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Assessment survey helps JDA plan for the future

By Staff | Apr 3, 2009

Job opportunities, health care availability and a viable education system are the three most important aspects of a community, according to area residents who so far have taken a Rugby assessment survey coordinated by the Rugby Area Job Development Authority (JDA) and the Center For Technology and Business.

The on-line survey will be conducted through April 17, and survey officials hope to get a minimum of 150 participants, representing all age demographics. So, far about half have taken the short survey, most ranging in age from 41 up, according to Cindy Sanford of the Center for Technology and Business.

Eighty-five percent surveyed listed job opportunities as the most important factor in the community.

The findings will assist a local strategic planning committee in determining what goals and objectives the Rugby Area Job Development Authority and community should be concentrating on over the next several years, says Brenda Dissette, Rugby economic development director.

“It gives us a blueprint of where we should be spending our time and resources,” she said.

This is the first time since 1998 the community has completed a strategic plan. It’s part of the city’s involvement as a USDA Champion Community, which provides access to additional grant programs.

Other survey results

Those surveyed also indicated that business retention and expansion are also critical to the community’s survival as well as strong health care and education systems. Child care availability, housing and cultural and community activities are also listed.

The survey also gives an opportunity for participants to comment in more detail on what they like best about the community. Responses so far point to friendly people with good values, a small town with a lot of community activities and a safe environment.

A majority of the comments regarding what improvements could be made to the community focused on more high-paying jobs, improved infrastructure and stronger community unity.

The survey findings so far are not surprising, Dissette said, especially pointing to the need for job creation and retention and health care facilities and quality schools. However, it affirms these are key areas on the minds of many residents, and their input is important in determining what JDA and community leaders should be focusing on.

To take the survey log on to www.trainingnd.com

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