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News release from the Danville Regional Foundation
A new organization will focus on how to prepare for the growth coming to Danville and Pittsylvania County. The Partnership for Regional Prosperity is the outcome of a recommendation in the 2019 Regional Economic Development Strategic Plan for the region but the group’s formation has been driven by the potential for serious growth coming from the region’s many economic development successes.
From 2018-2021, more than $1.1 billion in economic development projects promising nearly 4,000 jobs has been announced.
“The motivation for forming the Partnership for Regional Prosperity comes from asking ourselves if the region is prepared for the challenges and opportunities that will come from this success,” said Clark Casteel, president and CEO of the Danville Regional Foundation (DRF) which funded the 2019 study in cooperation with the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County and is a member of the Partnership’s steering committee. “That is something we really need to be thinking about if we want to make sure it’s the future the community desires and deserves.”
The group plans to engage community and business leadership in thinking and learning leading to collaborative strategy development. Activities will include engaging stakeholders from key institutions, the community, and business in community forums over the coming months to share the challenges and opportunities that accompany the region’s economic development success and to collect ideas and feedback.
“Since the closing of Dan River Mills and the decline in the tobacco industries, our region has worked hard to rebuild its economy and we’ve seen tremendous progress,” said Danville City Manager Ken Larking. “I believe our community needs to refocus its energy on how to best manage the change that comes from growth. We are confident that our area is poised for significant change. Planning for that change will produce the best outcome.”
“This group is a civic think tank that will share knowledge about what is ahead for our region and seek input to make Danville and Pittsylvania County models of future-forward thinking and action,” said Clarence Monday, Pittsylvania County administrator.
The seven members of the Partnership steering committee were appointed by Danville City Council and the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors and represent the public and private sectors along with key community institutions.
Members of the steering committee are: Clark Casteel, president & CEO of the Danville Regional Foundation; Dr. Angela Hairston, superintendent of Danville Public Schools; Ken Larking, Danville City Manager; Tommy Mathena, president of the Center for Pediatric Therapies; Clarence Monday, interim Pittsylvania County administrator; Anne Moore-Sparks, president & CEO of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce; and Telly Tucker, incoming president of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.
The group is supported by the Danville Regional Foundation and will begin activities this summer.