Teague to lead community forum steering committee

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Local business and community leader, Pete Teague, CPA with Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, will chair a steering committee to address key issues and priorities identified as part of the Rowan County Community Forum held in March 2014.

The inaugural forum was sponsored by F & M Bank and was a collective effort led by the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce and RowanWORKS Economic Development with more than 200 attendees.  Representatives from key businesses, education, human services, and volunteer sectors provided input that will guide additional community forums on targeted topics with the goal of formulating a singular shared vision for our community.

Subsequently, the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce received a grant from the Robertson Foundation to support on-going strategic activities related to the priority topics identified from survey data gathered at the March forum.

Survey results overwhelmingly identified public education and workforce preparation as priority concerns.  In May, Dr. Lynn Moody, Superintendent of the Rowan-Salisbury School System, shared the new strategic plan for the local school system at a second community-wide meeting in China Grove.  Approximately 100 citizens attended that event.

The Community Forum Steering Committee includes representatives from the original Gateway Partners:  Communities in Schools of Rowan County; Downtown Salisbury, Inc.; Land Trust for Central NC; Rowan County Chamber of Commerce; RowanWORKS; and, the Salisbury-Rowan Convention and Visitors Bureau.  The Steering Committee will solicit additional volunteers from the greater community to assist in the planning and implementation of activities that require subject matter expertise and input from external partners and stakeholders.

"This is a crucial time for our community," says Teague. He continued, "We need to leverage our resources and efforts toward a shared vision that will capitalize on our strengths and opportunities, and we have many of both.  Since our initial forum in March, we are already experiencing groups working together toward shared goals that will improve our community's image and effectiveness."

The next community forum initiative will be a county-wide Literacy Summit scheduled for September 26 at the Albert J.D. Aymer Center at Hood Theological Seminary.  Leaders from the Rowan-Salisbury School System, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Catawba College, and Livingstone College will facilitate a discussion and information-sharing regarding local literacy statistics and present a "call to action" to address this critical concern.