Sam's Spotlight

As you know by now, my title is “Economic Development Coordinator” for Franklin Parish. As I have been out meeting people and interacting with the community, I have been saying that phrase a lot. Then I started thinking, how many people know what ‘economic development’ means? Maybe you do, and maybe you have no clue! So today the ‘spotlight’ is going to be a little bit of education about this topic of economic development.  

I was active here in Franklin Parish while growing up and in high school, but then I moved to Ruston to attend Louisiana Tech. While at Tech, I pursued a Marketing degree and took numerous business classes - economics being one of them. Of course, at the time I was really studying hard because I wanted that ‘A’, but I had no idea how significant this topic would be to my career one day. 

“Economic development is the process by which the economic well-being and quality of life of a nation, region, local community or an individual are improved according to targeted goals and objectives.” (Wikipedia) 

One of my favorite ways of defining it is this – economic development is all about making your community awesome! Very simply stated, yet absolutely true. 

We have so many great things to offer in this community; however, our world is always changing. Staying on top of trends and creating new goals is important for growth. 

Some key trends in economic development are as follows: globalization, technology and telecommunications, regionalism, sustainable development, quality of place, workforce development, and diversity of community. The Winnsboro Main Street Economic Committee completed a 5-year strategic plan to develop specific goal areas for our community, as well as to define a mission and a vision of the committee. I would like to share those below:

5 focus areas: Education, Economic Development, Telling Our Story, Parks and Recreation, and Broadband.

Mission Statement: It is the mission to provide high quality services which promote a safe, active and healthy environment, thereby enabling our citizens to realize the best standard of living possible through cost-effective governance.

Vision Statement: To accomplish this mission, we are committed to recognizing the rights of all citizens while providing them with efficient and effective services; an infrastructure of sufficient capacity; diverse opportunities for recreational, cultural, and economic development; and a well-managed and fiscally sound community.

Franklin Parish boasts a number of active civic organizations that promote business and community life including the Franklin Parish Black Achievers Association, Garden Gate Study Club, Winnsboro-Franklin Chamber of Commerce, Winnsboro Home and Garden Club, Winnsboro Lions Club, Winnsboro NAACP, Winnsboro Rotary Club, Winnsboro Tourism Commission and others. All groups work toward the advancement of our community.

I think we are certainly on the right track to make this community awesome, don’t you? 

A community that understands and supports economic development will thrive. I am confident that great things are in store for the future. I hope today’s spotlight helped you not only learn what economic development means, but also what this community is doing to support it! 

 See you next week for Sam’s Spotlight! 

Sam Sheppard

Franklin Parish Economic Development Coordinator

318-282-7535/ssheppard.edc@gmail.com

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @franklinparish.econdev

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