Partners in progress Program to foster new economic vision

Published 11:45 am Wednesday, February 19, 2014


FRANKLIN–To create and shape a new vision for Franklin and Southampton County takes people, planning and, of course, cooperation. The Franklin-Southampton Economic Development Inc. and Franklin-Southampton Chamber of Commerce, for example, are working together to create new opportunities for the future.

“Partners in Progress: Our Community’s Economic Vision” will take place from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 11. The breakfast meeting will be in the Regional Workforce Development Center of Paul D. Camp Community College. The cost is $10, which includes the meal.

David Dodson, president of MDC Inc. in Durham, N.C., will be the guest speaker. He had been present 10 years before at an earlier planning program organized by the Franklin-Southampton Alliance.

One of the key results then was the creation of the FSEDI in 2005, said Amanda Jarratt, president and chief executive officer.

“Dodson set the tone,” she said, “and now let’s look forward again. We’re excited and hope it becomes an annual event.”

Community leaders such as Franklin Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn, City Manager Randy Martin, Southampton Board of Supervisors Chairman Dallas Jones and County Administrator Mike Johnson have also been invited to discuss the localities’ future economic path.

The program might seem similar to “State of the City” events that other localities offer. But the organizers see the upcoming program as something more.

“We are delighted to present this inaugural event,” said Amanda Jarratt, president and chief executive officer of Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. “The focus will be on the state of economic development and visions of what the future holds for our community.”

“And how we can continue to work together,” added Teresa Beale, executive director for the chamber. “Having David come back 10 years later after his initial study of our area and sharing his insights on what the next 10 years can hold will be enlightening for the local business community.”

The program is sponsored by the FSEDI, and co-hosted by the Franklin-Southampton Chamber of Commerce.

To make reservations, call the chamber at 562-4900 or email