Partners in Progress showcases collaboration, innovation

Published 11:58 am Saturday, April 7, 2018

by Amanda Jarratt

The Fifth Annual Partners in Progress was held on Thursday, March 29. The morning breakfast was attended by over 100 of the area’s business representatives and community leaders. The successful event spotlighted the current State of the City and County. Opening remarks were shared by both Dallas Jones, chairman of the Southampton County Board of Supervisors, and City of Franklin Mayor Frank Rabil. Subsequent presentations were given by County Administrator Mike Johnson and City Manager Randy Martin.

Notable shared information concerning the economic state of each locality consisted of both areas receiving improved bond ratings as well as both communities increasing their general fund reserves, an impressive and celebratory accomplishment.

Johnson shared the impact to Southampton County of the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, a critical infrastructure project that will strengthen the economic vitality, environmental health and energy security of the Mid-Atlantic region. The pipeline project is estimated to create approximately $4 million in new local tax revenue between 2018-2025 and create several hundred jobs in the construction industry.

Martin highlighted several adaptive reuse projects throughout the City including the Hayden Village Center and the graduation of clients previously located in the Franklin Business Center. Both highlighted areas from the city and county illustrated a commitment in collaborating to strengthen the economic state and overall quality of life in the area.

Special thanks to the event sponsors for a successful morning: Bronco Federal Credit Union; Paul D. Camp Community College; Opportunity Inc. of Hampton Roads; Kaufman and Canoles P.C.; Will Holt and Bob Powell; Timmons Group; McGuire Woods Consulting; McGuire Woods; and Davenport & Company. The Main Event located in Downtown Franklin was a fabulous venue for the event.

AMANDA JARRATT is president and CEO of Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. Contact her at 562-1958 or