Progress and Plans: Washington County Commission Strategic Objectives
JONESBOROUGH – The Washington County Commission held its third annual strategic planning retreat, focusing on three items: water & fire services, workforce development and communications.
“The three goals originated from the Commission’s first retreat in 2019, and now we’re focusing on measurable outcomes,” explained Commissioner Kenneth Huffine, who served as the facilitator for this year’s retreat.
Progress in the area of water and fire services include the completion of a comprehensive plan to expand access to municipal water throughout the County. Next steps include exploration of a plan in which the County would fund a seven person crew.
“The cost savings in creating and using our own crew would more than pay for the crew itself,” explained Commissioner Bryan Davenport, who serves as the chairman of the County’s Water Task Force. “We need to get into the business of water line extensions as opposed to hiring contractors at a significantly higher cost. Currently, using contractors requires a three-year lead time. We can cut that in half with this new process.”
The Commission has been working closely with Lottie Ryans at First Tennessee Development District to help with workforce development. In particular, the Commission has been active in helping establish Washington County as a Work Ready Certified Community by recruiting businesses and funding ACT WorkKeys testing for those who cannot afford it and ultimately match the available workforce with jobs. The Commission’s focus moving forward will be to engage Washington County School Board, State Representatives, local business and manufacturing leaders in increased coordination of students with job opportunities.
The Commission’s third objective, communications, has moved forward with the hiring of a Communications Director and the development of a new, interactive web site. Commissioners plan to identify new strategies for improved communication both within County Government and outward to its citizens.