Last March, an estimated 475 Fayetteville residents came together for the first ever Fayetteville Forward Economic Development Summit.
The event, which was intended to create an economic development plan for the City of Fayetteville, included a timeline for implementation and action items based on input received from Fayetteville citizens.
What resulted was the creation of the Fayetteville Forward Economic Accountability Council, the formation of 11 volunteer groups, and the identification of 38 city-led action items, each with a specific focus intended to improve economic development efforts and address quality of life issues in Fayetteville.
On April 17, the city will hold a second Fayetteville Forward summit from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. inside East Square Plaza to evaluate the progress made since last year, and explore new areas for improvement.
“We are hoping to continue what was started last year,” said Julie McQuade, Community Outreach Coordinator for the city, and one of the organizers of Fayetteville Forward. “We want to strengthen the colaborations that have already started, identify new groups that need to be formed, and to celebrate what has been accomplished over the past year.”
Bliss Browne, founder of Imagine Chicago, will return to Fayetteville to facilitate the follow-up summit.
McQuade said that a follow-up event to track the programs progress has been a part of the plan all along, and the city also wants to to continue to build on the accomplishments from the past year.
“I think a lot of the developments that have come about over the last year came about because of connections made, and discussions coming out of the action group meetings from Fayetteville Forward,” McQuade said. “It was a real catalyst for making connections, and a lot of positive things that have happened over the last year wouldn’t have happened without it.”
The city is urging all Fayetteville residents that can make it on April 17 to attend.