Vision Hickman is a chartered Joint Economic and Community Development Association under Tennessee law. As such, its primary mission is to ensure that adequate communications occur in the community for economic and community development. The facilitation of plans is a key function.

Planning--a Continuous Process

Vision Hickman BannerVision Hickman is a collection of business and community leaders serving as a think tank for economic and community development in Hickman County, Tennessee. Using the best of both local experiences and out-of-area backgrounds, the group brings a “big picture” view of the opportunities and challenges for the years ahead. Vision Hickman's Board of Directors seek to communicate this unique view of the future with businesses and community throughout the county to give a new agility to local decision making.

Vision Hickman is more properly labeled as the Hickman County Economic and Community Development Association, a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization. It is the Joint Economic and Community Development Association for Hickman County as authorized by TCA§ 6-58-114.

 Planning Process

Marketing

This strategy includes branding and website content. Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. (from the American Marketing Association)

marketing

Problem Statement

The offerings of Hickman County are implicitly clear to most local officials and Board members, but others are unaware. Websites and other marketing materials are either out of date or fail to contain information needed by businesses seeking to expand or locate here. There is also a general unawareness by local residents about what offerings are available and what is really needed for them, their children, and others within the foreseeable future. Many, but not enough, already see broadband Internet as essential for people seeking work, for school-aged children, for people working remotely from home, and for social connections.

Infrastructure and Broadband

The definition of infrastructure follows:

Infrastructure refers to the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or area, including the services and facilities necessary for its economy to function. It typically characterizes technical structures such as roads, bridges, tunnels, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, telecommunications, and so forth, and can be defined as "the physical components of interrelated systems providing commodities and services essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions."

infrastructure

Problem Statement

Hickman County does not have adequate infrastructure because it is expensive to install. Local legislators are reluctant to raise the taxes necessary to pay for new sewers, water lines, and fiber for broadband Internet. Government grants and loans come infrequently. Anticipating needs is difficult. Largely ineffective Industrial Board operations, turnovers, and conflict have left Hickman County with little available land for industrial and business sites. In the age when businesses expect to locate and be in operations within a few months, Hickman County lacks the ability to move quickly to recruit many businesses.

Business and Job Growth

The most frequent way of boosting job growth is through the expansion of existing businesses, not just recruiting new businesses. This is often referred to as Business Retention and Expansion (BRE).

Business Retention & Expansion programs (BRE) help to build a positive business environment for the success of local businesses, and ultimately the success of the community. This is accomplished by taking the pulse of the businesses in the community, determining if there are any problems or issues, and then taking positive action to improve the health of individual businesses and the overall business climate of the community (from the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute).

jobsProblem Statement

Most of the manufacturing jobs that sustained the previous generation of Hickman County residents are gone, and they are not coming back. A very high proportion of workers commute to surrounding counties in long, daily commutes. Most of the “best and brightest” high school graduates emigrate to locations with better opportunities—see the strategies for workforce development. The county lacks sufficient infrastructure to attract business—see the strategies for infrastructure. The county has not done a good job of promoting its opportunities and great features—see the strategies for marketing. The Bon Aqua / Lyles communities are dominated by small, local businesses in ad hoc strip development. There is an unhealthy intra-county rivalry between Centerville and “East Hickman” signaling a lack of leadership and cooperation for mutual benefits.

Workforce Development

Workforce development deals with the education and training of people that will work for businesses and industry. It includes the necessary staff development and training needed by employees to keep up with the changing workplace requirements.

workforceProblem Statement

The workforce has not kept pace with change. Schools, while of good quality, turn out students that historically have failed to seek additional training in the workplaces that increasingly require advanced training. Older workers have become displaced as technology has replaced their jobs; too few have kept pace with the technology and now find themselves unemployable.

Health, Safety, and Community Services (secondary priority)

healthProblem Statement

Being a rural county limits the services within the community, especially health and safety issues. Volunteer fire departments in small communities are limited in personnel (people have jobs outside the community), in equipment, time to travel significant distances, and ready availability of water. While Hickman County has a local hospital, the medical needs of the community continue to grow, especially mental health needs. The local hospital reports increasing needs to treat mental health issues including depression, suicide attempts, and drug use.

Improving Operations (secondary priority)

operationsProblem Statement

The Executive Director position for Vision Hickman has a history of controversy and dissatisfaction. There is no direct supervisor for the position; it requires an employee who is self-motivated and self-directed yet communicative with the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. The failures of the position stem largely from the failure to develop adequate job performance expectation for the executive director and for members of the Board of Directors.

Strategy

Vision Hickman will create a plan of operations based upon the strategic plan to guide the performance standards for the executive director. The plan will identify action items to be carried out by members of the Board. Vision Hickman will improve and maintain its website and create a customer relationship management system to ensure communications throughout the economic development community. Vision Hickman will update its bylaws and it will continuously update its plans.

Where We Are Going

  • Summary of Strategies >

    The strategies and initial action items follow:

    Highest Priority

    marketing Marketing

    • RFP for marketing consultant
    • Local and regional marketing campaigns to
  • Read More
  • Marketing >

    This strategy includes branding and website content. Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering,

    Read More
  • Infrastructure and Broadband >

    The definition of infrastructure follows:

    Infrastructure refers to the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or area, including

    Read More
  • Business and Job Growth >

    The most frequent way of boosting job growth is through the expansion of existing businesses, not just recruiting new businesses.

    Read More
  • Workforce Development >

    Workforce development deals with the education and training of people that will work for businesses and industry. It includes the

    Read More
  • Connect With Us >

    Call us at 931-729-5953, or write to us by email.

    Read More
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