Ten at the Top hosted a Union County community forum Thursday evening at the Advanced Technology Center. The forum was the third in a series of 12 to be held across the Upstate in October and November.
Ten at the Top – named for the 10 counties which make up South Carolina’s Upstate – was created to foster collaboration and planning in the region. The Upstate is projected to add more than 250,000 residents and 200,000 new jobs over the next 20 years and the organization is looking ahead to the future.
TATT is currently in the process of developing a Shared Upstate Growth Vision which is scheduled for unveiling in spring 2011.
“In 2030, we want to ensure the Upstate is a great place to live, do business and raise a family,” said TATT Executive Director Dean Hybl on Thursday night.
According to Hybl, the vision for direction of the Upstate to prepare for future growth will be created in four steps.
Step 1: Community Education and Input
Step One was completed between February and June of this year when more than 7,000 Upstate residents provided input for the Shared Upstate Growth Vision Survey during a five-week survey period.
Step 2: Developing Vision Through Community Input
This step is currently ongoing with nine more community forums to be held in the Upstate, in which “How is the Upstate Growing” presentations are given and followed by focus group table discussions.
Each table was given several issues to discuss Thursday night, ranging from ways to leverage Upstate resources to help the unemployed residents to public transportation to community events. Groups were asked to identify the issues and discuss possible action, keeping in mind the feasibility of the actions as well as whether or not the actions provide opportunities for counties to work together regionally.
Step 3: Finalizing the Vision and Implementation Strategy
In January and February 2011, the TATT Vision and Values Committee will use the community feedback from the Regional Vision Summit and community forums to finalize the Shared Upstate Growth Vision.
Step 4: Unveiling the Vision and Implementation Strategy
During spring 2011, the final Shared Upstate Growth Vision and implementation “tool kit” will be unveiled during a regional event. TATT will then spend the remainder of 2011 promoting the Shared Upstate Growth Vision through presentations to cities, counties and community groups across the region.
TATT is striving to enhance the following vision elements and guiding principles while the Upstate continues to experience substantial growth:
• Human Potential – creating opportunities for all Upstate residents to succeed
• Entrepreneurial Vision – growing the competitiveness of the Upstate in the Global Economy
• Sustainable Growth – encouraging future growth in locations by means that enhance livability in the Upstate
• Natural Beauty and Resources – serving as reliable stewards of natural environment and resources
• Community Vibrancy – embracing the importance and heritage of the Upstate’s urban areas and small towns
More information can be found at www.sharedupstatevision.org or www.tenatthetop.org.