Local
5:30 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

FOCUS seeks to tackle future of tri-county region

The group’s name is FOCUS.  It may be short and easy-to-remember, but it encompasses a huge mission for the future of the Cape Fear Region. 

As FOCUS prepares to launch Thursday morning at the Wilmington Convention Center, a host of organizations in New Hanover, Pender, and Brunswick Counties that include non-profits, local governments, and academic institutions, are combining efforts. 

After two years, FOCUS will have produced a plan to address some of the greatest problems – and opportunities – in the region.  And then it will self-terminate.

Funded by a $1.1 million federal grant, the tri-county initiative now known as FOCUS is charged with developing a sustainable plan for the region.  The plan will cover a broad spectrum of areas – including the economy, environment, housing, and transportation – to name a few. 

But instead of duplicating existing efforts, says Project Director Al Sharp, FOCUS will foster collaboration among groups by developing one consistent set of goals.   

“As we grow as a region, we find that there are increasing pressures on our transportation system, on our employment systems, and sustainable growth would mean that we plan these things together so that they reinforce each other rather than conflict.”

One defining principle of FOCUS, says Sharp, is that everyone has the right to participate in the development of their community.  And for that reason, he urges members of the public to attend the launch and participate fully in the ongoing dialogue.

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FOCUS launches Thursday morning, March 21st, at 10:30 at the Wilmington Convention Center – just before the kickoff of the Wilmington Biz Conference and Expo -- which opens at 11:30 AM. 

Information on FOCUS will be available at the Convention Center -- including opportunities to volunteer. 

To visit the FOCUS website, click here