Three Star program raising the bar in '08

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The state's Three Star program is raising the bar for the forthcoming year. That was the message delivered by Marshall County Mayor Joe Liggett at the December meeting of the Joint Economic Community Development Board. The board met at Southern Carton Company in Industrial Park.

Since all counties have currently met the requirements of the State of Tennessee's Three Star Program, Liggett said, they are raising the bar.

There will now be benchmarks that will be set for all counties to meet. Some of those benchmarks will be targeted in the areas of education with requiring counties to meet state average ACT composite score or to achieve a specified percentage increase in graduation rate compared to prior year.

Workforce Development in counties will be required to identify local job skills of the future and list providers who can provide the needed skill training.

Attention will be paid to county building codes, infrastructure and electronic connection with the rest of the world as well as having affordable housing available within communities.

The county Three Star Beautification Committee will be required to adopt specific projects, and the projects will need to show documented, proven results.

The state's Three Star program also expects leadership of municipalities (mayors, city counsels, etc.) to complete MTAS Elected Officials Academy, which consists of 10 hours of training. In addition, city and county mayors must attend one training/education session per year.

Counties will also be required to maintain a youth leadership program.

The job description for the director of JECDB, referred by the Executive Committee for full board discussion and approval, was approved.

The resumes for filling this vacancy will be coordinated through the Tennessee Career Center. The selection committee will consist of all mayors of county and municipalities or their appointed designees.

JECD Chairman Edmund Roberts explained that the Tennessee Center for performing Excellence is an economic development organization and partners with the Tennessee Department of Economic Community Development's Three Star program.

He will be attending a meeting of this organization in the near future.

They will do an evaluation process of the county and the feedback will be tailored to address the community's specific challenges. It is on the basis of a high-level consultation service.

The board also discussed the Buxton Company. Buxton deals in customer analytics, providing strategic decision-making information for retail site selection and targeted marketing to major retailers, cities and other groups.