EXCEL steering committee hopes to help build a bright future

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Right now Vernon County is nearing an apex, on the verge of breaching a new horizon. New jobs are coming to town and the community is preparing to grow and expand. However, one of the questions on everybody?s mind is: What is going to happen next? Are we going to continue to grow or is this just a high point before the next slump.

The Experience in Community Enterprise and Leadership Steering Committee is trying to make sure that there is a program in place that will foster a new group of leaders in Vernon County. One that will make sure that the next decade will be more progressive than the last.

In the second meeting the steering committee looked at what a possible list of subjects could be examined by the EXCEL class. ?One thing about EXCEL is that it can be what this steering committee wants it to be,? said Carol Parmenter, of the University of Missouri Outreach and Extension Office.

One of the primary concerns of the steering committee was to make sure that the EXCEL students learn about how things happen in Vernon County, from economic development to a volunteer base for community projects. Kathi Wysong reports that there are more than 100 groups, ranging from government to civic betterment, existing in the county and how to utilize them as resources.

?I think leaders emerge when they know about situations. You have to know the movers and the shakers and there are a lot of those people, who get things done, who are not elected officials,? said steering committee member Mary Reinert.

City Manager Craig Hubler agreed, ?Economic development is probably a good example, although it is not the only thing we do in the community and should probably not be the central focus. What?s the magic, what?s taking place? It?s really not that complicated, it?s really just barn raising for each one of these companies.? Hubler said that the biggest step in bringing new business to town is connecting them with the goods and services they need.

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