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Imagining a New Future

KSAL StaffNovember 1, 2018

The Salina Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday announced an aggressive new campaign that hopes to bring 1,000 new workers to Salina in the next five years.

The Chamber announced the new “Imagine Salina” campaign; turning ‘what if’ in to ‘what is.’

The initiative is comprised of primary strategies to be accomplished over the next five years, including support of organic and new business growth. The plan was developed by the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, with significant input from the business community.  The core of Image Salina focuses on two main initiatives:

  • Workforce Development: including recruitment, training/professional development and retention. The Chamber’s goal is to add 1,000 individuals to the Salina workforce over the next five years.
  • Business Expansion & Retention: emphasizing growth of existing business through advocacy, resource information and project assistance.

Many of the topics discussed at the Thursday morning announcement were the need for more affordable housing in Salina, more daycare professionals, and convincing kids who grow up in the community to either stay or come back after their post-secondary education. All of which are key emphases of trying pull more potential workers to living in the community.

The Chamber began the process of securing investors to make the program feasible. They are still actively soliciting financial support for the program from the Salina business community, but Chamber President Don Weiser says that they have already reached 70% of the $1.6 million goal–most of which is local funds from private investors.

Another key measurement  that the initiative will look to add on to is to increase the workforce from 28, 159 workers to 29,159 in five years within Saline County, as well as hopes to increase the county population from 55,417 to 57,817 in that same five year span.

A core strategy of the Imagine Salina initiative involves creating an Investor Advisory Council, comprised of Chamber Board of Directors members and Program Stakeholders to provide counsel and guidance.

Weiser and Chamber Chairman, Joyce Volk, say that the initial step of the process is to hire a Workforce Solutions Director, specifically dedicated to the implementation of aspects in the strategic plan focused on recruitment, development and retention to the Salina workforce.

There is tremendous momentum in Salina with many game-changing projects in the works, involving significant capital investment across the community. The timing is perfect to reach, get the attention of potential new residents and show them all that Salina is, and is becoming. It is also a great opportunity for local businesses to look at how they can best build capacity for the future, perhaps through expansion. Imagine Salina is focused on those concepts specifically.

As the program develops further and implementation begins, updates will be available on ImagineSalina.com and in other Chamber communication, including the Chamber Connection, email updates and on the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce’s social media platforms. This project has been and will continue to be a huge collaboration. Over 25 business leaders are serving in various capacities of Imagine Salina.

Still, Weiser and the Chamber are still reaching out to more people in the community for their support. For more information on Imagine Salina and to see how you can help, visit their website: https://www.salinakansas.org/imagine-salina.html

 

Copyright © Rocking M Media, 2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Rocking M Media’s express consent.

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