Words and Images by Jenny Lynn Davis
The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (RPCGB) recently presented an Economic Development Strategic Plan for the City of Cordova that seeks to capitalize on the city’s economic strengths while addressing its challenges and guiding future economic development decisions and capital investments.
The strategic plan presented valuable data for determining Cordova’s advantages, weaknesses, potential opportunities, and obstacles to economic development. The project received funding from RPCGB and reflects the Cordova community’s values, making it a reliable and valuable tool for interpreting Cordova’s vision.
RPCGB and the City of Cordova’s two primary proposed development initiatives are: 1) outdoor recreation and 2) broadband expansion.
Outdoor recreation was identified as the primary industry the residents of Cordova wish to amplify, but the growth and expansion of outdoor recreation depend on the connectivity and accessibility of the city’s broadband, which is only accessible by 73.4% of the city’s population.
The priority goals presented for the city include the following:
- Increasing economic viability and resiliency.
- Strengthening the workforce and quality of life.
- Improving city infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the priority goals presented for the outdoor recreational economy plan include:
- Identifying assets and establishing a brand.
- Expanding citywide connectivity and enhancing accessibility.
- Creating opportunities for business growth.
- Supporting a locally grown outdoor recreation culture.
RPCGB representatives and City of Cordova Leaders urged community participation in the projects and asked for stakeholders’ patience as the plans roll out.
“These are all long-term goals that won’t happen overnight, but the initiatives can only be successful through community involvement and participation,” said Jesslan Wilson, Director of Economic Development for RPCGB.
“We’re looking to address issues that haven’t been addressed in a long time, or maybe never at all, so that it will take time,” said Renee Sides, Chairman of the Cordova Economic Industrial Development Authority (CEIDA). “If we’re awarded a grant, we don’t instantly get those funds; many hoops still haven’t been jumped through. But we promise that patience will pay off.”
Sides also encouraged the public to attend future CEIDA meetings and share their ideas.
“Our meetings are open to the public, and we invite you to attend when you can. Any time you have an opportunity to contribute to your community’s growth, take it.” WL
Learn more about CEIDA by visiting www. cordovaceida .com.