The UCA Center for Community and Economic Development is partnering with Entergy Arkansas through the Community Catalyst program to assist five communities with citizen engagement and technical assistance training
The goal of the program is to develop community and economic development goals that will serve as a long-term catalyst for economic development engagements.
The Center for Community and Economic Development will play a big role within the Community Catalyst program.
“Our staff will do everything from selecting the communities through a competitive application process, organizing community leaders, hosting the Strategic Doing workshop — as well as other meetings in the selected communities — providing coaching for the leadership group in each community and providing assistance as needed during the implementation phase of the process,” Shelby Fiegel, director of the Center for Community and Economic Development said. “Entergy Arkansas is the funder for the program and will work hand-in-hand with our team throughout the program. The John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University will also assist us with additional support.”
The John C. Stennis Institute of Government describes itself as an institute with a mission to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of local governments through basic and applied research, to provide technical assistance and research for rural development in regional activities in the Southeastand to promote civic education and citizen involvement in the political process.
The program will use an innovative community development tool called Strategic Doing. Strategic Doing focuses on immediate and impactful small wins and goals to create transformation in communities. It enables people to form collaborations quickly and guides communities toward measurable outcomes with adjustments along the way.
Strategic Doing’s website describes it as a new strategy discipline that is lean, agile and fast — just what organizations, communities and regions need to survive and thrive.
Wynne was selected as the first Community Catalyst community. Two more communities will be selected for the program in spring 2020 and two more in fall 2020.
The communities that are selected will receive many different services includingan initial planning meeting that will include a driving tour of the community and an overview of the process; a community survey to identify strengths, needs, and wants within the community; a brainstorming session with community leaders; a Strategic Doing planning session; assistance developing a communication plan; coaching for the executive team and $1,000 for a Community Catalyst grant.
Entergy Arkansas’ services include site selection, project management services, research and engineering services, large project services and contract services. Entergy Arkansas works alongside an extensive network of government agencies, businesses and communities to help companies find the properties to best meet their needs.
The Center for Community and Economic Development provides business retention and expansion programs, community assessments, community survey development, economic and demographic data analysis, first impression driving tours, community convening, scenario planning simulations and student service projects for the communities it works with.