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2 Population...49,083 Median Income per Household... $30,415 Median Income per Family....$39,993 Per Capita Income for City... $17,334 Major area employers include Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Simmons First National Corp., Tyson Foods, the Pine Bluff Arsenal, Evergreen Packaging, and the Union Pacific Railroad. ARKANSAS JEFFERSON COUNTY Little Rock Pine Bluff Pine Bluff Sources: 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, and Pine, Retrieved

3 letters from pine bluff mayors January 5, 2017 Go Forward Pine Bluff Greetings to all: Go Forward Pine Bluff is a well-orchestrated plan and a once in a life time opportunity! I applaud the GFPB Leadership for their love, passion and vision for our great city. For the 100+ enthusiastic volunteers who stepped up to the task and selflessly dedicated countless hours towards this plan, I say to each of you Thank You! I know of no other city within our state that has been privileged to this type of opportunity. This plan created by a talented and diverse group of citizens has identified where our city is today and is bringing us measurable solutions for our tomorrow. The plan addresses four critical areas: Economic Development job creation and retention which equates to increasing our overall tax base Government and Infrastructure - providing a sustainable foundation for future growth Quality of Life creating healthy neighborhoods/communities for families Education is the component which affects all facets of our city, the barometer of a healthy community. Pine Bluffians, we are at a pivotal point, yesterday reveals how great we once were, the present offers opportunity to set the stage for our tomorrow which offers, jobs, healthy communities, and quality education. I encourage each of you to embrace this once in a life time opportunity, let s seize the moment and all work towards setting the stage for our tomorrow Go Forward Pine Bluff! As always, I am Pine Bluff Proud, Debe Hollingsworth Former Pine Bluff Mayor January 4, 2017 Go Forward Pine Bluff Greetings: I believe that Go Forward Pine Bluff is an opportunity for citizens to envision the possibilities of our community. I was a part of the diverse group off approximately 100 citizens who met for over a year to develop this plan. The primary components of this initiative are parallel with my vision for a better Pine Bluff. The initiative encompasses plans to improve quality of life, develop economic opportunities, improve infrastructure, support entrepreneurship, and includes measures to strengthen our public schools so that our young people have the resources they need to succeed in life. I hope you will support the vision of Go Forward Pine Bluff. Working together, we can build a vibrant and resilient community that we will be proud to call home. Sincerely, Shirley M. Washington Pine Bluff Mayor GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 3

4 Doc Culp Rd Chickasaw W Oden Burnell St Cowboy E Lake Law Rd Stewart Gates Rd Franklin St Stoney Creek Cv N Moreland St St Woodland Needles Canary Cv Pawnee Patricia W Rockwood S Redbud St Kenwood Rd Twin Oaks Ln S Persimmon St Crestwood St S Pear St N Pear St Levert Blunt Jr S Fig St Taylor W Orlando St S Oleander St Edgewood S Bay St S Arlington St Royal Forest Shady Grove St N Bois D Arc St Glenwood S Peach St S Fox St Mayfield S Marsh St Laffite Cv Lasalle Cv Timber Ridge Coachlight Timber Lake King Richard Rd S Catalpa St N Lindell St S Holly St S Gum St Grarich Cv S Fir St Trinity Fair Oaks S Palm St S Spruce St S Maple St S Cypress St S Hickory St Red Eagle Cv S Locust St S Plum St Little Dove Lone Wolf Cv N Ash St Rosswood Rd S Mulberry St W Deer Run S Linden St Arbor Dell E Deer Run N Oak St S Beech St S Pine St S Olive St S Alabama St Convention Center Plaza Morris St S Louisiana St S Missouri St S Virginia St S Nevada St S Indiana St S Vermont St S Kentucky St S Florida St S Ohio St S Mississippi St S Wisconsin St Bloomfield W Belair Belmont Commerce Rd Wesley Ln Grizzly Bear Chipmunk Silverwood Cv Silver Leaf Cv Dogwood Hulse Rd Westchester Harrod Rd Lexington Dixie Wood Jefferson Parkway Mcfadden Rd Spainhour Rd Riverside Timber Ln Ashberry Cir Overland Trl Turtle Cv Cherokee Ln 105 DISMUKE ST (20) W Piney Rd Constitution Cv E Piney Rd Progress Cv N Hutchinson St Industrial Uapb Farm Rd N University Edwards St Barney Ln Carolina Cargill St Verne St Nell W Jeffcoat Rd Sheridan Rd Cambridge Oxford Mcrae Cir Mary Perry St Center St Myra Brown Rd Kaydon Rd Lone Oak Wingard Rd White Oak Cv Jacksonport Cv Mammoth Cv Lost Valley Cv Wilhelmina Cv Ozark Petit Jean Cv Jeffcoat Rd Cimarron Brierwood Scenic Wildwood Princeton Pike Correction Cir W 13th 6619 SHERIDAN RD (21) Wildwood Cv Stump Rd Hartsfield Rd Free Line Nevins Rd Gallop Wren St Mcdougal Sidney St Briney Rd 6712 NEVINS RD (235) Jackson Rd Betty St James St W Flipper W Calhoun St Sunset Rd Thomas Rd Granada Trl SMART ST SMART (222) ST (18) 5814 COBB ST (224) 5916 COBB ST (223) 2301 N SPEARS ST (19) 2120 N SPEARS ST (225) 1708 N Lindell (266) 5710 W 2705 LATTING 1701 N Roane ST (226) Lindell (287) 5612 WORMACK (265) ST (227) Whiteside 1504 HUMAC Whiteside (299) WORMACK ST (230) ST (7) Whiteside 2604 Whiteside WHITESIDE 5600 CARBON (298) (297) ST (1) ST (228) 1205 N TUPELO N 5420 ST (233) WINDHAM BULLOCK Palm WINDHAM ST ST (229) ST (232) (271) (231) Lind Caru N BULLOCK Hazel ST (116) (258) 1714 FLUKER ST 5010 HOOVER (35) 805 N 1720 ST (117) 2407 W Palm REED 907 N HICKORY Havis ST (38) ST (36) 13 N (270) (257) RICHARD DR 815 N 716 N (234) CYPRESS LOCUST 1820 W ST (37) 2504 W High W ST (39) HAVIS (260) 2502 W ST (40) High W (259) 616 N Magnolia (267) Vaugine Vaugine 2105 W 3725 Vaugine (293) (294) Saracen (295) (289) 3624 W 2905 W Scull (290) Pullen 200 N 1920 W 1123 W PULLEN (282) Catalpa 2617 W ST (41) W Pullen 2109 E (255) Pullen 1124 W 219 Pullen E Pullen 2314 Barraque (252) (283) PULLEN W BARRAQUE (278) (277) E Pullen 120 S (280) 108 S 3602 W 2800 W ST (42) ST (8) (279) Sycamore 915 W ELM Barraque Pullen 2206 Port (292) BARRAQUE ST (47) (251) (281) 311 W 2ND 1600 W Road (274) 1406 ST (46) 218 S AVE (12) W 2nd (242) W 2nd W SHORT 809 W 3RD LAUREL 2324 Port 3rd (249) 224 S 2518 (241) 512 W 2ND 2ND AVE (50) AVE (48) ST (44) Road (272) Myrtle (269) 1108 W AVE (45) 3715 W 2nd 2108 E W 3rd 305 S (243) 2ND 217 S 2nd 308 S 308 S AVE (43) LAUREL 209 S (246) Sycamore (240) Larch Laurel Missouri (291) ST (49) (262) (263) (268) 6006 W SHORT 4TH AVE (29) E 5th 1119 E 908 W 5TH S PEAR ST 6TH AVE AVE (53) E 6TH 6224 W 618 (52) (51) 1921 E 7TH AVE (221) 5TH AVE (30) AVE OAKWOOD W 6th 701 S 913 E 7th 1418 RD (27) 5305 (220) 4120 W 7TH 3109 W 7TH 611 S W 6TH 4319 W BURNETT W BEECH ST 617 (250) E 7TH AVE (69) AVE (75) CYPRESS ST AVE (28) ST (64) W 6TH BURNETT (175) S TENNESSEE 712 S OHIO 1904 E AVE (214) (183) ST (196) 1018 E ST (192) 8TH AVE AVE (65) ST (76) Eloise 4005 W 1600 W 8TH 7TH AVE 712 S (218) 5302 W 2614 W 8TH Cir BURNETT 810 S CYPRESS AVE (187) 1405 W 9TH (191) 1203 E 9TH NEBRASKA 1907 E 8TH BURNETT ST (70) 906 S AVE (79) 1215 W 9TH AVE (219) ST (182) AVE (193) ST (239) ST (15) 1620 W 8TH AVE (190) AVE (176) 900 BARROW 4311 W 10TH HOLLY ST 905 S 1006 S AVE (189) 1601 W 9TH AVE (66) (78) PENNSYLVANIA 1001 S DR (213) BLAKE 3500 W 11TH 2619 W 907 S HICKORY AVE (188) 5612 W 10TH ST (71) 4319 W 11TH 1116 S AVE 3310 W 11TH 11TH AVE ST (186) ST (194) NEBRASKA 1002 S HICKORY 1107 W 11TH ST (215) AVE (16) AVE (32) 3216 W 11TH AVE BOIS D (74) (84) 2506 W ST (181) 1012 S AVE 3105 W 11TH 1600 W 11TH AVE (177) 1104 S DAKOTA ST (67) ARC ST (73) 11TH AVE (34) AVE (31) 2805 W 12TH 1915 W AVE (184) 5524 W HEPBURN 1101 S 1204 S (80) 2202 W 1206 S 804 W LOUISIANA 1012 S (217) 3207 W ST (17) PERSIMMON 3801 W AVE (83) 12TH AVE MYRTLE ST (77) 2500 W 12TH 11TH 1622 W 11TH LINDEN ST 12TH ST (197) DAKOTA 407 E ST (68) HEPBURN HEPBURN (180) 2802 W 12TH AVE (81) AVE (82) AVE (185) (178) AVE (179) 1219 S ST (216) 13TH AVE 1203 S ST (72) ST (33) OLIVE ST 1308 S AVE (85) 1315 S (200) TENNESSEE 4402 W 4305 W 14TH 1402 S 1312 S (201) STATE ST 1122 E S Utah St 1305 S ELM OAK ST 615 E ST (198) 14TH AVE (56) PALM ST MULBERRY (204) 12TH AVE 2009 W ST (167) (165) 13TH AVE AVE (57) 4404 W 14TH (150) ST (171) (195) SHORT 14TH 1601 W 1302 S (199) 614 E 13TH AVE 4408 W 14TH AVE (58) 4104 W 15TH 3502 W 14TH 1421 S 807 W 14TH AVE (164) 15TH AVE OAK (209) AVE (59) 4216 W 15TH AVE (62) AVE (89) MYRTLE AVE (166) 901 E 15TH AVE (162) 1418 W 14TH ST (168) 1510 S 414 E 15TH 4408 W AVE (60) ST (86) 1608 W (212) 3104 W 15TH 1602 S 2115 W 16TH MAIN ST AVE (203) 15TH AVE AVE (160) 1614 S LEE 15TH 4028 W 16TH 3610 W 16TH AVE (87) MAGNOLIA AVE (238) (202) ST (55) AVE (61) 3310 W (163) 1601 S AVE (63) AVE (92) ST (237) 1701 S 611 E 16TH 1512 W Georgia 15TH 1618 S CATALPA AVE (90) 3008 W 1705 W CYPRESS ST AVE (210) 16TH AVE (161) (256) 1710 ST (88) 16TH CIRCLE (156)1806 W 17TH OAKWOOD RD (54) AVE (91) DR (153) 64 CYPRESS AVE (157) 1715 S 706 E 17TH 1220 W 17TH DR (154) MULBERRY 1810 S LAUREL AVE (208) 1701 EDMAR AVE (170) ST (169) ST (174) 1720 S DR (93) 76 CYPRESS OLIVE ST E 17TH AVE E 17TH AVE DR (158) 1901 S 1907 S (173) 209 TALBOT (207) (211) 1815 W 1814 S HICKORY LINDEN ST (205) 611 E 1918 S 3400 S 3207 S IRIS ST CIRCLE DR HICKORY ST (159) ST (172) 21ST AVEINDIANA IRIS ST (121) (151) ST (152) 2006 S (102) ST (206) W 21st (120) 2013 HOWARD 49 CYPRESS DR 801 W 2107 S GEORGIA 317 E 21ST Skylark DR (122) (155) 2109 S 22ND AVE CHESTNUT ST (109) 612 E 21ST 3505 LILAC MAPLE ST (146) AVE (103) 2204 S 2219 S (126) ST (108) 316 E AVE (105) ST (119) MAPLE ST 2213 S CYPRESS LINDEN 21ST AVE (104) 518 E 3404 LILAC 2107 S OAK 601 E 23RD (148) ST (147) ST (128) 23RD AVE (107) ST (118) ST (127) AVE (106) 1903 W 24TH 806 W AVE (149) 1412 W 24TH 703 E SHORT 1308 W 24TH 24TH AVE 4206 W 24th AVE (132) 207 E 24TH AVE (100) 1713 W 25TH AVE (131) FAUCETT RD (129) 2700 W 25TH AVE 1700 (138) W 25TH AVE 619 E (115) 2100 W 25TH 2410 S 1518 W 24TH 916 W 25TH AVE (124) 24TH AVE (139) LOCUST AVE (133) (110) AVE (130) SHORT 24TH AVE (137) ST (140) AVE (101) 204 E 25TH 1520 W 26TH 316 AVE E 2605 HOWARD (111) AVE (134) 26TH AVE (114) DR (123) 204 E 26TH 318 E 1800 W 27TH 1605 W 28TH AVE (112) 26TH AVE (136) AVE (135) 2808 S POPLAR AVE (113) W 28th ST (141) W 29th 1802 W 29TH AVE (144) 2013 W 30TH 3006 S 3005 S CATALPA POPLAR W 30th 1017 E AVE (143) 1802 W 30TH 3001 S ST (125) AVE (145) ST (142) 30TH AVE (26) DAKOTA 3106 S ST (22) DAKOTA ST (24) 3201 S 1521 E 32ND Farwil WILLOW ST (14) AVE (23) S S NEBRASKA ST Union LOUISIANA ST (25) (97) 3419 S TENNESSEE 3415 S TENNESSEE ST (95) 1200 E 34TH ST (96) AVE (236) W 36th 3711 S TENNESSEE W 38th ST (98) 3911 S 902 E 38TH BEECH AVE (94) ST (99) 2209 W 40TH AVE (11) N Phillips St Cardinal St Thrasher St Chapel Pines Sulphur Springs Rd Marjon Beaman St W 7th Biscayne Chapel Heights Glover Harrison St Dollarway Rd Kortenber St W Mosley St Parker St W 4th W Lake Palmer Rd Oden W Cobb Corder St Davis N Bryant St S Bryant St Shamrock Couch Ln W Webb S Franklin St Champion Ridge W Cheatham W Wormack St N Lane St W Greenway S Madison St Artie Creek Cv W 14th Duke W Windham St W Millaway E Greenway S Dearborn St W 15th Shannon Rd Oakridge W Latting St W Hoover St Chapel Ln S Pryce St N Pryce St W Jones W Barraque St Oakwood Rd W Holsey W Carbon St W Bullock Joneswood W Burnett St W 8th W 9th W 20th Pinnacle Ln Wood W Short 3rd St W 10th W 11th W 12th Starlite S Young St W 17th Leawood Starlite Cv Chapel Village Plaza Hawthorne Ln W Kennedy S Hutchinson St Kyle N Lee St Sabine W Short Barraque St Cattlemens N Bush St W Malcomb St Ramp N Gross St S Gross St S Sherman St Lynnwood W Smart W Knight Evergreen W 3rd W Short 4th St W 5th Chapel Gardens 4611 Ryburn Rd (288) S Grant St N Haley St S Lee St Dianne Logan Ln S Taft St Kisatchie St Dusty Lake N Humac St S Camden Rd Culpepper Rd Carol St Western W Short 2nd St Kimberly N School St Mccool Cir Royal Oaks Hagan N Tupelo St Flo St Shirley St W 6th Cottonwood St N Richard S Hemlock St Phyllis St Faucett Rd Cottonwood Cir Allister Rosebud St Beverly S Richard Clement Kendyl Almetta Goodfaith Rd Boone St Garland Crownwood St Scott Sturgis Rd S Pecan St W Scull St S Apple St Neely N Blake St W Hepburn St W 16th N Neely S Neely W 32nd Rhinehart Rd S Blake St W 19th Cross St Crest Jaycee W Short 13th St S Amis St Tulip Cv Little John Kiwanis Short Juniper St Lincoln Green S Juniper St Violet Mockingbird Ln Orchid St Lakewood Cir Smugglers Ln Oakland Park Oakland N Juniper St S Larch St Tulip St Daffodil Howard N Midland Park Lakewood Ln N Haverty St Miramar Rose St Jonquil St Lilac St N Myrtle St S Myrtle St S Birch St Edmar N Birch St N Iris St Iris St S Midland Park W 34th Nottingham Ln Hunters Green King Richard Cir Bobo Rd Townsend Park Townsend N Catalpa St W Hill Nelson St Meadow Short Reeker St Fluker St Pitts Sherwood Forest S Orange St Robinhood Ln W Remmel Roane Marion Sherwood Peggy Ann Gwen Buckingham S Willow St N Willow St W 25th W Roosevelt N Palm St Tinner 2404 W 47TH AVE (13) N Magnolia St W 22nd W High St S Magnolia St N Short Hazel St W 18th W 48th Oliver Rd W Pullen St W 2nd Rike Leslie Leas Southwood W 41st W 42nd Beau Monde Pine Hill Forest Knoll N Hazel St W King St Woodbine Carver La Prexy Davis Henry Wilkins Iii W Circle W 31st Longmeadow Woodgate W Havis N Cypress St Southern Pines Cypress 2309 N SHERATON DR (10) Eastwood Ct Collegiate Watson Blvd N Hickory St Collegiate Cir John Kennedy W 5th Overpass Jefferson Pl W Reeker N Plum St Front St S University Bell St N Locust St Pine Pl Doctors Southern Pines Cv Unnamed S Ash St W 23rd Arrowhead Pl W 40th W 46th W 43rd W Saracen St W Vaugine St Linden Cir Idylwood N Cherry St S Cherry St N Poplar St S Poplar St N Elm St S Elm St W 44th W 50th W 45th Stevens S Oak St N Beech St W Harding Winters Pl Hillcroft St N Olive St Scrubby Watson Hudson Elmwood Cir Westridge Quail Run S Walnut St N Walnut St Bartholomew S Chestnut St Haynes W Martin Pl W 26th W 27th Steve N State St S State St E 9th E 16th American Legion Rd W 37th W 39th W 33rd W 35th S Main St Rutherford Pl E 23rd E 25th E 26th E 45th Lake Saracen E 11th Convention Center Talbot St E 31st S Georgia St E 39th S Texas St E 35th E 36th E 40th E Short 24th St E 30th E 33rd S Tennessee St Regional Park Regional Park E 8th E 27th E 28th 405 E 52ND 301 E 52ND AVE (4) AVE (6) 305 E 52ND AVE (9) E 14th E 15th E 17th Park Pl E 29th E 52nd E 21st Bonnie Park E 43rd E 13th E 19th E 24th Alexander E 34th E Barraque St E 12th E 11th E Martin Pl E 18th E 41st E 42nd E 20th 4222 S OHIO ST (3) E 46th E 47th Black Dog E 32nd Harbor Oaks Highway 65b S Nebraska St Nall Lake Harbor Oaks Civitan Greenfield Tr Park Beachfront N Colorado St S Colorado St S Washington St Lucia Ln Westgate Ln S Dakota St Belmoor N Idaho St S Idaho St N Illinois St E 6th E 7th Barrow Boston Brentwood Berkshire Martha Cir Collins S Michigan St Belle Meade Merlos Ln Bailey S Belair E 4th Avondale Cockrill Auburn E 38th Portea Cir Ashley N Belair Portea Commerce Cir E 10th Argyle Avalon Planters Byron Colonial Claremont Auto S Hearn St 2904 Port Road (275) 2917 E 2nd (245) Flash E Harding Phillips Rd River Pines Market St Pines Mall Entrance N Byrd St E 2nd Pines Mall Highway 65 S Bloom St E Pullen St E 3rd Eskridge Rd 3213 Port Road (273) S Spring St N Frontage Rd Port Rd Paper Mill Rd S Bain St Honeycomb St Mallard Loop Hidden Lake Thousand Oaks Highway 79 Ray Rd Stone Ridge Ryburn Rd Aud Rd Thompson S Lakeshore Lakeshore Town And Country Ln Mayberry Rd Skyline W Greensward Ridgewood Greenlee St Hillcrest St Woodcrest Ln Sutton Pl Hampton Parkway Kensington Cv Cromwell Cv Regency Ln Foxcroft Ln Canterbury Cv Stratford Ln Sheffield Windsor Pl Cherryridge Richmond St 2202 RICHMOND DR (5) Ridgway Rd S Hazel St Windsor Colony Wellington Mt Vernon Ct Monticello Ct Indian Hills S Cedar St Blackhawk Ridge Beaver Little Beaver Highway 530 W 59th Silver Fox Ln White Cloud Ln Vontungeln Rd Wilbur West Rd Village Country Ln N Rockwood Dancing Rabbit Silver Fawn Summerset Pl War Eagle Antelope Calloway Hill Hyla Sorrells Rd Augusta Sailor Rd Old Warren Rd S Rockwood Running Brinkley Rd Middle Warren Rd Foxborough Cv W 73rd Deer Horn Cv Par Ln N Deer Run S Deer Run Spike Cv Fairway Rosswood Colony Golf View S Laurel St (2) Nelson Ln Brooke Ln Chamberwood Forrest Oak Windsong Cv Thicket Summerhill Trophy Cir Bugle Opal Lake Woodscott Rd Highway 63 W Rosswood Rd µ Miles Pine Bluff Condemned Properties

5 table of contents Introduction....ii A Strategic Plan and Future Direction for the City of Pine Bluff The Case Statement... 1 The Process...2 The Mission Statement....2 The Vision Statement...3 The Government Infrastructure Pillar... 5 Recommendations/Implementation...6 The Education Pillar Recommendations/Implementation The Economic Development Pillar Recommendations/Implementation...22 The Quality of Life Pillar...29 Recommendations/Implementation...30 Concluding Statement Appendix... A-1 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF i

6 INTRO Our community has been the talk of Arkansas and the conversation is not flattering. The media have used words and phrases to describe Pine Bluff such as a war zone, a town full of crumbling buildings, the worst place in America to live, and identifying towns or cities facing years of neglect, despair, and desolation as the Pine Bluff Syndrome. To borrow from one of their phrases, it s time to put up or shut up. We are too often our own worst enemy when commenting about our community. While we have chosen to live in Pine Bluff, others have left Pine Bluff because of the challenges mentioned above and their belief that nothing will be done to change our community. We truly believe that change is not only essential; we believe immediate action is our last real chance to turn things around and to begin recovering from two decades or longer of a downward spiral. While we too are frustrated with the constant negative publicity, we believe that our community has perpetuated that reputation by giving more lip service than meaningful actions. More of the same will produce more of the same. If you agree, support this initiative. This is not an issue of can we do it; it is a question of WILL WE do it or will we be satisfied with more of the same? We, the members of Go Forward Pine Bluff (GFPB), have delivered an action plan that gives us the best chance of stopping the decline in our city.

7 DUCTION The following pages express our vision, case statement, planning process, the strategic plan and the future direction for Pine Bluff. The Go Forward Pine Bluff Strategic Plan is the product of Pine Bluff citizens, not professionals from outside of Arkansas. We have used the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Institute for Economic Advancement to facilitate the work accomplished by your fellow citizens. The following represents our collective opinions on what needs to be done to revitalize our community. The opinions are based on information from three sets of surveys, meetings with experts and leaders in other communities, and nine months of analysis by Pine Bluffians. While most plans require tweaking the GFPB plan is a huge undertaking with many unknowns, so we should expect changes as we move through the process. Our plan is divided into four major areas of focus: Economic Development, Education, Government and Infrastructure, and Quality of Life. While two areas may be considered our biggest challenge, blight (poor living conditions) and education, it will take considerable work in all areas to bring our plan to fruition. Likewise, we as a team, fully realize that none of the plan can be accomplished without a commitment from all of our citizens. The question is, are we ready to make the commitment to this MAJOR undertaking? If we are united and support the work done by Pine Bluff citizens in our community, we believe the Go Forward Pine Bluff Strategic Plan will work. Our community will see the fruits of our labor and progress will be reported on a quarterly basis in the Pine Bluff Commercial. The timeline for implementation, while somewhat fluid, will become more specific as we begin to roll out the plan. To accomplish this very aggressive plan, it will require a considerable amount of money! It will need to be funded through a combination of grants, business investments, public/private partnerships and a new sales tax. None of us want another tax, but our challenge is too great to repair overnight and donations and grants will not fund it alone. Think of our effort as an investment in the future of our families. If we are successful, we will look back on our investment as the best we ve ever made. Thank you for being willing to make a difference in the lives of your families, fellow citizens, and the new citizens we hope to attract. Also, we want to close by thanking all the volunteers who invested over 8,000 hours of work, which was time away from their primary jobs and families, in order to bring the Go Forward Pine Bluff Strategic Plan to the stage of implementation. We hope you will share our enthusiasm and optimism and wholeheartedly support this very aggressive Strategic Plan in order to make some much needed change in our community. Have a great day and God bless. J. Thomas May, Chairman Mary Pringos, Chairman Carla M. Martin, Pillar Chairman Simmons First Foundation Go Forward Pine Bluff Go Forward Pine Bluff GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF iii


9 A strategic plan and future direction for the city of pine bluff The Go Forward Pine Bluff Strategic Plan is a conclusive blueprint for addressing the systemic problems facing the City of Pine Bluff. The yearlong effort involved a broad cross-section of the community s citizens from all areas of the city with a significant number of participants under 40 years of age. Implementing the recommendations found in this report address a number of Pine Bluff s greatest challenges and will move the needle in the struggle to revitalize the city and ensure its future prosperity. The Case Statement Simmons Bank, its Foundation, Pine Bluff citizens, its businesses and educators recognized the challenges facing Pine Bluff had to be confronted before progress was possible. Some of the significant facts the Foundation cited in support of the Go Forward Pine Bluff initiative include: A 16% drop in Pine Bluff s population since According to 2010 census, the city is projected to lose another 6,000 residents by Pine Bluff s current population is 49,083. Generally speaking, Pine Bluff has the worst unemployment rates in Arkansas and the highest among the state s metropolitan areas. Only 10% of the revenues earned by the Pine Bluff Convention Center coming from events held at the facility. The remaining money it needs to operate comes from the city s hamburger tax. A 200-room hotel, attached to the convention center, has closed. A significant deterioration in the city s residential and commercial buildings compounded by property neglect and absentee ownership. Pine Bluff s three school districts (Watson Chapel, Pine Bluff, and Dollarway) in academic distress. Dollarway School District, currently operated by the State Board of Education, is also in fiscal distress, and has remained on the academic distress list for five years in a row. Multiple vacant stores and several unoccupied food court businesses at The Pines Mall. The loss of major retailers is particularly damaging. An ongoing problem with neglected properties. The city and its neighborhoods now contend with over 450 condemned, abandoned, or torn down residential properties. The state s overall negative perception of Pine Bluff, largely shared by city residents, who cite commercial and residential decline and education as their two top concerns followed by crime and a lack of activities for adults and children. GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 1

10 The Process George Makris, CEO of Simmons First, approached the Simmons First Foundation about facilitating an effort to address the challenges facing Pine Bluff. The bank provided a gift of $300,000 to fund the development of a strategic plan. Go Forward Pine Bluff (GFPB) was created and an Executive Committee was established that included Mary Pringos, Agribusiness leader, Chair; Carla M. Martin, Vice Chancellor-Finance and Administration, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB); and Tommy May, CEO, Simmons First Foundation. A Task Force was appointed by the Executive Committee to assist with the project and oversee the work of the committee. Task Force members represented prominent stakeholders: Irene Holcomb, Community; George Stepps, Government; Byron Tate, Media; UAPB Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander, Education; Glenn Barnes, Religion; Chuck Morgan, Business; Lou Ann Nisbett, Economic Development; Catherine Smart, Youth; Walter Johnson, Healthcare; and Martie North, Ex Officio. mission A mission statement for the project was written and the Executive Committee developed the parameters for the strategic planning process. Utilizing the work of the 20/20 Commission1 as a baseline and working with a broad representation of our community, citizens and businesses, establish a strategic plan that will result in a growing tax base for our community. 1 In 2007, the city of Pine Bluff and its residents, collectively called 20/20 Commission, drafted a strategic plan called Pine Bluff 20/20. 2 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF Photo Courtesy Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

11 v i s i o n A vision statement was created to help guide the organization through its task. To make Pine Bluff a city its residents are proud to call home. To create a public/private partnership that engages all residents in reimagining the city through targeted projects, grants and initiatives aimed at transforming Pine Bluff into a regional center and point of destination for cultural activities, sporting events, educational opportunities, dining and historical museums, characterized by robust and sustainable economic growth, educational opportunity, responsive leadership and an attractive quality of life. To make the city grow and go, GFPB will focus on: stimulating economic development through capital investment in revitalizing downtown and encouraging quality affordable housing; revitalizing city governance and promoting a positive image for Pine Bluff; creating a skilled workforce and raising academic standards and student performance; and, building a metropolitan community that offers residents an attractive, safe and healthy environment with a wealth of cultural, social and entertainment options. GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 3

12 The effort to address the systemic problems confronting the city was divided into four focus areas or Pillars and the Executive Committee assigned a chair to each group. Government/Infrastructure Rosalind Mouser Education Scott Pittillo THE PLAN Economic Development Nick Makris Quality of Life Kaleybra Morehead A timeline for planning and implementation was created and the criteria for volunteers interested in working on GFPB was established. To ensure broad representation from the community, applications for volunteers were made available through the Simmons First Foundation. A press conference was held to announce the GFPB project and encourage public participation. The Institute for Economic Advancement (IEA) at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock was contracted to facilitate the process and an orientation session was held in January of All participants were assigned to a Pillar and each group met monthly, from January through July, to gather information relating to their focus areas including hosting guest speakers and taking field trips to understand best practices and successful rebuilding efforts in other towns and cities. The Pillar participants also worked in sub-committees that met outside of the monthly, general Go Forward Pine Bluff meeting. Beginning in July and continuing through October, the Pillar groups worked diligently to develop realistic recommendations/strategies that could really make a difference. During October and November, the Pillar Chairs and their IEA/UALR facilitators worked with the Executive Committee to draft the plan. The following pages are the product of each of the four Pillar work groups and include an overview of their efforts.

13 INFRASTRUCTURE/ Government PILLAR Overview of Process, Research, and Information Gathering Phase The 20 members who serve the Government/Infrastructure Pillar of the GFPB Initiative reflect the city s demographic makeup. Participants ranged in age from millennials to senior citizens and included residents working in both the public and private sectors. Deliberations began on January 20, 2016, using as a starting point, Pine Bluff s 20/20 Strategic Plan (began in 2007) and several concepts, issues, and challenges identified by the Simmons First Foundation. Two goals from the 20/20 Strategic Plan that had not been addressed were: Goal #7: implementing and supporting transportation improvements throughout Pine Bluff and Jefferson County to draw more economic activity in to the area. Goal #8: studying the feasibility of a city planning department complete with a city planner and grant writer/researcher. The early guidance by the Executive Committee for the Government & Infrastructure pillar was to study the feasibility of changes to the form of government in Pine Bluff including: replacing at-large positions with positions elected by school zone or other geographic designation; shrinking city borders to maximize city services: improving law enforcement services and infrastructure; addressing the decay of residential and commercial properties throughout the city particularly in the central city area; creating a land bank; and, revising and more effectively enforcing building codes. Pillar participants determined that creating an effective city government and addressing the state of downtown were the two most critical challenges facing the city. Other issues investigated by the group served to support and develop its focus on these two topics. During the research and information gathering phase of the process a number of speakers from the community as well as from outside of Pine Bluff and Arkansas addressed topics applicable to the group s area of interest. Development of Recommendation/Strategies After thoughtful research and deliberation, the group developed a series of recommendations focused on three areas of concern: downtown Pine Bluff, city government, and repurposing. GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 5

14 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Infrastructure/Government Pillar Municipal Master Plan STRATEGY Update and Develop a Municipal Master Plan for Pine Bluff that Includes Land Use, City Codes, Planning, Zoning, Enforcement, Elimination of One Way Streets, and Reviewing and Updating Existing Rules and Regulations. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY The Last Master Plan for the City of Pine Bluff was Adopted in 1976 and is Woefully Out Dated and Ineffective. In Order to Move the City Forward the Master Plan must be Updated, Enforced and Kept Current. ACTION STEPS Obtain funding for the Update and Development of the Master Plan. Establish a Public/Private Group to Meet with the Mayor and Planning Commission to Determine the Process for Modernizing the Master Plan and Developing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ.)2 Mayor Submits the Group s Proposal for Developing a Revised Master Plan and a RFQ to the City Council for Consideration and Approval. City Council Awards Bid to Appropriate Entity to Undertake the Process. Master Plan is Developed, Adopted, and Enforced. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation IMPLEMENTATION Phase I Did You Know It has been over 40 years since a code enforcement procedures of regulations and a comprehensive land use plan haven been updated to today s standards and regulations. 2 Request for Qualifications is the formal step required by cities and governmental agencies who are seeking vendors to provide a service. Photo Courtesy Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism 6 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF

15 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Infrastructure/Government Pillar Strategy for Downtown Pine Bluff Did You Know The St. Louis Southwestern Railway completed in 1883, (better known as the Cotton Belt ) was a crucial economic engine for Pine Bluff. The Railway operated 712 miles of track in Arkansas. The Cotton Belt reached its peak mileage in the early 1930s. Southern Pacific Railroad gained control of the Cotton Belt in 1932 in an effort to gain connections to eastern markets at St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee. The Cotton Belt stops in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) were the railroad s primary repair and construction facility for freight cars, passenger cars, and locomotives. STRATEGY Create a Strategy for Redeveloping, Repurposing, and Revitalizing Downtown Pine Bluff (Barraque to 8 Th Streets) BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY A Focused Effort to Rebuild the City of Pine Bluff. Additionally, Repurposing Abandoned Land for Housing, Recreation, Commercial and Public Use is Key to the City s Rebirth. ACTION STEPS Engage University of Arkansas Center for Community Design to Establish a Strategic Vision for Revitalizing Downtown. Conduct a Report Review Session for the Community. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES Meet with Applicable Leadership and Current Property Owners Develop, Submit, and Adopt a Set of Criteria for Repurposing Initiatives. University of Arkansas Center for Community Design Mayor and Applicable City Department Heads IMPLEMENTATION Phase II Aerial Map Courtesy University of Arkansas Community Design Center GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 7

16 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Infrastructure/Government Pillar Land Bank STRATEGY Establish a Self-Funding Land Bank in Pine Bluff and/or Jefferson County BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY A Land Bank can Undertake the Acquisition, Holding, and Management of Foreclosed and Abandoned Properties ACTION STEPS Establish a Group to Study the Process for Managing Extensive Foreclosed and Abandoned Properties. Establish Network of Partners Including Delta Regional Authority (DRA), Arkansas Municipal League (AML), and Other Cities in the Delta. Consult with Experts; the City of Little Rock and Lynn Foster at UALR Bowen Law School. Retain a Lobbyist Familiar with the Little Rock Bill and Other Legislation. Pass State Legislation. Pass City Ordinance. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTY Non-profit Group Identified or Established. IMPLEMENTATION Phase I Photo Courtesy Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 8 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF

17 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Infrastructure/Government Pillar Pines Hotel/ Downtown Square STRATEGY Repurpose Pines Hotel Block (Pines Hotel and Buildings on Same Block). BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY A Revitalized Downtown Pine Bluff is Necessary for the Overall Economic Development of the City. ACTION STEPS Save Iconic Hotel Pillars and Stained Glass Acquire Property Complete Environmental, Structural, and Other Applicable Studies Demolish and/or Repurpose Engage the Center for Community Design, College of Architecture, University of Arkansas. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES TBD IMPLEMENTATION Phase I GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 9

18 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Infrastructure/Government Pillar Pine Bluff Multi-purpose Center STRATEGY To Identify Options for a the Multi-purpose Center that Best Meet the Needs of the City and are Economically Feasible. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY A Multi-purpose Center with Meeting Rooms, Classrooms, and Recreational Areas is Essential to the City s Quality of Life and Economic Competitiveness. ACTION STEPS Establish a Group of Interested Community Members to Decide What Options Should be Considered. Assess Other Efforts to Provide the Community with Multi-purpose Facilities. Review Plans to Build and Renovation Options and make a Recommendation to the Mayor and City Council. Determine What Existing Structures could be Converted to a Multi-purpose Facility and the Renovation Cost Associated with Each. Provide Matching Funds Equal to ½ of Cost up to $4M. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES Mayor and City Council Community Interest Groups IMPLEMENTATION Phase II

19 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Infrastructure/Government Pillar Candidates Institute STRATEGY Establish a Candidates Institute to Recruit and Train Citizens from Pine Bluff to Run for Public Office and Serve on City Municipal Commissions and Boards. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY Encouraging Residents Interested in Public Office to Undergo Training will Help Potential Candidates Learn about Local Government and their Responsibilities as Public Officials. ACTION STEPS Ask the UAPB School of Education and the UALR School of Public Affairs, with Support from Local and State Offices and Associations, to Profile each Elected Public Office, Board, and Commission and Develop and Provide Appropriate Training. Identify the Elected Public Offices, Commissions and Boards in Pine Bluff. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTY Chamber of Commerce IMPLEMENTATION Phase I GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 11

20 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Infrastructure/Government Pillar Civil Service Commission STRATEGY Establish a Civil Service Commission Governance System. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY By Providing an Independent Body to Hear Complaints and Make Personnel Decisions, a Civil Service Commission will Protect Police and Fire Personnel from Undue Influence by Elected Officials. Police and Fire Chiefs will be Chosen and Accountable to the Mayor. ACTION STEPS Establish Application and Selection Process for Commission Members that Includes Specific Qualifications. Provide Mandatory Annual Training for All Commission Members. Develop and Enforce Commission Guidelines and Procedures that Include Staggered Terms of Service. Insure an Independent Attorney is Assigned to the Commission. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES Mayor City Council Public Safety Committee IMPLEMENTATION Phase III 12 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF

21 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Infrastructure/Government Pillar First Responders STRATEGY To Retain the Quality and Professionalism of the Pine Bluff First Responder Force through Effective Recruiting, Continuing Education and Competitive Salaries. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY A Highly Trained and Well Paid Professional First Responder Force for the City will Enhance Safety, Reduce Social Tension, Lower Insurance Rates, Help Attract New Businesses and Improve Pine Bluff s Public Image. ACTION STEPS Work with the Criminal Justice Program at UAPB, Southeast Arkansas College (SEARK), and the University of Arkansas System s Criminal Justice Institute to Support Professional Law Enforcement Training for the Pine Bluff Police Department. Increase Tax Revenue to Provide Competitive Wages for First Responders. Work with Police and Fire Departments to Ensure Adequate Recruitment and Training. Require Candidates tor First Responder Positions to Sign Agreements to Remain on the Force Long Enough to Recoup the Investment Made in Their Training. Develop Incentive Programs to Support Retention. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES Mayor and City Council Police Chief Fire Chief IMPLEMENTATION Phase II GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 13


23 THE EDUCATION PILLAR Overview of Process, Research, and Information Gathering Phase Tasked with improving Pine Bluff s education system, the 22 members of the Education Pillar completed over 1400 individual hours of study and research relying primarily on previous work completed for the 20/20 Strategic Plan and input from 16 eminent educational authorities. Beginning in January, 2016, discussions focused on the important contribution education plays in the life of a community and the obstacles a substandard education system poses to regional economic development. Inspired by the educational goals created by the 20/20 Strategic Plan, the Education Pillar began with two clear objectives: Developing primary and secondary educational institutions that are academically and financially sound. Improving the educational options provided by our high schools and institutions of higher education to meet the specific needs of the employers of Pine Bluff and surrounding areas. The Pillar then identified the following areas of concern listed below in order of priority: Leadership Partnerships Consolidation Parents Social Services Marketing Campaign Academics Financial Assistance Workforce, Department of Education/Higher Education Juvenile Courts During the research and information gathering phase of the process, sub-committees were appointed by the Chair of the Task Force. Special speakers and subject matter experts were invited to address topics applicable to the group s area of interest. The pillar determined its goal was to provide the best possible education for our children, whether it was a public education or a private school option. Just as we strive in higher education, we need to be the best we can be at all levels of learning. We have Ridgway Christian School which is a highly successful private institution. Also, we may have other private schools formed in the future. However, our public schools are extremely challenged. Therefore, the group felt the public schools were where they needed to focus their total attention. After thorough deliberation and acknowledging the group s inability to directly influence the city schools under the control of the State Department of Education, the Pillar decided to focus on the four aspects of Leadership, Education, Accountability, Pipeline (LEAP). GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 15


25 Educational Alliance Did You Know The Richard Allen Institute, founded in Pine Bluff in 1886, was one of the earliest Presbyterian schools for African Americans in Arkansas. It operated until The successful implementation of the LEAP strategy to focus on Leadership, Education, Accountability, and a sustainable Pipeline of new, qualified teachers will require the full funding of an Educational Alliance, along with staff to support its activities. This Alliance will be comprised of the school Superintendents and respective Board Chairs, other academicians, and community representatives. The role of the Education Alliance will be responsible for improving student success in Pine Bluff s three public school districts through the coordination, communication and alignment of educational resources and providing incentives to the city s public schools. Initially funded by the business community, the staff will locate additional funding from public-private groups, foundations, and other state or national entities. Additionally, the reporting of operational and financial aspects of the Education Alliance will be accountable and transparent. KNOWN CONSTRAINTS Securing Buy-in from City Residents and Initial Funding from the Business Community. Finding Staff with the Appropriate Set of Skills Including Fund Raising, Working Effectively with Superintendents, Principals, and Teachers and Communicating with the General Public. Sustaining the Organization s General Expenses. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY Increased Student Success and Improved Economic Viability and Quality of Life. One of its graduates George Edmund Haynes was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Columbia University. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, known familiarly as the Flagship of the Delta, was founded in 1873 as Branch Normal College. UAPB is the second oldest public university in Arkansas. Its first founder and first president was Joseph Carter Corbin who later served as Arkansas state superintendent of public education, the first African American to serve in such a position. ACTION STEPS (1) Determine Structure and Governance of the Educational Alliance. (2) Procure Initial Funding. (3) Secure a Recurring Revenue Stream. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES Action Step 1: Go Forward Pine Bluff Steering Committee (GFPB) Action Step 2: Business Community Led By Business Leaders IMPLEMENTATION Phase I (4) Communicate and Promote the Benefits of the Educational Alliance and the LEAP Strategies to School Districts and the Community. Action Step 3: Education Pillar Steering Committee Action Step 4: The Educational Alliance Each of the Four LEAP Action Steps will Implemented Through the Educational Alliance. GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 17

26 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Education Pillar L E A D E R S H I P E D U C A T I O N STRATEGY Create Able and Committed District Leaders and Assist them with Establishing Plans that Meet the Immediate Expectations of Staff, Students, and Community Stakeholders and Communicates their Vision for Improving their Schools. KNOWN CONSTRAINTS Unstable School Leadership, Shrinking Finances, and Declining Academic Achievement in Many City Schools. Resistance to Change, Apathy, and Lack of Accountability. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY An Increase in the Opportunities for Sustainable Economic Development, Improved Quality of Life And a Decrease in Poverty and Crime. POSSIBLE ACTION STEPS Support Programs which Address Alternative Learners and Special Needs Funding. Mobilize All Appropriate Resources (e.g. Afterschool Programs, the Judicial System, Faith-Based Entities, the Business Community, UAPB And SEARK) to Assist with the Effort to Make Pine Bluff Schools Successful. STRATEGY Create a Formal Administrator Leadership Training Program for Superintendents, School Boards, and Relevant Stakeholders. Create a Financially Sustainable Plan that Ensures Student Success and is Transparent and Accessible to the Community. Maximize Available Funding, Technology, Local Business Assets to Expand and Improve Opportunities tor Closing the Skills Gaps that Impede Students from Seeking Employment or Continuing their Education at a 2 or 4-Year College. KNOWN CONSTRAINTS Resistance to Change and Limited Desire for Cooperation Between Schools and Districts. Time, Commitment and Financial Resources Needed to Improve Teacher Quality and Secure Updated Technology. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY Improvements in ACT Scores and Graduation and Retention Rates. An Increase in the Quality of the Workforce and the Number of College Bound Students with a Corresponding Decrease in the Need for Post-Secondary Remedial Education. POSSIBLE ACTION STEPS Utilize Mechanism to Audit District Budgets and Identify Current Spending Patterns. Maximize Educational Opportunities by Accessing Existing Entities and New and Untapped Resources in and Outside Arkansas. Create a Sustainable Organizational Structure that Follows Appropriate Policies and Incorporates Systematic Review and Approval of Best Practices. Create a Process that Enables the Three Districts to Share Teachers who Specialize in Highly Specialized Academic Courses (e.g. Stem Classes) that are Often Under Enrolled. Create a Career Pathway for All Students From Pre-K to High School that Culminates in College and Technical Training Provided through UAPB and SEARK. 18 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF

27 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Education Pillar A C C O U N T A B I L I T Y P I P E L STRATEGY Hold Educational Stakeholders Responsible for Policies, Actions, and Outcomes within the Scope of their Employment and Instill a Mindset of Accountability Among the Staff and Student Body. KNOWN CONSTRAINTS No Direct Control Over School Governance or Staff and Little Influence Over Social Factors (e.g. Poverty, Crime, Family Issues) and State and Federal Regulations Affecting Education. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY Improvements in Student Performance and in Parent and Community Involvement. POSSIBLE ACTION STEPS Require Each District to Have a Publicly Available Strategic Plan with Measurable Goals and a Plan for Student Success. Require Each Strategic Plan to be Transparent, Comprehensible, and Communicated Widely to the Community. Require All Districts to Have a Working Evaluation System of All Teachers, Staff, and Administrators that Uses the Current State Mandated Tools and Includes Measurable Student Performance Outcomes. STRATEGY Ensure that All State Mandated Planning is Implemented and Communicated to the Community. Ensure that Each Teacher has an Approved Professional Growth Plan with Measurable Outcomes. Require Each District to Develop a Mentorship Program for New and Underperforming Teachers. Create a Series of Incentives to Attract Newly Graduated Educators to the City s Three Districts to Address the Annual Loss of Between Teachers Due to Retirement, Death, and Attrition. KNOWN CONSTRAINTS Pine Bluff s Reputation Makes Recruiting Teachers Problematic and UAPB has had Difficulty Graduating a Sufficient Number of Qualified and Skilled Teachers for the Region. Salaries are Low and the Academic Quality of Students Graduating from Schools of Education is an On-Going Problem. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY Improved Student Performance and a More Academically Sound Environment that Increases Chances for Success in the Workplace or in College I N E POSSIBLE ACTION STEPS Establish Relationships with Education Programs throughout Arkansas and Neighboring States. Provide Incentives to Teachers who Agree to Long Term Teaching Contracts in Pine Bluff. Encourage the UAPB Teacher Education Program to Provide 25 Career Ready Teachers per Year to Teach in the City Districts. GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 19


29 Overview of Process, Research, and Information Gathering Phase Development of Recommendation/Strategies Economic Development PILLAR The 20 members who served on the Economic Development Pillar of the Go Forward Pine Bluff Initiative were hardworking, committed and represented a good cross section of individuals and groups concerned with economic progress. A significant period of time was spent by this pillar educating themselves on the fundamentals of economic development. Although no single strategy, policy, or program can assure a community s economic success all approaches should include five fundamental concepts. Organizational Development Creating and Maintaining a Recognized and Legitimate Forum for Exchanging Ideas and Addressing the Needs of the Community. Product Development Investments that are Maintained, Upgraded, or Developed by Labor and Capital to Improve the Community. Market Development Activities that Focus on Recruiting Individuals who would Enhance the Economy and Enlarge the Market Area in Which they Could Receive Products and Services. Business Development Programs that Nurture Businesses Growth and Investment. Workforce Development Policies and Programs that Build the Skills of the Local Workforce. During this research and information gathering phase of the process data was collected and analyzed and presentations were provided by both internal and external experts on a broad range of topics. The Economic Development Pillar also determined that the ⅜ cent sales tax that currently funds the activities of the Jefferson County Alliance Pine Bluff must be renewed. The Group Decided that Each of its Recommendations must: Offer an Activity or Service Not Currently Provided; Address an Issue Widely Acknowledged as Significant to the Economic Viability of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County; Address the Stated Issue in a Manner that is Achievable with Available Resources or Resources that Can be Procured; Be Sustainable Over the Long Term; and, Be Workable within the City and the County s Existing Legal and Political Framework. GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 21

30 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Economic Development Pillar INNOVATION HUB Did You Know Innovation Hubs: Create a collaborative environment where members share a certain identity and have a sense of belonging and/or participation. Adapt and emerge from the Grassroots initiative of innovators and entrepreneurs. Enable innovators and entrepreneurs to bring their ideas and designs to life. STRATEGY Establish an Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub in Pine Bluff and Make the City and the Region an Economic Engine for Southeast Arkansas. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY An Innovation Hub will Mean Significant and Sustainable Economic Growth. Because it will be a Partnership that Includes the Local College and University, Communication will Improve Enabling them to Better Target and Stabilize their Certification and Associate Degree Programs and Expand their Privately Funded Research. Entrepreneurs, Artists, Retirees, Unemployed, Underemployed All Individuals will Have Access to the Latest in Equipment, Product Marketing, and Business Startup Assistance. Employers and Manufacturers will Have Greater Access to Skilled Workers from the Area. Space and Opportunities will be Available for Individuals to Share Ideas and Solutions. Speakers will be Scheduled Periodically to Provide Information, Motivation, and Training. Activities to Engage Children of All Ages will Take Place Routinely in an Effort to Increase their Interest, Participation, and Use of the Facilities. Additionally, the Hub Facilities will Serve as an Anchor to Create a Model Block to Help Return the Downtown Area to Economic Viability. ACTION STEPS Acquire Commitments for Initial Funding to Cover the Hub s Two-Year Planning Phase. Acquire Funding for the Renovation of Main Street, Located Between the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas (ASC) and UAPB S Economic Research and Development Center (ERDC) which is Currently Owned by The Arts & Science Center Endowment. Pursue Funding Sources to Support Ongoing Operations in Year Three and Beyond. Nurture Ongoing Relationship with Winrock International as a Source of Foundation and Grant Funding. Establish the Generator Entity. Pursue a Commitment from the City of Pine Bluff, Regarding Block to: (1) Open Main Street; (2) Put in New Sidewalks; (3) Install New Street Lights; (4) Address Associated Utilities; and, (5) Establish a Police Substation to Include Bike Patrols. Develop an Ongoing Relationship with All Local and Regional Economic and Community Development Partners i.e. Business and Industry to Encourage Engagement in the Hub. Develop Partners, Businesses, and Industry to Encourage Engagement in the HUB. Create the HUB Partnership. 22 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF

31 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Economic Development Pillar INNOVATION HUB continued RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas Southeast Arkansas College University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff GFPB Will Form a New Organization Called the Generator that will Have its Own Board of Directors. Its Purpose is to Generate Skilled Workers, New Products and New Businesses. To More Effectively Achieve this Purpose, the Generator will Form a Partnership With ASC, UAPB-ERDC, and SEARK to Utilize and Enhance Each One s Existing Expertise and Resources. This Partnership will Become the Innovation Hub of Southeast Arkansas. There will be a Two Year Planning and Development Phase for the Generator and to Create the Hub Partnership. It is Anticipated when Fully Operational, in Approximately Year Three, the Generator will Require the Following Staffing: The Executive Director will Oversee Daily Operations of the Generator. The Public Programs Coordinator will Schedule and Implement Activities According to Tour and Workshop Schedules. Administrative Support Responsible for Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Payroll, Facility, and Maintenance Coordination. The Technology Specialist for Programming, Gaming and Animation. Communications/Marketing Coordinator Responsible for Memberships and Implementing Standards and Social Media in Concert With the Graphic Designer(s), the Coordinator will Also Teach and Mentor in the Product Development Facet of the Hub. The Hub Partnership Places the Creative Studios and Labs Under Direction of the ASC; the Vocational Skills Certification Under SEARK; the Maker s Space, Think Tank Area, Equipment Training and Use Responsibility of the Generator; and the Marketing and Business Development Aspects Under the Direction of UAPB. All Entities will Jointly Program to Create An Environment that Seamlessly Rolls Creative Enterprise into Entrepreneurship. The Generator will be the Point of Contact for the Hub. All Communication for the Hub will Go to and from the Generator. The Generator Leadership will Hold Regular Meetings of Hub Partner Leaders. These Sessions will Provide Updates on All Hub Activities and New Endeavors; Determine Which Partner Should Assume Responsibility for Those New Functions; Discuss Issues; Problem Solve, etc. IMPLEMENTATION Phase I GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 23

32 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Economic Development Pillar EMPLOYABILITY TRAINING STRATEGY Make Targeted Employability Training, Offered by the Department of Labor, Widely Available to Pine Bluff Residents and Employers. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY Increased Job Prospects for Area Residents, Lower Employee Turnover, and Better Prospects for Business Expansion. Did You Know Employers in Pine Bluff claim their greatest needs are employees who are flexible, have interpersonal skills, are problem solvers with internal communication abilities. ACTION STEPS Identify Curriculum to Focus on Soft Skills in Order to Make Employees More Desirable to Employers, Coworkers, and Customers. Present Curriculum as a Pilot Program. Survey Participants. Hire Contractor to Manage Program for First 24 Months Develop a Train the Trainer Program. Identify and Train Instructor Force. it is Important that Instructors Have No Affiliation with Those Business Participating in the Program to Ensure Free and Open Student Participation. Collect and Track Data From Participants to Assess How Effectively the Training Addresses Problems Associated with Dismissal. Encourage Major Employers Within the County to Participate. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation Develop a Staggered Implementation Plan Beginning with Temp Employment Agencies Within Pine Bluff. Ensure a Cultural Competency Piece is Included in the Curriculum. Contact Local Educational Institutions High School (Career Tech Programing in Secondary Education), SEARK (Embed in Current Programing), and UAPB (Present to Each Incoming Freshman as Part of a Freshman Orientation Program), to Encourage their Participation. Encourage the Local Workforce Center to Promote the Program. Ask Jefferson County Alliance to Market the Training to its Membership and Coordinate the Developing Instructor Force. 24 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF

33 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Economic Development Pillar EMPLOYABILITY TRAINING continued SUPPORTING PARTIES Private Consultant (to be Identified and Hired). Additional Support Will be Provided by the Following: (1) Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County Marketing the Product to their Membership (2) UAPB Incorporate Curriculum into Each Program of Study. (3) SEARK (Include Outreach to Local High Schools) Incorporate Curriculum into Each Program of Study. (4) Workforce Centers Include Curriculum as Part of Services Provided Each Customer. IMPLEMENTATION Phase I Photo Courtesy University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Photo Courtesy Southeast Arkansas College GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 25

34 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Economic Development Pillar Endorse the Renewal of the Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County ⅜ Cent Sales Tax Did You Know As a result of the ⅜ cent economic development sales tax STRATEGY Support the Renewal of the ⅜ Cent Economic Development Sales Tax to Ensure the Stability of the Jefferson County Alliance and Expand its Capabilities. BENEFIT TO THE COMMUNITY An Effective and Organized Approach to Economic Development that Provides Data iven Approaches to the Management of Industrial Property, Recruitment of New Businesses and Manufacturers, Business Retention and Growth and Marketing. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Economic Development Corporation IMPLEMENTATION Phase I 1,165 jobs were created, retained or announced in Jefferson County. Pine Bluff attracted eight major projects and companies. Capital investments totaling $10.3 billion were or will be spent by these companies. 26 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF

35 QUALITY of LIFE PILLAR Overview of Process, Research, and Information Gathering Phase Development of Recommendation/Strategies Quality of Life is defined simply as the standard of wellbeing for individuals and societies and includes education, entertainment, environment, health, diversity and employment. The 20 individuals of the Quality of Life Pillar took two proposals from Pine Bluff s 20/20 Strategic Plan - constructing a multi-purpose center and improving public safety as a starting point. The group noted that the Government/Infrastructure Pillar was already focused on a multipurpose center and concluded that it would reexamine the issue of public safety to determine the link between improved safety and better living standards. The Quality of Life pillar examined a variety of research materials to understand the components that make for a high quality of life and how these factors generate economic development. One of the benchmark studies reviewed by the group was the Knight Foundation s Soul of the Community which profiled over 25 cities, many with strong similarities to Pine Bluff. The pillar also relied on economic research from sources such as Economic Development and SMART Growth by the International Economic Development Council and interviews with other notable persons involved with economic development in the area. After thoughtful research and deliberation, the QOL pillar developed a series of recommendations focused on five areas of concern (1) Things to do (2) Marketing of Pine Bluff (3) Public Safety (4) Beautification/Community Gardens (5) Fitness, Health and Sports GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 27

36 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Quality of Life Pillar DOWNTOWN HISTORICAL DISTRICT STRATEGY Make Pine Bluff a Point of Destination by establishing a Designated Downtown Historical District that Highlights Places of Historic and Cultural Significance to Pine Bluff (e.g. Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Museum, Masonic Temple, Saenger Theatre, and Community Theatre). BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY Accelerated Economic Growth and a Revived Downtown that Features a Walkable Area with Historic Sites. Did You Know Paducah s ARP has amatically Revitalized the Lower Town Area into a Thriving Artist s Colony - Over Forty Artists have Relocated to the Lower Town Area; They have Invested $12-15 Million Dollars into the Local Economy. The Knight Foundation Soul of the Community Report Found a Positive Correlation Between GDP Growth and Population Increases and a Community s Offering of Attachment Attributes such as Social Offerings, Aesthetics and a Sense of Openness. ACTION STEPS Collaborate with the University of Arkansas Center for Community Design in Order to Determine which Historical Buildings can be Repurposed and Possible Uses. Seek Assistance from the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District with Securing Grants to Help Fund the District. Design a Master Plan that Establishes the District Within a Two-Year Timeline. Involve Collaborative Partners Including the Downtown Special Events Organization. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES University of Arkansas Center for Community Design Pine Bluff Downtown Development District City of Pine Bluff. IMPLEMENTATION Phase II Conduct an Asset Inventory to Ascertain Building Ownership and Determine Which Buildings Should be Restored or Demolished. Define the Area by Identifying the Pillars and Boundaries that would Make Up the Proposed District. Invite Local Artists (and those who Formally Resided in the City) to Create Historically and Culturally Relevant Murals for the Downtown District. Conduct Living History Training for Volunteers and Employees. Other Community Development Entities in Pine Bluff. Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District. 28 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF

37 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Quality of Life Pillar INCENTIVE PROGRAM STRATEGY Create an Incentive Relocation Program to Attract Restaurants, Young Professionals, Retirees and Commercial Vendors to the Renovated Downtown District. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY Accelerated Economic Growth and a More Diverse Retail Base. ACTION STEPS Establish an Implementation Committee that Conducts Research and Reaches Out to Investors. Create Mixed Use Zoning that Allows for Retail Businesses and Residential Living Space Under One Roof. Create an Incentive Package that Uses Tax Exemptions, Loan Packages and Discounted Rent to Attract Investors and New Residents, Boost New Construction, and Encourage the Purchase and Rehabilitation of Existing Structures. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES Local Financial Institutions. Pine Bluff Downtown Development Pine Bluff City Government Community Planning and Development Coordinator IMPLEMENTATION Phase IV GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 29

38 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Quality of Life Pillar PERMANENT FOOD COURT PAVILION STRATEGY Make the Existing Food Court Area In Pine Bluff on Barraque Street a Permanent, Safe and Attractive Area Where Area Food Trucks Can Set Up Daily and Where Performers Could Entertain. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY Increased Tax Revenue; a New Venue for Events and for Local Musicians; and, Diverse Food Choices Accessible to Downtown Employees. Did You Know 2.5 billon people eat on the street everyday. Annual revenue for food trucks is $1.2 billion annually. There are approximately 4,130 food trucks in the U.S. ACTION STEPS Request Pine Bluff Community Development Office to Oversee Development of the Project. Determine an Investor/ Coordinator for the Project. Invite Current Area Food Trucks to Set Up Shop at the Food Court Pavilion. Name and Prepare the Site to Include Permanent Covered Seating Areas. Recruit Non Local Food Trucks Or Area Restaurants to Participate. Market the Availability of the Area and Food Trucks. Ask the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development Office to Assist with Securing Funding Grants. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES Pine Bluff Community Development Office Southeast Arkansas Economic Development Office City of Pine Bluff Marketing Director. Downtown Development District IMPLEMENTATION Phase III 30 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF

39 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Quality of Life Pillar CELEBRATE THE DELTA FESTIVAL STRATEGY Establish a Yearly Festival that Celebrates Pine Bluff s Heritage with Cultural, Musical and Historical Events that Focus on the Entire Delta Region. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY Increased Tourism and a New Opportunity for Residents to Celebrate the History of their City. Did You Know Blues Hall of Famer Big Bill Bloonzy and Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipient jazz Trumpeter Clark Terry both called Pine Bluff home. Big Bill was recognized by Guitar World Magazine as one of the 100 greatest guitarists ever. Terry was an Inspiration for countless musicians, taught jazz at UAPB and played with jazz greats such as Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. Pine Bluff s Historic Masonic Temple not only was a famous meeting hall for local African Americans, but was also a dance hall where jazz, jive and blues was performed. notable entertainers such as Cab Calloway, John Lee Hooker and Count Basie were known to frequent. ACTION STEPS Form a Celebrate the Delta Festival Planning Committee Under the Auspices of the Downtown Special Events Organization. Secure Funding from Grants, Sponsorships and Donors. Identify and Recruit Artists, Vendors, Events, etc. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES Festival Committee and Harold Terry City Marketing Director IMPLEMENTATION Phase III Secure Sponsors, Space, Donors, and Volunteers. Establish an Annual Festival that Celebrates Delta Foods and Eventually Becomes Part of the Delta Cultural Festival. City of Pine Bluff (for Security, Setup, etc.) Volunteers Celebrate the Delta Photo Courtesy Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 31

40 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Quality of Life Pillar BRIDGE THE GAP LAW ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM MARKETING PUBLIC SAFETY STRATEGY Create a Program that Will Bridge the Gap Between the Community and Local Law Enforcement Agencies. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY Increase in Public Safety, Reduction in Crime and Enhanced Citizen Involvement in Community Policing. ACTION STEPS Schedule a Meeting with the Stakeholders UAPB, SEARK, Pine Bluff Police Department (PBPD), Jefferson County Sheriff s Office (JCSO), and Other Relevant Community Organizations to Define the Program. Creating an Oversight Board from the Stakeholder Groups that Will Decide on Projects and Supervise Implementation. Recruit Student Volunteers (Through the Respective Educational Institutions) to Assist with the Program. Develop a Training Curriculum for Community and Law Enforcement Personnel. Measure Progress of the Program Through Surveys and Interviews. Establish a Series of Mini-Police and Fire Academies to be Held Quarterly. Market the Police Department Through the Coffee with a Cop Program, Increased Law Enforcement Presence At Public Events, and Public Meeting that Focus on Community Issues. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES PBPD, JCSO, Other Law Enforcement Organizations UAPB/SEARK Leadership, Professors, Department Chairs, Advisors, Security, Students City Marketing Director Oversight Board Pine Bluff Volunteer Fire Departments Marketing/Messaging Material Personnel to Oversee Students Student Volunteers IMPLEMENTATION Phase I 32 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF

41 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Quality of Life Pillar NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS/ WATCH PROGRAMS STRATEGY Establish a Coalition of Realtors, Civic Groups, Community Leaders and Others with a Stake in the Success of Pine Bluff s Neighborhoods. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY Improved Public Safety, Increased Property Values, and Cleaner Streets Did You Know In 2015 statistics proved a 1% decline in crime against property in Pine Bluff. A 1.4% decline in crime against a person(s). There were 7,475 crimes in 2012 and 5,076 in ACTION STEPS Establish the Coalition. Develop a Plan for Defining Neighborhoods and Creating New Associations. Create a Structure for Zones and Zone Identity. Define Neighborhood Zones. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES Community Residents Existing Neighborhood Associations IMPLEMENTATION Phase II Create New Associations and Provide Guidance for Neighborhood Association Governance Structures. Support Existing Effective Neighborhood Associations with Training, Guidance and Marketing. City Government Realtors, Community Leaders, and Civic Leaders GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 33

42 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Quality of Life Pillar COMMUNITY GARDENS/ BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT STRATEGY Establish a Public Garden in Central Park, Support Existing Garden Programs and Create Community Gardens for Neighborhoods and Each of the Newly Formed Neighborhood Associations. Create Attractive Signage and Landscaping at City Entrances as well as Major Thoroughfares. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY Crime Prevention and Increased Property Values. Did You Know Reports show crime reduction ranging from 30% to 50% over a 3 year period specifically in the areas where community gardens had been created. Community Gardening is recognized by many police departments as an effective community crime prevention strategy. In Philadelphia, burglaries and thefts in 1 precinct dropped by 90 percent after police helped residents clean up vacant lots and plant gardens. ( Healing America s Cities p. 5 6, as cited in Englander, 2001) 41% of children and adults in America s Southern Delta are overweight. ACTION STEPS Identify a Project Coordinator (Possibly a Cooperative Extension Employee.) Establish a Community Garden Board. Seek Funding Grants from the City and/or Private Funding for Startup and Continuing Operations. Select Three Initial Spots for Community Gardens Using Newly Created Neighborhood Zones Referenced in the Recommendation for Neighborhood Associations. Design and Create a Public Garden in Central Park. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES City Parks and Recreations Department Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Office Community Volunteers IMPLEMENTATION Phase I Set Up a Process for Selecting Managers and Assistant Mangers for Each Garden. Assemble a Team of Volunteer Workers to Care for the Gardens. Create a Marketing Plan. Follow Approach Outlined in North Little Rock s Fit2Live Program for Financing Garden Upkeep and Resolving Property Issues. Determine and create enhancements for city entrances and major thoroughfares. City Marketing Director (for Advertising), and Other Promotions Local Master Gardeners Community Landscaping Experts 34 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF

43 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Quality of Life Pillar COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR STRATEGY Hire a Community Planning and Development Coordinator to Implement Various Projects Set Forth by Go Forward Pine Bluff and Other Economic Development Organizations. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY Accelerated Economic Growth and Improvements in the Quality of Life. ACTION STEPS Create a Hiring Committee (Possible Members Could Include the Pine Bluff Marketing Director, Members of the Downtown Development, Inc., and GFPB) Actively Recruit Candidates. Create a Job Description (this was Completed.) Research Comparable Positions and Staff Requirements. Hire Planning and Development Coordinator. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES Hiring Committee City of Pine Bluff IMPLEMENTATION Phase I GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 35

44 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Quality of Life Pillar MARKETING PLAN FOR PINE BLUFF STRATEGY Develop an Official Marketing Plan for the City of Pine Bluff. BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY Increased Economic Growth. ACTION STEPS Research Marketing Plans for Similarly Sized Cities. Estimate a Reasonable Budget and Determine to What Extent Resources from the Private Sector Would Be Required to Implement a Comprehensive Plan. Secure Necessary Services and Expertise from Private Sector Firm. Develop a State of the Art Digital Marketing Campaign (i.e.choose 901.) Create a Singular Brand, Logo, and Motto for Pine Bluff. Implement a City Wide Marketing Campaign Extending to All Areas of City Government. Secure Buy-In from Private Citizens, Business Owners, Government Agencies, and Community Development Organizations. Establish a Media Relations Approach that Highlights the Good Things Happening in Pine Bluff. Workshops and Meetings to Ensure All Responsible Parties are on the Same Page. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES City of Pine Bluff City Marketing Director Digital Solutions Firm Citizens of Pine Bluff IMPLEMENTATION Phase I 36 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF

45 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Quality of Life Pillar WALKING/ JOGGING/ BIKING TRAILS STRATEGY Construct a Biking/Trail System Through Pine Bluff that will Link Regional Park, Saracen Landing and the Proposed Downtown District, Create Biking Paths Through Downtown; and Include a Walking/Biking Path Around Central Park that Connects to SEARK. Benefit to the Community Promotes Health, Economic Development, and Space for Outdoor Activities ACTION STEPS Work with University of Arkansas Center for Community Design to Include Trail System in their Master Strategy. Assure Plan Includes a Foot Bridge over the Martha Mitchell Expressway. Begin Construction of the Biking/Trail System. Create a Foundation to Help Secure Funds and Develop a Membership. iven Support Structure to Maintain the Trail System. Promote Pine Bluff as a Great Place to have 5K s, Marathons and Other Exercise Activities. Plan for maintenance of trail system once created. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES Parks and Recreation Department Pine Bluff Development Organizations Marketing Director University of Arkansas Center for Community Design IMPLEMENTATION IV Phase IV Photo Courtesy Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 37

46 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Quality of Life Pillar DELTA CLASSIC CHRISTMAS INVITATIONAL BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT STRATEGY Establish an Annual Delta Classic Christmas Invitational Basketball Tournament. Benefit to the Community Increased Tourism and Opportunities for Area Colleges to Recruit Athletes. Raises Pine Bluff s Profile as a Sports Town. ACTION STEPS Secure UAPB Court Availability for Winter Tournament. Invite High School Teams from TN, AR and MS (4 Teams from TN & MS; 2 Teams from Pine Bluff; 2 from AR) Recruit Local Businesses to Provide Sponsorships, Volunteers (Grounds Crew, Umpires, Concessions, Crew, Scorekeepers, etc.) and T-Shirts. Create a Marketing and Fundraising Plan. Contact Coaches, Recruiters from Surrounding Areas. Obtain Vendors and Recruiters from UAPB, SEARK and Other Schools to Promote College Life to Participants. Coordinate Campus Tours and Other Activities for Participating Student Athletes. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES UAPB and SEARK City Marketing Director (For Advertising), and Other Promotions Volunteers Local Businesses for Sponsorships Teams and Coaches Parks and Recreation Department IMPLEMENTATION Phase IV 38 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF

47 Recommendations/Implementation Matrix Quality of Life Pillar TORII HUNTER BASEBALL TOURNAMENT of CHAMPIONS STRATEGY Establish a Torii Hunter Baseball Tournament of Champions. BENEFIT TO THE COMMUNITY Increased Tourism and Restoring Pine Bluff s Image as the State s Leading Baseball Community. Did You Know The Pine Bluff Zebras baseball team is the one of the nation s and state s most successful programs with a state-record ten state baseball championship titles from 1959 through 1995, including four consecutive titles - Dynasty Years ( ). Coach Billy Bock, a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, coached the Zebras in their heyday, winning six state championships from ACTION STEPS Reach Out to Pine Bluff and Recreation Department and UAPB to Pitch the Idea and Make Sure Taylor and Torii Hunter Fields Meet the Standards Necessary to Support the Tournament. Enlist Divisional High School State Champions and One At Large Team to Comprise the 8 Teams for the Double Elimination Tournament. Vendors and Concessions. RESPONSIBLE PARTY Go Forward Pine Bluff Corporation SUPPORTING PARTIES Torii Hunter and Friends City Parks and Recreations Department City Marketing Director Local Businesses for Sponsorships IMPLEMENTATION Phase II Develop a Regionally Focused Marketing Plan. Reach Out to Local Businesses for Sponsorships, Volunteers (Grounds Crew, Umpires, Concessions, Crew, Scorekeepers, etc.), and T-Shirts. Obtain Celebrities, Professional Players and Others for Promotional Appearances. Fundraising and Other Activities TBD. Volunteers Camp Coaches (Sponsored by Torii Hunter Coaching by UAPB Teams) UAPB Staff Vendors GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF 39

48 CONCLUDING STATEMENT Our HOPE is for a more vibrant downtown, more job opportunities, good things being reported about our community, and our children and grandchildren wanting to return to Pine Bluff to live and make a difference. Photo Courtesy Arkansas Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism Photo Courtesy Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism 40 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF


50 appendix Government/Infrastructure Pillar and Speakers... A-1 Economic Development Pillar and Speakers...A-2 Education Pillar and Speakers...A-3 Quality of Life Pillar and Speakers... A-4 Acknowledgements... A-5 42 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF

51 Go Forward Pine Bluff Government/Infrastructure Pillar Kevin Archer Melvin Clayton Nick Cox Jimmy Dill Cooter Failla Reneta Harper Eric Hobbs Rosalind Mouser, Chair Irene Holcomb Fredrick Jackson Chuck Morgan Kirby Mouser Bob Purvis Larry Reynolds Janice Roberts Jim Youngquist, Staff Harold Terry Eric Walden, Jr. Shirley Washington Jerry Williams Jessica Yarborough Go Forward Pine Bluff Government/Infrastructure Speakers Forms of Municipal Government in Arkansas Mark Hayes, Arkansas Municipal League Downtown Revitalization Jimmy Moses, Moses-Tucker Real Estate Downtown Revitalization Greg Nabholz, Nabholz Development Status of Historic Preservation in Pine Bluff Dee Herring Gatlin, Pine Bluff Historic District Commission Downtown Main Street Joy Blankenship, Pine Bluff Downtown Master Plan Development Downtown Design Guidelines Mitch Rose, McClelland Consulting Engineers What Business, Industry, and Companies are looking for in a Community and What they think about Pine Bluff Lou Ann Nisbett, The Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County Best Practices in Affordable Housing and Downtown Redevelopment Kemp Morgan, Delta Regional Authority Affordable Single Housing as a Redevelopment Tool Clarence Chapman and Roscoe Word, Chartre Companies Revitalization and Prosperity of a Decayed Community Monica Bilak, Paducah Lower Arts District Downtown Redevelopment and Development Renaissance Steve Doolittle, City of Paducah Planning City of Little Rock Land Bank Housing and Neighborhood Programs Andre Bernard, City of Little Rock City s Private Water Company Dan Hilton, Liberty Utilities City Issues Debe Hollingsworth, Pine Bluff Mayor Fire Department Overview Shauwn Howell, Pine Bluff Fire Chief Police Department Overview Jeff Hubanks, Pine Bluff Police Chief Street Overview Rick Rhoden, Pine Bluff Street Department Led Pillar Tour of Downtown Irene Holcomb, Former City Council Member Pine Bluff Masonic Temple Cooter Failla, Former PSC Member Community Theater Cooter Failla, Former PSC Member Jefferson County Historical Museum and the Pine Bluff Convention Center Bob Purvis, Executive Director, Pine Bluff Convention Center GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF A-1

52 Go Forward Pine Bluff Economic Development Pillar Pat Anderson ew Atkinson Jeffrey Billingsley Charles Boyd Sr. Julie Bridgeforth Steven S. Brown Kendra Burrell Nick Makris, Chair Vivian Butler Christopher Doolittle Dane Duffield Tracy V. Dunbar Dee Herring Gatlin John Lawson Kristin McCool Mike Gerfen, Staff Lou Ann Nisbett Ron Powell Joseph Rayfus Chris Rittenhouse Jeffery Shorts Monica Smith Ryan Watley Go Forward Pine Bluff Economic Development Pillar Speakers Business Retention/Expansion Lou Ann Nisbett, President/CEO of the Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County Basic Occupational Data Collection and Analysis. Watley, Chemistry Professor UAPB Department of Career Education Ray Henson, Arkansas Dept of Career Ed Programs and Services Janel Cotter, Arkansas State University Employability Training Programs A-2 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF

53 Barbara Abraham Laurence Alexander Stephen Bronskill David R Brown Manda Burnett Earlean Collins Mattie Collins Go Forward Pine Bluff Education Pillar Scott Pittillo, Chair Adrian Dhanaraj Willie Fulton Earnest Ingram Juawana Jackson Calvin Johnson Alexandra Kosmitis Sederick Rice Jane Wayland and Michael Collins, Staff Samarra Spears Byron Tate Malinda Traweek John Wall Shirley Washington Kurwin White LaTasha Woods Go Forward Pine Bluff Education Pillar Speakers Workforce Consortiums with Education Ray Henson, Dept. of Career Education Business and Industry Framework for Teaching and Administration. Charlotte Danielson, The Danielson Group Leadership. How The Learning Institute Tracks Progress in Districts. Richard Wilde, Dept. of Education Implementation in Pine Bluff of the University of Virginia Program William Robinson, Pine Bluff School Dist. Expert in school Finance, Shared PBSD Audit Experience Doug Brown, Retired State Auditor Addressing Financial and Academic Challenges in the District Andrew Talbot, Dept. of Education As Executive Director, He Shared What TFA Provides Jerad Henderson, Teach for America The Innovation Hub and Entrepreneurship Warwick Sabin, The Innovation Hub UAPB s Engagement with K-12 and Greater Community. George Herts, Ed. Dept., UAPB Student Placement Options within Distressed Schools Ms. Willie Mae Hobbs, UAPB Graduate programs and Teacher Continuing Education Ms. Bonita Corbin, UAPB Local Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Options. Todd Gardner, UAPB Remedial Education in Post-High School Settings. Stephen Hilterbran, SEARK Forward Arkansas Partnership for K-12 Public Schools Cory Anderson, Walton Foundation School Improvement and Professional Development LaDonna Spain Dept. of Education Team Building, Leadership, and Strategic Planning. Michael Robinson, PBSD GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF A-3

54 Joy Blankenship Tavante Calhoun Leigh Cockrum Kimberly Fox Cynthia Hines Cardell Meadows Rebecca Pittillo Go Forward Pine Bluff Quality of Life Pillar Kaleybra Morehead, Chair Freddye Petett Lynda Pickler Floretta Scott Roderick Shelby Lenore Shoults Catherine Smart Brian Thomas Randall Wright and April Campbell, Staff Jestin Thomas James Walker Gene White, Jr. Jason Williams Brenna Woodruff Go Forward Pine Bluff Quality of Life Pillar Speakers State of the Tourism Industry in Pine Bluff Greg Gustek, Pine Bluff Convention and Visitors Bureau Innovation Hub Mr. Warwick Sabin, State Representative and executive director of The Innovation Hub Pine Bluff Positive Youth Development Program Attorney Alexandra Kosmitis and Nick Makris Safety Issues, Community Involvement with Police and Marketing Needs for Successful Police Programs Deputy Chief Keith Sergeant, Pine Bluff Police Department Community Gardens and their Relationship to Safety and the NLR Fit2Live Program Mike Collins, former employee of AEDC and employee of IEA Aquatic/Multi-purpose Center Mayor Deborah Hollingsworth Streetscape Joy Blankenship, Pine Bluff Development Director and Mitch Rose, VP of McClellen Consulting Current State of Pine Bluff Economic Development Lori Walker, Pine Bluff Economic Developer Revitalization of the Paducah Downtown Area Steve Doolittle and Monica Bilak, Paducah, KY Marketing Plan for Pine Bluff Cynthia Hines, City of Pine Bluff Marketing Director Community Gardens Lee Anderson andmary Ann Kizer, Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service The Fifty for the Future. Dean Kumpuris, Chair The Fifty for the Future Food Truck Pavilion Susie Powell, City of Pine Bluff Quality of Life Director A special acknowledgement to the Watson Chapel and Dollarway High Schools and Southeast Arkansas College for participating in a restaurant interest survey. A-4 GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF

55 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Cory Anderson Rockefeller Foundation Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury Rockefeller Foundation Susan Bonesteel Harriman Forward Arkansas Steve Luoni Director University of Arkansas Architecture & Community Design Phil Tappe Dean of Forestry at University of Arkansas Monticello Ed Graves Publisher, Pine Bluff Commercial Chief Jeff Hubanks Pine Bluff Police Department Debe Hollingsworth Mayor, City of Pine Bluff Shirley Washington Mayor Elect, City of Pine Bluff Henry Wilkins County Judge Elect Cynthia Hines City of Pine Bluff Marketing Director Steve Miller City of Pine Bluff Chief Financial Officer Joe Childers Assistant City Attorney, City of Pine Bluff Bill Bridgforth Ramsay Bridgforth Attorneys at Law J Shepherd Russell Friday Eldredge Russell Warwick Sabin North Little Rock Hub Harold Perrin and Team Mayor of Jonesboro Lee Anderson Jefferson County Extension Service Six Guests from IMPACT Independence County GO FORWARD PINE BLUFF A-5

56 Simmons First Foundation P: (870) F: (870) S. Main Street Pine Bluff, AR Facebook: or Go Forward Pine Bluff