Vision for the Valley: What are the working groups doing?

March 29, 2009 

We asked the people chairing the Vision for the Valley working groups to provide a progress report on their work. Here are summaries from the groups.

***

March 29, 2009

Educational opportunity

Chair: Kelly Wood, Wachovia

Never has education been more important than today. Building blocks include:

• A vibrant research effort supporting the business community.

• A retraining structure to respond to a changing business environment.

• A culture where families value education and student excellence.

• A partnership with business, where future needs of our business community are aligned with education programs.

• A community that celebrates academic achievement.

• And, most importantly, passionate appreciation for our educators.

Strong neighborhoods

Committee member: Elliot Werk, Idaho state senator

We are developing a list of community-building events throughout the Valley that can be promoted by local government and civic organizations. These events include National Night Out, Spring Clean, Paint the Town, Rake up, Movie Night at a Park, library events, dinner and a book, and neighborhood festivals. We are also developing a detailed list of organizations, groups and local governments that can efficiently leverage existing resources. In the longer term, we are seeking ways for local governments and non-governmental organizations to work together and engage in community-building activities.

A charitable climate

Chair: Craig Tribken, Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity

The Valley’s charitable climate is characterized by too many nonprofits, a low per-capita giving rate and a nonprofit sector picking up much of the slack for what often is a government responsibility.

Our long-term goal is a “social contract” that will encourage a more systematic scorecard that clearly demonstrates and promotes the efforts of business, media and donors. When a new business is recruited to come to Boise, its willingness to contribute to local charitable efforts should be equal to other existing businesses in the Valley.

A charitable climate

Chair: Craig Tribken, Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity

The Valley’s charitable climate is characterized by too many nonprofits, a low per-capita giving rate and a nonprofit sector picking up much of the slack for what often is a government responsibility.

Our long-term goal is a “social contract” that will encourage a more systematic scorecard that clearly demonstrates and promotes the efforts of business, media and donors. When a new business is recruited to come to Boise, its willingness to contribute to local charitable efforts should be equal to other existing businesses in the Valley.

A caring community

Co-chair: Bev Harad, former Boise School Board member

This committee envisions a caring Treasure Valley that respects diversity and encourages an inclusive and welcoming community.

We will identify criteria contributing to a sense of belonging and uncover barriers keeping us apart by facilitating focus groups representing Treasure Valley religions; ethnicities; refugee population; the economically challenged; varying levels of formal education; lifetime disabilities; different sexual orientations; teen and senior citizen groups. For more information, contact bevharad@hotmail.com.

Training our workers

Chair: Ben Quintana, Boise Valley Economic Partnership

Our goal is to enhance the attraction and retention of jobs in the Treasure Valley by ensuring the region is equipped and prepared for the evolving work force requirements of the economy. We are focusing our efforts in the following areas:

• To develop an ongoing system of collaboration to train and prepare a diverse range of workers from targeted industries.

• To identify training needs from current and potential employers and develop solutions to put people to work.

• To ensure the Valley’s current and future work force is prepared, skilled and trained for jobs in our community.

***

March 22, 2009

INVESTING IN MOBILITY

Chair: Rachel Winer, Idaho Smart Growth

We want to inspire people through successful transit projects, so we want to do our part to see a streetcar built in Boise. We want to use mobility to create communities by creating a Web-based resource for a “one-stop shopping” experience to find all the studies and information concerning mobility in the Valley, as well as a place for the community to share stories and inspire ideas about transportation choices. We want to show the face of mobility. We want to help people understand their options. We want an economic analysis explaining the benefits of an entire public transportation system — including bikes, buses and pedestrians.

CONSTRUCTIVE COLLABORATION

Co-chair: Susan Hayman, Enviro Issues

Do you play well with others? This group seeks to stimulate and model collaboration among non-profit, profit and governmental entities. To accomplish this, the work group intends to:

1) Identify the key factors and attributes of successful collaborations;

2) Identify barriers to success and how to overcome them;

3) Identify potential small-, medium- and large-scale pilot collaborations in the Valley.

E-mail shayman@enviroissues.com to share your collaboration story.

A STRONG ECONOMY

Chair: Tammy de Weerd, Meridian mayor

Working toward the vision of a strong economy necessitates, first and foremost, that we objectively evaluate our attractiveness as a region. We recognize that we must all work together toward diversifying and supporting our business community, targeting desired industry, in order to retain and create family-wage jobs. We are also reminded to support local business by buying locally! Also key to a strong economy are efforts in transportation, quality education, work force readiness, a healthy environment, and the other work group topics. We are all in this together.

A CREATIVE CULTURE

Co-chair: Brad Baughman, staff, Idaho state Senate

While struggling to blend our current economic limitations with our creative aspirations, we’re exploring the possibility of setting up an Arts and Business Council in the Treasure Valley. This would help engage and nurture relationships between the arts and business communities. Councils like these have been created across the nation. We would appreciate any interest or ideas.

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

Chair: Tim Breuer, Land Trust of the Treasure Valley

The group has identified sustainability as an overarching theme that touches all aspects of a desired future for the Treasure Valley. It also recognized that there are many initiatives underway that embrace sustainability. The working group envisions supporting these efforts and helping to spotlight the good work being done by groups throughout the Valley.

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service