TYLER – Today, Tyler will be awarded the Community of the Year award from the American Association of Planners – Texas Chapter (APA) at their annual conference being held in Ft. Worth. The APA Texas Planning Awards Program recognizes individuals, organizations and communities for outstanding contributions to planning in Texas. The Community of the Year award is given to a town, city, or county for providing an outstanding contribution to planning. Tyler is receiving the award for the Industry Growth Initiative (IGI) plan launched in 2010.
According to a city news release, “In an unprecedented joint effort between the Tyler City Council and several community boards, the IGI was formally adopted as a shared vision for Tyler’s strategic economic growth in the next 20 years. Boards represented included the Tyler City Council, Smith County Commissioner’s Court, Tyler Independent School District Board of Trustees, Tyler Junior College Board of Trustees, the Tyler Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce.” Also represented at the meeting were members of the Leadership Roundtable, including the University of Texas – Tyler, UT Health Science Center, Texas College, East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System, the Tyler Economic Development Council, Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, and others.
“I don’t know of another time in Tyler’s history that so many of its elected boards held a joint meeting to adopt a single measure,” commented Mayor Barbara Bass. “This level of support demonstrated the need for the entire community to speak with one voice and work cooperatively for the sake of Tyler’s economic future.”
In early 2009, Mayor Barbara Bass and Senator Kevin Eltife brought together a group of community leaders to discuss shared issues facing the city and region. One of the first items that was raised by this Leadership Roundtable was the need to market Tyler and to determine the industries that made the most sense for Tyler to pursue given our unique assets.
Consequently, the Leadership Roundtable began the development of the IGI in mid-2009. The resulting report recommends 10 primary building blocks that Tyler should develop to foster an Innovation Economy and take the Tyler region into the next twenty years of economic prosperity and growth.