
Group 3 students Kennedy, Kieran, Destiny and Alberto (pictured above) Group #3 came up with a retail bakery concept called the Holiday Experiment and their tag line was “where the holidays are everyday!” The students not only provided the “sharks” with samples of their fine baked goods, the group delivered a cohesive, professional presentation of their business concept.
Seven “sharks” (business leaders) participated providing expertise, advice and knowledge to the students while scoring the group projects. Students welcomed the real-world perspective the “sharks” provided.  Community participants included:
  • Carlotta Ungaro: President & CEO of Fayette Chamber of Commerce
  • Jennifer Barnett: Owner of the Dusty Rose Consignment Boutique in Peachtree City
  • Sheila Dusseau: Director of Law Ops & Finance
  • Lisa Collins: Director of CTE for Fayette County Public Schools
  • Mark Turner : CEO of Turner PhotoDesign here in Fayetteville
  • Vendo Toming: Principal of VT Associates, LLC in Peachtree City
  • Dr. Ted Lombard: Coordinator of Safety, Athletics and Discipline for Fayette County Public Schools