New lead­er­ship pro­gram an­nounced at Blue­print Polk

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By KEVIN MYRICK Editor

Polk County res­i­dents hop­ing to see an ex­pan­sion of the Biz Builders pro­gram Cedartown started to pro­mote en­trepreneurs will now get a chance to thanks to a new pro­gram an­nounced re­cently at the latest Blue­print Polk meet­ing.

Britt Mad­den Jr. was the first to re­port what is be­ing ac­com­plished on the lead­er­ship front in Polk County, and much of his al­lot­ted time was given over to­ward dis­cussing the ac­com­plish­ments of Cedartown’s Biz Builder pro­gram and its first year in 2014.

How­ever, he also got the op­por­tu­nity to an­nounce a new pro­gram be­ing de­vel­oped by the Polk County Cham­ber of Com­merce.

“The Lead­er­ship Com­mit­tee of that group is also mak­ing a great im­por­tant stride to serve Polk County busi­nesses and help cul­ti­vate the next gen­er­a­tions of lead­ers by de­vel­op­ment of what we’re call­ing the Polk County Cham­ber Lead­er­ship Academy,” Mad­den said.

He said the new Lead­er­ship Academy will be fo­cused on ar­eas of giv­ing those po­ten­tial fu­ture lead­ers of Polk County ed­u­ca­tion on per­sonal growth, health and well­ness, ba­sic lead­er­ship prin­ci­ples and busi­ness con­cepts with ad­di­tion to a com­mu­nity 101-style class. Part­ner­ing with in­dus­tries and lo­cal small busi­nesses, the idea is to see what lead­ers come out of the pro­gram.

“We want to see if these are peo­ple we want to in­vest more in, and maybe even an op­por­tu­nity to pos­si­bly pull some­thing out of some­one we hope they had,” he said.

The cham­ber board gave its ap­proval to the con­cept, but the plan is still be­ing re­fined with part­ner Ge­or­gia North­west­ern Tech­ni­cal Col­lege, who will be lend­ing pro­fes­sors for the ed­u­ca­tional com­po­nent of the pro­gram.

Lo­cal busi­ness and gov­ern­ment lead­ers gath­ered at the end of Au­gust to hear progress on the Blue­print Polk plan fol­low­ing three years of work to­ward achiev­ing goals first out­lined in 2011. Those in­cluded work­ing with schools and in­dus­tries to­ward build­ing up part­ner­ships for ed­u­ca­tion and work study op­por­tu­ni­ties, court­ing in­dus­tries, up­dat­ing Polk’s sig­nage and more.

Rachel Row­ell, De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity of Polk County Pres­i­dent and CEO, headed up the meet­ing of area gov­ern­ment, busi­ness and ed­u­ca­tion lead­ers who con­trib­uted to­ward goals set out to make lo­cal im­prove­ments to at­tract growth.

Row­ell’s goal was fol­low­ing the lunchtime pre­sen­ta­tions on sev­eral ar­eas is to com­pile a re­port to take to lo­cal coun­cils and com­mis­sions for their bless­ing and to adopt it as a city vi­sion.

“We want ev­ery­one to be on the same page,” Row­ell said.

How­ever, it’ll be Fe­bru­ary 2016 be­fore the group meets again and pro­vides rec­om­men­da­tions on what ar­eas of the plan will need im­prove­ments and up­dates.

Dur­ing that time, sub­com­mit­tees on Lead­er­ship, Ed­u­ca­tion, In­fra­struc­ture and Public Safety – among oth­ers – will have time to re­vise for the next five years, and take from the lessons learned in spe­cific projects the knowl­edge needed to work for­ward.

(See more on the Biz Builders pro­gram’s sec­ond year in this week’s edi­tion of the Stan­dard Jour­nal in a story by Tricia Cambron on this page. )

Rachel Row­ell, DAPC Pres­i­dent, headed up the Blue­print Polk meet­ing held on Aug. 26. Lo­cal busi­ness and gov­ern­ment lead­ers gath­ered to dis­cuss progress and what’s next.

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