In October 2014, leaders of government, business, education and nonprofit sectors were assembled by the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County. The meeting was held to discuss potential challenges in our shared interest to make the County a great place to live, work and play. Triggering the discussion was the County’s feature in a national publication discussing our declining workforce. This data was backed up by the County Planning Department’s Community Profile 2012 that presented signs of weakness in our workforce figures. Other members of the community voiced concern over our lack of diversity. Both points, workforce and diversity, spell trouble for continued economic development, which serves as the basis for all other needs.
At that meeting, a Sub-Committee was identified to complete preliminary research on the issue, find examples of how other communities have dealt with similar issues, narrow the focus for the Committee, offer recommendations and report back. The Sub-Committee set out by having follow-up meetings and developed a Problem Statement document, the content of which is presented in the pages of this website.
To add shape to our initiative, we have preliminarily given name to it: Recognizing Our Westmoreland. As an acronym, R.O.W. symbolizes our need to propel the County forward in a coordinated way.
It is a recognition:
- That our greater community cannot advance without the oars of government, business, education and nonprofits moving in unison.
- That we must reflect inward at ourselves as a community and as individuals to recognize our strengths, challenges and needs.
- That the solutions to our common challenges can be found within ourselves, our organizations and our community.
- That we have the means to address issues of workforce and diversity.
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