Impact – Technical Assistance

Current Projects

Community Development Kick Start – Lonoke, AR

The CDI 2016 Advanced Year class began working with Lonoke, AR during the first week of August. The class of economic and community development experts assessed the city through an online assessment, research-based assessment, driving tour, and speaking with community leaders and citizens. At the end of the week, the class presented their findings, observations, and “golden nuggets” to the community.

Moving forward, UCA’s Center for Community and Economic Development and U of A’s Cooperative Extension Service will assist Lonoke in the creation of a strategic action plan.


First Impressions Tour Assessment – Greenbrier, AR

The Center is currently conducting a First Impressions Tour (FIT) assessment for Greenbrier, AR. FIT pinpointed community and economic strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats in Clarksville by assessing the city’s physical, social, and economic infrastructures and also conducting an online assessment. The community will receive a FIT report that will highlight the city’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. The city will also receive data concerning the city’s demographics, trends, and that assesses its economic environment.

 

Past Projects

Community Development Kick Start – Heber Springs, AR

DSC_0259Since CDI 2015 ended the first week of August, the Center has worked with U of A Cooperative Extension to continue the CDI Advanced Year Kick Start Program in Heber Springs, Arkansas. Our work in Heber Springs has included many community forums focused on the creation of a strategic action plan for the city. At these forums, the community identified core values and a vision for the group’s efforts; community action groups were organized; and the community action groups worked through the Breakthrough Solutions Action Process. The community action groups formed to focus on a variety of important topics to the city: Funding and Finance, Economic Development, Tourism, Branding and Marketing, Education, and Quality of Life. The Center’s work in Heber Springs will culminate with the creation of an action plan, a strategic messaging document that will house Heber Springs’ goals over the foreseeable future.


Business Survey – Clinton, AR

The Chamber of Commerce in Clinton has contracted the Center to create and disseminate a business survey to better help the Chamber understand the local business environment. The survey will be used to analyze Clinton businesses and identify opportunities for the Chamber to better assist local business owners and to provide customized training opportunities. The survey results will also be helpful in identifying opportunities to attract new businesses.


BR&E Program – Greenwood, AR

The Center is currently developing and assisting in the implementation of a Business Retention and Expansion Program (BR&E) for the city of Greenwood. The BR&E Program will be housed through Greenwood’s Chamber of Commerce and will aim to sustain and grow the city’s economic base. Greenwood’s customized BR&E Program is the first to be offered by the Center; the Center will offer this new service to small to mid-sized communities in Arkansas after completing the project in Greenwood. To learn more about our BR&E service, please complete our Request for Assistance form.


Strategic Planning Session – Barling, AR

Through a partnership with Pam Alexander of Harness Point Solutions, the Center was able to assist the city of Barling in a strategic planning session for their newly formed Economic Development Committee. During the planning session, members of the committee identified a mission and vision statement, began the formation of a communications plan, and got all members moving in a defined direction. The session also included a SWOT analysis and the first steps towards creating specific economic and community development goals and objectives for the city.


First Impressions Tour Assessment – Clarksville, AR

The Center conducted a First Impressions Tour (FIT) assessment for Clarksville, AR. FIT pinpointed community and economic strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats in Clarksville by assessing the city’s physical, social, and economic infrastructures and also conducting an online assessment. Travis Stephens, President/CEO of the Clarksville Johnson County Economic Development, stated, “The First Impressions Tour was a highly effective tool in helping our citizens discover how to better market their community. It allows residents the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a visitor and to understand how to enhance and really maximize an outsider’s overall experience while visiting their community.” The Center’s staff presented the FIT findings to chamber of commerce members, city officials, and Clarksville community leaders.


Community Development Kick Start – Paris, AR

Over the course of the past year, the Center has worked with U of A Cooperative Extension to continue the CDI Advanced Year Kick Start Program in Paris, Arkansas. Our work in Paris has included three community forums: one held in September, October, and November. At these forums, the community identified core values and a vision for the group’s efforts; community action groups were organized; and the community action groups worked through the Breakthrough Solutions Action Process. The community action groups moved forward with a variety of improvements to community education, community branding, and quality of life. The Center’s work with Paris culminated with the creation of the Paris In Action plan, a strategic document that will carry Paris through economic and community development improvements over the next several years. View Paris In Action here.

For more about the Advanced Year Kick Start Program in Paris, check out the summary report.

View the “Paris Action Plan Video” by clicking the image below.

Paris Eiffel Tower Park Video


First Impressions Tour Assessment – Greenwood, AR

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The Center conducted a First Impressions Tour (FIT) assessment in Greenwood, AR. FIT pinpointed community and economic strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats in Greenwood by assessing the city’s physical, social, and economic infrastructures and also conducting an online assessment. The Center’s staff identified five potential long term “Next Steps” for the city. One of the “Next Steps” identified was the suggestion to create a BR&E program; Greenwood is currently continuing to work with the Center to develop this program.

 


Developing and Implementing Training Sessions for Non-Profits

The Center assisted Outreach and Community Engagement’s Non Profit Survival Series. This series was geared to meet the needs of nonprofits by hosting a series of workshops each specifically designed to address a particular challenge facing nonprofits. More info here.


First Impressions Tour Assessment – Mulberry, AR

The very first First Impressions Tour (FIT) assessment was conducted in Mulberry, AR. During FIT in Mulberry, the Center’s staff conveyed to community leaders Mulberry’s community and economic strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats. The staff completed the FIT in Mulberry by identifying several potential long term “Next Steps” for the city. The Center also continued to work with Mulberry by collaborating with city leadership to develop the city’s website.