An economic development program tailored to community goals
The Community Foundation of the Hermann Area, Inc., has been selected to participate in the Community Foundation of the Ozark’s GRO 3.0 program. Growth in the Rural Ozarks (GRO) is the CFO’s first economic development program, offering guidance in creating a strategic approach to strengthening rural communities in rural Missouri towns. Facilitated by Cleveland-based Innovation Economy Partners and supported by the CFO, USDA – Rural Development and local stakeholders, GRO is currently working in Marshfield, Salem, Sarcoxie and Buffalo. CFHA will be participating in the third-phase of GRO beginning in June of this year.
The goal of GRO is to help local rural communities create sustainable plans for long-term economic growth and community development. GRO began in 2016 and has become a model for rapidly deploying transformative methods. Participation in GRO 3.0 requires a three-year commitment with a total financial cost of $30,000, 20 percent of which will be matched by the CFHA.
The first step in the application process for the program was to conduct a local community assessment. CFHA was successful in gathering 173 responses to the survey. The assessment survey gives us a baseline to see how our area is doing at the start of the program. Surveys will be conducted annually over the three years of the program to demonstrate progress made during its implementation.