Siler City, NC – The North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center named Siler City the Small Town of the Year at its annual N.C. Rural Assembly on September 28, 2015.
From 2010-2013, Siler City participated in the Rural Center’s Small Town Economic Prosperity (STEP) program, a citizen-led effort to develop and implement revitalization strategies. The town’s STEP coach, Chilton Rogers, presented the award.
“When Siler City became a STEP town, the town manager and board dedicated half of the planning director’s time to coordinate and lead this effort,” Rogers said. “No other town in the STEP program before or since has done this.”
Rogers cited the town’s newly adopted mission and vision statements that address diversity as a strength, and noted their willingness to engage the community through collaborative public and private partnerships.
“The leadership team has maintained its membership and momentum, and continues strong to this day,” Rogers said, referencing the Siler City Development Organization, a non-profit that formed at the conclusion of STEP whose mission is to build on the program’s successes and long-term strategic plan.
Qualifications for the Small Town of the Year award included a town that continues to follow its STEP plan and initiate new projects, that wholeheartedly accepts citizen engagement, that recognizes the value of partnerships and staff engagement, and that remains persistent with an understanding that success doesn’t happen overnight.
“This award is something we should all share in with pride,” said Siler City Town Manager Bryan Thompson. “Thank you to all who continue to commit so much to improve our community.”