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April 24, 2020 | Spotlight

Two Institute projects recognized as Four for the Future award winners

Copper Basin RSVP and Cobb County’s EXCEL program named Four for the Future award winners.

Writer: Staff

We’re proud to share the stories of two Institute of Government projects that have been recognized as 2020 Four for the Future Award winners. The awards, announced by the University of Georgia Office of Vice President for Public Service and Outreach (PSO) and Georgia Trend magazine, recognize communities and regions that have worked across public-private sector and nonprofit boundaries to address challenges in ways that will lead to improved quality of life. The 2020 winners include the Copper Basin RSVP project and the Cobb County EXCEL program.

Copper Basin RSVP

Following a long decline of mining and related manufacturing, leaders and industrious local residents from the close-knit towns of McCaysville, Ga., and Copperhill and Ducktown, Tenn., have been redefining their community and local economy.

Through the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, with support from the Lyndhurst Foundation, the communities collaborated on the Copper Basin Renaissance Strategic Visioning and Planning (RSVP) process to create a downtown master plan and regional brand.Copper Basin  logo

That project has now been named a Four for the Future Award winner by the University of Georgia Office of Vice President for Public Service and Outreach (PSO) and Georgia Trend magazine. The award recognizes communities and regions that have worked across public-private sector and nonprofit boundaries to address challenges in ways that will lead to improved quality of life.

Working together, the Copper Basin communities have an economy built primarily around outdoor and regional tourism. Georgia House Speaker David Ralston served on the steering committee for RSVP, which is offered in partnership with the Georgia Municipal Association and the Georgia Cities Foundation. Copper Basin was the first two-state RSVP program.

 

Cobb County EXCEL

As Atlanta’s population swelled over the past decade, neighboring Cobb County grew as well and developed into a vibrant suburb of Atlanta. Along with that growth came service delivery expectations beyond the capabilities of existing county government staff.2019 Cobb Excel graduates, shown at their November graduation.

The county needed more productive, effective and consistent public service delivery. Working with the Institute of Government, Cobb County adopted the EXCEL program to help county government supervisors and managers better manage their human and material resources, and identify an appropriate succession plan for the growth and replacement of supervisory staff.

Cobb EXCEL, short for the Executive Competence, Excellence and Leadership program, now has been named a Four for the Future Award winner by the University of Georgia Office of Vice President for Public Service and Outreach (PSO) and Georgia Trend magazine. The award recognizes communities and regions that have worked across public-private sector and nonprofit boundaries to address challenges in ways that will lead to improved quality of life.

The efforts in Cobb County resulted in a more efficient use of resources. In addition to presenting the best trained public service employees possible to county residents, the program has resulted in reduced management level turnover, in turn reducing county expenses in replacements, hiring and training.

Shown above right:  Members of the 2019 Class of the Cobb County EXCEL program gathered with lead instructor Mike Hourihan of the Institute of Government on graduation day, Nov. 1, 2019. 


 The Four for the Future Awards honor partnerships that demonstrate effective collaboration, leadership and innovation, and offer the promise of long-term community benefits.

Visit Georgia Trend for details of the Four for the Future Award-winning projects. For more information about PSO’s award winners and their unique work, visit t.uga.edu/5RU.