TEAM NORMAN LAUNCHES FRIDAY
Updated: Oct 10, 2018
Effort established to engage community in jobs and development.
"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success." -Henry Ford
Norman is entering a new era of economic development.
“Team Norman” is set to launch Friday at a special open house scheduled for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Mercury on 426 E. Main. The event is part of the monthly 2nd Friday Art Walk and will feature frozen custard from Rusty’s Custard Factory, free beer, food trucks, and live music from Layer Cake. Everyone is welcome to attend.
The theme of the event will be economic development in Norman and how people can get more involved in created economic opportunities for all residents. Various stations will be set up to show the different aspects of economic development in the community and how people can get involved moving forward.
While economic development has always had a collaborative element, organizers say this is the first foray into complete community involvement.
“Team Norman is a great description of what we are trying to achieve,” said Norman Mayor Lynne Miller. “Economic development has become a team sport. In order for us to achieve our greatest success, we have to harness all of our collective resources and work together. I am convinced that Norman is the greatest city in America and we can continue to do great things together.”
The effort has developed from the recent strategic planning efforts being led by the Norman Economic Development Coalition. The community has engaged in evaluating recent economic successes and challenges and is working on final plans for continuing to prosper in the 21st century. According to NEDC President and CEO Jason Smith, the plan will focus more internally than recent efforts with the three main themes being:
· Create a community in which employers can thrive and succeed
· Become the state leader in creating opportunities for entrepreneurs and start-ups
· Make Norman an inclusive destination for people to live, work and play
Norman Chamber President Scott Martin said the economic landscape has created the need for communities to think differently.
“Economic development used to be more about infrastructure and hard assets,” Martin said. “What we see today is communities continuing to focus on those assets, but also thinking about ways to attract and retain talent, as well as integrate creative ideas to develop the workforce. We are positioned very well for those kinds of efforts and Team Norman is a great place to start.”
Economic development officials say the idea for Team Norman came from the strategic planning steering committee that has overseen the development of the strategy.
“We had over 2,000 people participate in the process, so we want to continue that momentum of community engagement,” said committee member and Norman Councilwoman Breea Clark. “The communities that see the best results from their economic development efforts are those that create an environment of teamwork and inclusivity. We are working to achieve those same kinds of results here.”
People who attend the event can learn more about how the community is addressing jobs and quality of life initiatives, as well as provide input on the direction and sign-up to be part of the process in the future.