PURPOSE: To provide a comprehensive framework for community and economic development throughout Hillsdale County, using the four pillars of: Entrepreneurship, Youth Attraction, Leadership and Charitable Assets.
HTP GOALS: To articulate community needs, identify current initiatives, isolate existing gaps and support or implement projects and/or programs designed to fill the gaps.
HomeTown Partnerships recognizes that although our rural communities may be struggling, we have significant local resources and resolve that, when focused on the four essential and workable strategies, can reverse declining trends in our communities. One of these four strategies is Leadership, specifically Mobilizing Local Leaders. Hillsdale County must be intentional about getting all elements of the community, especially youth and minorities involved in leadership positions. Ongoing leadership training with a diversity of interests will help rally the community to respond to its challenges.
Community leaders today play a much different role now than in the past. In many ways, the leadership role is made more difficult by the times in which we live. Change is now a constant; technology has transformed the world into one highly interdependent marketplace and the patterns of society and the economy that once predicted the future no longer apply.
The role of the community leader is crucial to the overall success of the community. Hometown Partnerships seeks ways to ensure the development of adequate and diverse community leadership, now and into the future. To help us better understand the community’s perception of local leadership and leadership opportunities, we conducted on online survey in May of 2008. The results of the survey can be found here: community_survey_summary_05_05_2008.pdf
We know that there are many local groups and organizations doing good work for the betterment of our community. HTP is designed to map our community under each of the four pillars, and advance the goals of initiatives that support the overall development of Hillsdale County and its residents.
HTP will use a variety of tools to help make connections, identify gaps, create new opportunities, educate and inform the public, promote the positives in our communities and be an overall resource to ensure the success and sustainability of Hillsdale County.
Identified Community Need: Increased diversity in community leadership, enhanced leadership knowledge and skills, more volunteer engagement in the community, more people prepared to run for public office
Current Initiatives: ISD Educational Leadership Initiative, Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Dept. Cadets program, Future Farmers of America (local school districts), 4-H, area service clubs and organizations (leadership development), Hillsdale College Center for Constructive Alternatives (educational series), MSU Extension Citizen Planner, Regional Leadership Roundtable (education and networking)
Community Gaps: Leadership Academy, leadership succession planning, expanding youth leadership opportunities, community as part of a larger region, community emphasis on arts and music.