Over 100 residents attended to hear the new Town of Hanna Strategic Plan, ‘Embracing Change, State of the Union’ forum at the Hanna Community Centre on Thurs. Nov. 28.
Hanna council and Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) hired 13 Ways Inc. to develop a roadmap designed to bring prosperity to Hanna well into the future.
Mayor Chad Warwick stated, “We do need help from our citizens to implement this new Strategic Plan”.
The new Strategic Plan is a document of two pages with a playbook of 160 pages and is broken into sections.
Doug Griffiths, consultant of 13 Ways Inc., said the new vision for the Town is, “A community cultivating an unparalleled quality of life through technology, agriculture and lifelong learning.”
Rather than stating “values”, the new Strategic Plan lists five items outlining “What We Value”.
These five items are, agriculture, education, technology, business and collaboration.
Griffiths stressed the “What We Value” items are “really important.
This is the plan and priorities beyond basic infrastructure that always must take precedence.”
If someone shows up and wants to develop something that does not fit into “What We Value”, then Hanna should say “No”.
The new Hanna logo representing agriculture, technology and lifelong learning was unveiled.
The phrase on the new Town Logo is “Live the Lifestyle”.
Griffiths stated Hanna needs to reinvent itself and acknowledged this was not going to happen overnight.
He said, “The only thing holding you guys back is mindset.”
“Where do we go from here?” asked Mayor Warwick.
“Cactus Corridor needs to hire a new economic team,” said Griffiths. “A team with innovation to go out and get business synonymous to the core of “What We Value”.
The Strategic Plan complements the Strategic Economic Strategy of Cactus Corridor and the region, so they will be executed together.
Griffiths continued by stating another top priority is innovative new agriculture. He said, “Agriculture is huge.”
Today, there are many changes in agriculture through research and innovation. There is vertical agriculture, urban agriculture, neutral pharmaceuticals, greenhouse agriculture organics and hydroponics.
China and India are looking for safe, secure food. They are not going to know we exist if we do not advertise and they then become aware of what we can grow and our assets.
A third priority outlined by Griffiths is the introduction of a new website for marketing and have a sales pitch.
Pages should go faster, host videos and modern look. It should be sophisticated and show the great quality of life Hanna offers.
Griffiths proposed the establishment of local apprenticeship training which would help the people of Hanna develop careers in the trades and a renovation for downtown.
If the community does not come together no one else will take a risk.
An audience member said that in addition to the ideas Griffiths put forward, in some parts of the world they are creating renewable energy from food.
Mayor Warwick noted this line of questioning was impressive and that the Hanna Learning Centre is in the process of establishing a business hub which is charged with the task of working with entrepreneurs to bring new businesses to the Hanna region.
“When you sell it [your town], be positive!” concluded Griffiths, “Inoculate your friends against negativity. If they are negative, it won’t sell.”