Neshoba County Aims High

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The Philadelphia-Neshoba County Community Development Partnership has been working for just under a year on a strategic plan to brighten the future development of the area.

Chairman Archie Anderson said the committee is a diverse group of both citizens and community leaders.

"In February of 2004 we had a group get-together at a retreat and started formulating a plan with strategies for Philadelphia-Neshoba County," said Anderson.

The strategic plan has four major areas of interest to which committees and subcommittees are assigned.

Physical Infrastructure:
Aimed at being recognized as an ideal place to locate a business, live, work, and raise a family,

Social Infrastructure:
Developing a hospitable, inclusive community with strong faith and values and quality medical care, and diverse recreational and cultural activities.

Workforce Education:
Providing existing and prospective employers with a well trained, well educated workforce, combined with a strong business and industrial recruitment strategy.

Business Development:
To create an environment that promotes the expansion of existing businesses and fosters a climate for the creation of new businesses.

"We hope it would be a plan with long term success. It is a picture in time and last night we showed a final report of where we want the community to go," Anderson said.

An example of one of the goals already reached by the committee is the zip around shuttle service developed in conjunction with the Choctaw Transportation Authority. It's an effort to bring people not only to the casinos, but to the downtown area as well.

"We identified that there was no way to get tourists to the downtown area," said Anderson. "The very first part of next month it will run every hour on the hour. We're just trying to take be more proactive."