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Growing Rowan effort kicks off Friday with community meeting

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — More than 200 people have signed up for a community meeting on Friday that will kick off a new group called Growing Rowan.

The meeting, which is open to the public, will start at 8:30 a.m. at the West End Plaza events center, which was formerly a JC Penney’s store. Three speakers are scheduled. Participants will be asked to sign up for small groups that will work to find solutions in eight focus areas.

The three speakers are Donnie Charleston, economic policy director for the Institute for Emerging Issues; Steve Chandler, who runs the company Chandler Thinks and worked on Rowan County’s recent rebranding campaign; and Rod Crider, the new president of RowanWORKS Economic Development.

County commissioners Chairman Greg Edds, who organized Friday’s meeting, said about 210 people have signed up to attend. He said there are others who cannot attend Friday’s meeting but expressed interest in joining the groups.

The speakers will lead off Friday’s meeting, then participants will break into focus groups and exchange contact information. Some of the focus areas are workforce development, entrepreneurship, education, next-generation philanthropy and telling our story.

After Friday’s meeting, the focus groups will schedule subsequent meetings. Edds said it is possible that more large meetings also will be held.

A part of the Growing Rowan meeting Friday will focus on the recent effort to obtain support for a “declaration of interdependence” from all of Rowan County’s municipalities.

For more information about Growing Rowan or to sign up for Friday’s meeting, visit GrowingRowan.com.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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