Our Progress

Candidate Development Institute Graduates Class of 2017

  October 2017 Candidate Development Institute (CDI) participants recently completed the six-week course held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. each Tuesday, September 19 -October 24 at the Alliance, 510 Main Street. Those who met attendance requirements graduated from the Institute on October 24. Participants heard over 12 speakers on an array of

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Lafayette Woods, Jr.

Reason for enrolling in the Institute: My reason for enrolling into the CDI was to broaden my knowledge base of the process involving political campaigns in order to achieve political effectiveness as I seek the Office of Sheriff in 2018. I further hope that the combination of knowledge gained enhances

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Lelan Stice

To learn out the election process, how to fund a campaign, and how to better support candidates that are running. Great networking event.

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Sederick C. Rice, Ph.D

Reason for enrolling in the Institute: I enrolled in the Candidate Development Institute (CDI) to receive structured training on conducting a successful political campaign.  I also saw this opportunity, sponsored by Go Forward Pine Bluff and the Alliance, as way to gain some unique and important professional development experiences.  

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Leslie Mitchell

I enrolled in the Institute to help better my campaign strategies. I am not a political person, but I have helped in several campaigns. By attending this Institute, I knew I would become aware of different aspects of the campaign process that may go unnoticed. I loved being able to

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Community Garden at 11th & Cherry Street

Mayor Shirley Washington partnered with the Agricultural Extension Office for funding the initial phases of a garden on the grounds of the former Davis Hospital (Cherry Street & 11th Avenue). Equipment was purchased and Liberty Utilities provided water to an installed irrigation system. A pavilion has been built on the

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Phase 1: Jan 2017 – Sept 2018

Under the leadership of Mayor Washington, a partnership with the Agricultural Extension Office for funding of the initial phases for a garden to be located on the grounds of the former Davis Hospital (Cherry Street & 11th Avenue) was made. Equipment is to be purchased and Liberty Utilities will provide

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King Cotton Returned to Pine Bluff December 27, 2018!

The King Cotton Basketball Tournament returned to Pine Bluff December 27 through 29, 2018 after a 19 year hiatus. Pine Bluff hosted seven teams including Columbus High School (Columbus, Mississippi), Houston Math, Science and Technology Center (Houston, Texas), Landry Walker High School (New Orleans, Louisiana), Gulliver Preparatory School (Pinecrest, Florida),

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Phase 3: Oct 2019 – Sept 2020

The King Cotton Basketball Tournament was once the attraction to local and nationwide teams. A group has been working on reestablishing this tournament which will attract many out-of-town visitors. We need to have amenities in place, such as hotels and food establishments, before a tournament of this magnitude can be

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2018 Festivals

What began as one big festival, GFPB worked in 2018 to energize some of the current festivals and quality of life events already in place. The plan is to have a schedule of events which will engage all segments of the community throughout the year. Festivals in 2018 were: GFPB

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Phase 2: Oct 2018 – Sept 2019

The University of Arkansas Community Design Center (ACDC) under the direction of Steve Luoni is working on the Downtown Master Vision and Plan and working with Pine Bluff Downtown Development and Bayou Rhythm & Blues and other groups to ensure we have a viable cultural and historic district to attract

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Downtown Master Vision and Plan Revealed December 20, 2018

The Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) compiled comments of the three listening sessions held in August 2017. We were pleased to see that the recurring comments of the citizens who attended the sessions are aligned with the vision, mission and values of GFPB. It is a validation that the work

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Phase 1: Jan 2017 – Sept 2018

The University of Arkansas Community Design Center (ACDC) under the direction of Steve Luoni is working on the Downtown Master Vision and Plan. Steve and his team completed 3 listening sessions during the month of August and together with the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) will use the ideas and

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Educational Alliance Members – 2019

Educational Alliance Members for 2019: Scott Pittillo, Chairman Earlean Collins, Vice Chairman Jerry Guess, Watson Chapel School District Superintendent Barbara Warren, Dollarway School District Superintendent Jeremy Owoh, Pine Bluff School District Superintendent David Brown, Education Pillar Robert Carr, UAPB Scott Kuttenkuler, SEARK Jarrod King, Youth Advisory Council Goldie Whitaker, Watson

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Educational Alliance Working on a Plan

The Executive Director of the Arkansas River Education Service Cooperative and the three school district superintendents have been meeting to compare common opportunities for improvement within the districts. A Plan will be presented to the Education Alliance committee to determine a course of action. The Educational Alliance is working to

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November 2017

EDUCATIONAL ALLIANCE – UPDATE Background The Education Pillar of GFPB, Inc. began with two clear objectives: To develop primary and secondary educational institutions that are academically and financially sound; To improve the educational options provided by our high schools and institutions of higher education to meet the specific needs of

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Taskforce Formed to Identify Needs and Solutions

Our current workforce lacks soft skills. To make job prospects attractive to employers, we will propose a training curriculum that will include accountability, customer service, reliability, and other skills needed. GFPB will also work with the local manufacturing alliance to develop needed workplace skills training needed for our local industries.

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Phase 1: Jan 2017 – Sept 2018

Economic Development Pillar recommended a closer look at workforce development and employability training to address the current status of the workforce in our community. GFPB is working with the Jefferson County Economic Development Alliance to put together a task force, which will seek to collaborate and centralize all of the

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The Generator: Offering Workshops

The Generator is part of the Economic Development Plan. It seeks to create a collaborative entrepreneurial ecosystem – through programs and partnerships to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and economic empowerment in Pine Bluff and Southeast Arkansas. Mildred J. Franco, Executive Director of The Generator, and the GFPB team are currently working

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Phase 2: Oct 2018 – Sept 2019

The Innovation Hub is part of the Economic Development Plan. It seeks to create a collaborative ecosystem – through programs and partnerships to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and economic empowerment in Pine Bluff and Southeast Arkansas. GFPB has hired Mildred J. Franco as Executive Director of the Innovation Hub. Ms. Franco

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Plan Compilation Work Begins – February 2019

Requests for Qualifications were advertised and submitted. A committee, led by Larry Reynolds of Southeast Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, reviewed the RFQs and selected Crafton Tull to prepare a new Plan. The Planning Commission endorsed the selection and the city council gave its approval in December 2018. Compilation of the

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Ground Broken May 2018

Ground was broken in May 2018 for the Pine Bluff Aquatic Center and is expected to open mid-2019. Mayor Shirley Washington is confident a swimmer from our area will soon win the Olympics!

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Phase 2: Oct 2018 – Sept 2019

GFPB has pledged $4M towards a Multi-Purpose/Aquatic Center that will contain meeting rooms, classrooms, recreational areas and an state-of-the-art aquatic center. The Center will attract out-of-town visitors to swim meets and provide a local outlet to our citizens for additional recreational activities. An architectural firm has been selected and is

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Downtown is Seeing Improvements

Excitement is in the air as Pine Bluff takes steps to improve our downtown area. Investors are beginning to purchase and repurpose buildings and new businesses have moved to the area. It is definitely happening! The Pine Bluff Urban Renewal Agency has adopted the Downtown Master and Vision Plan as

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Downtown Additions/Renovations

Pine Bluff Collaborative, formerly Pine Bluff Rising, is finalizing their investors to renovate and repurpose the iconic Pines Hotel. Some restoration/cleanup work has already been done. The group has also purchased other property in the downtown area to renovate for a restaurant, blues venue and bar. The Community Theatre hosted

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Phase 2: Oct 2018 – Sept 2019

Pine Bluff Rising has attracted investors to renovate and repurpose the iconic Pines Hotel. Work should start soon which will increase interest in the downtown area. Simmons Bank has made a sizable investment to ensure Pine Bluff has a downtown square. Officials are looking for the location of the Plaza

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February 2019

The Pine Bluff Urban Renewal Agency is working to reduce blight, encourage business growth and generate economic progress. Almost ten houses within a five-month period have been demolished. This is a big accomplishment considering there were only a few taken down in the year previous to the PBURA starting back

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October 2017

The Urban Renewal Agency came into existence and consists of volunteer commissioners Jimmy Dill, Travis Martin, Rita Conley, Lloyd Franklin Sr. and Kirby Mouser. They are dealing with blighted properties, obtaining properties and renovating properties, Watley said. “We have an outstanding opportunity to use this vehicle to make a demonstrable

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August 2017

An urban renewal agency is a public entity created to transform blighted urban areas into productive property. Such agencies typically possess powers including eminent domain and the ability to take out bonds. Pine Bluff created an urban renewal agency in 1961 and dissolved it roughly a decade later. Mayor Shirley

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Walkability Sought

Statistics prove that walkability is key to satisfaction among residents. GFPB will work to connect our existing walking trails, provide biking trails and other outdoor facilities. A way to connect Saracen Landing to downtown is being explored which will connect downtown to the trail around Lake Saracen and the pavilion.

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Forward Together

We would love to hear from you!

115 East Fifth Avenue, Suite 305
Pine Bluff, AR 71601

P.O. Box 6316
Pine Bluff, AR 71611-6316

(870) 939-6900
info@goforwardpb.org

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