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Marketing Hometown America Update: What You Need to Know

Monday, July 09, 2018

Our communities have a lot to offer residents and businesses. Here, community means more than a physical destination on the map. Our community is part of who we are. It connects us, tying us to the land and to each other. It is this strong sense of community that has led so many people to get involved in making Marketing Hometown America a success, and what a success it has been! In fact, one project has even been launched - a beautiful community garden.

We started with focus groups

Over the past year and a half, we have hosted over fifteen focus groups where community members have come together to identify:

  1. What we are doing right
  2. What needs to improve
  3. Projects that can enhance the livability or aesthetics of our towns

Project ideas

The goal of this initiative is to showcase how amazing our communities truly are and to make it easier for families and businesses to move here. Because of that, the projects each community selected were based on their specific needs and goals. Here are a few of them.

Bradshaw

  • Website/Social Media
  • Content for Welcome packet
  • Recreational Improvements
  • Housing and Workforce Solutions
  • More Recreational Opportunities

Henderson

  • Housing and Workforce Solutions
  • Eventually build a community center and library
  • Mural creation - The City Council has budgeted to have a local painter do the actual painting, but we do need some ideas with design because they want something fresh.
  • Welcome/Media Kit – It will go in conjunction with a new website
  • Central Event listing location on the website

McCool Junction

  • Placing crosswalks around the school (on the blacktop south of the school would be a primary place)
  • Placing recycling bins around town.  
  • Creating a recreation opportunity like developing a frisbee golf course
  • Housing and Workforce Solutions
  • Better Social Media Presence

York

  • LB840 Campaign
  • Housing/Workforce Campaign
  • App to connect visitors and locals
  • Daycare

Help was needed

These focus groups generated some terrific ideas but one thing became immediately clear - help would be necessary to plan for and launch these projects. Understanding that there are financial constraints, YCDC got creative and worked with York College to create an internship program. Students were hand selected and over the course of a semester, worked diligently to move these projects forward. Every other week, Bre Goben, Development Coordinator for YCDC, met with students to chart progress, offer assistance, and answer questions. This further helped to keep projects on track and ensured that students received guidance throughout their semester.

The folks in Henderson captured the impact an enthusiastic intern makes when saying, “There was no way we could have gotten our mural project this far without them. We hope to launch this summer and their help is one of the reasons we can.”

What’s next

A lot of work has been done as part of the Marketing Hometown America initiative but many of our community members are unaware of that impact. To educate the general public and to receive additional feedback, Bre Goben will start conducting Ripple Mapping meetings in July. These will help to show people what opportunities have come out of Marketing Hometown America so that everyone can understand and benefit. It will also allow YCDC to hear feedback from communities on what resources they need to complete their projects. The first community she will focus on is Bradshaw. Most of these meetings will take place during Community Days, making them even easier to attend.

To learn more about Marketing Hometown America, watch this video.

 

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