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City targets cooperation for success

Retreat1

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, standing, speaks with Rocky Mount Councilwoman Chris Miller, Mayor David Combs and Councilman Lamont Wiggins during the council's retreat last week in the Port City.

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Collaboration is a key element in running a successful city, the Rocky Mount City Council learned last week during its annual retreat, held this year in Wilmington.

Collaboration, inclusion, focus, accountability and civic pride were the main topics presented to the council during its three-day stay in the Port City. The importance of collaboration was explained to the council by Landis Faulcon, the city's director of community and business development, and relayed to the Telegram by Tameka Kenan-Norman, the city's chief communications and marketing officer.

Collaboration is a major component of Faulcon’s department, which was created earlier this year by the council at the request of City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney to engage and empower individuals and communities.

Collaboration involves cross-departmental teams and community members working together to enhance the city, including creative downtown event planning. An additional opportunity for collaboration will be through an annual housing and neighborhood conference, allowing participants to examine the issues affecting the community, as well as how to bring the necessary resources to Rocky Mount to help address those issues, Faulcon said.

“I have seen how people work in silos, but we must break out of that,” Faulcon said. “We need to bring people out of the community and into our teams.”

Such economic development cannot be done effectively without addressing workforce development, Faulcon said, suggesting bi-monthly round tables with executives of the city's largest employers.

“We want people to be able to enter the pipeline for employment,” Faulcon said. “So how do we pool our resources, talents and staff together to help people who need it the most?”

Collaboration with nonprofit organizations is needed as well. Dubbed the Workforce Alliance for Supportive Services, a new initiative would anticipate upcoming industry and prepare potential employees with services like childcare and transportation.

Faulcon's department also is researching performance measures to examine what is coming to downtown and throughout Rocky Mount. Measures may include how many certificates of occupancy have been issued and how many properties have been sold.

“This allows us to see the things we are measuring,” said Faulcon. “What gets measured gets done.”

Editor’s note: This report is the first in a series of five providing topical information presented last week at the City Council's retreat.

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