New group forms in Danville, Pittsylvania to focus on future growth

A new organization has formed in Danville and Pittsylvania County to focus on how to prepare for economic growth, according to a release from the Danville Regional Foundation.

The Partnership for Regional Prosperity is the outcome of a  recommendation in the 2019 Regional Economic Development Strategic Plan for the region but  the group said in a statement that its formation “has been driven by the potential for serious growth coming from the  region’s many economic development successes.”

“The motivation for forming the Partnership for Regional Prosperity comes from asking ourselves if the region is prepared for the challenges and  opportunities that will come from this success,” said Clark Casteel, president and CEO of the  Danville Regional Foundation (DRF) in a statement. The foundation funded the 2019 study in cooperation with the City of  Danville and Pittsylvania County and Casteel is a member of the Partnership’s steering committee.

According to a statement, “the group plans to engage community and business leadership in thinking and learning leading  to collaborative strategy development. Activities will include engaging stakeholders from key  institutions, the community, and business in community forums over the coming months to  share the challenges and opportunities that accompany the region’s economic development  success and to collect ideas and feedback.”

“Since the closing of Dan River Mills and the decline in the tobacco industries, our region has  worked hard to rebuild its economy and we’ve seen tremendous progress,” said Danville City  Manager Ken Larking in a statement. “I believe our community needs to refocus its energy on how to best  manage the change that comes from growth. We are confident that our area is poised for  significant change. Planning for that change will produce the best outcome.”

“This group is a civic think tank that will share knowledge about what is ahead for our region and  seek input to make Danville and Pittsylvania County models of future-forward thinking and  action,” said Clarence Monday, Pittsylvania County administrator in a statement.

The seven members of the Partnership steering committee were appointed by Danville City  Council and the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors and represent the public and private  sectors along with key community institutions.

Members of the steering committee are: Clark Casteel, president & CEO of the Danville  Regional Foundation; Dr. Angela Hairston, superintendent of Danville Public Schools; Ken  Larking, Danville City Manager; Tommy Mathena, president of the Center for Pediatric  Therapies; Clarence Monday, interim Pittsylvania County administrator; Anne Moore-Sparks,  president & CEO of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce; and Telly Tucker,  incoming president of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research

The group is supported by the Danville Regional Foundation and will begin activities this  summer.

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