Nov 18 - mkamplain

Our County
D. Gary Davis
County Mayor

After serving as Bradley County’s mayor for several years some may think that there has to be a point in time when you have determined that "you have seen it all or you have heard it all”. Gladly this is not the case and I find it refreshing each day to come to work, and do my best to make a difference. This is a very basic and almost daily occurrence in Bradley County to see progress, but not all County’s in our region can say this is a fact of their communities. Fortunately there has been a renewal of cooperation that has been causing cities, counties, states and regions to work together for the common good of all. In this new paradigm of thinking you will notice a familiar name to those in our region who have been here for any length of time that has continued to "lead the way, by example”.

The Southeast Tennessee Development District along with the Chattanooga Area Regional Council of Governments (SETDD & CARCOG) continues to not only be effective with idea generation but also with process implementation that generates results. Serving as the Chairman of this agency for 3 years has been an honor that I truly appreciate personally and as a representative of Bradley County and this region. Working with others, these boards of elected officials are continually amazed by the collective work of the staff to deliver and provide services today that will assist our local governments in meeting the needs of tomorrow.

Just this past year alone, our Area Agency on Aging & Disability staff handled over 8,000 inquiries for information referral and continue to grow initiatives such as the CARE Transitions Program. This helps those patients with a possible chronic type diagnosis take a more active role in their healthcare to improve outcomes and decrease the need or frequency of hospital readmissions within 30 days of their release from their hospital. Community and Economic Development staff provided technical assistance to many local governments across the region in a variety of ways, including grant writing and administration. These skills helped secure more than $10 million dollars for our communities to assist with the development of critical infrastructure and project implementation. Our staff worked with partners to assist with 26 company locations and/or expansions resulting in $1.3 billion of new capital and 5,423 jobs created or retained. Our Career & Workforce Development staff assisted over 49,000 customers at our career centers and then enrolled over 500 individuals for training assistance and support services which will ultimately result in employment in high demand occupations.

Housing, Historic Preservation & Tourism, Broadband Internet Initiative, Entrepreneur and Small Business Development, Industrial Recruitment and Existing Industry Expansions, Grant Writing, Ryan White Program, Relative Caregiver Program, National Family Caregiver Support Program, State Health Insurance Assistance Program and a Nutrition Program that helps in the delivery of meals are just some of the activities that are not only funded but also implemented by our SETDD.

"Providing services today…..fulfilling needs of tomorrow” has been used to describe the goals or mission statement of SETDD & CARCOG for this past year. Goals, mission statements and ideas are important, but without volunteers and workers with a desire to use their abilities and talents to truly make a difference they are just words on a paper. I am so thankful to live in an area and represent Bradley County (and our surrounding region) as 2014 Chairman of Southeast Tennessee Development District and Chattanooga Area Regional Council of Governments, that takes this idea and concept to heart and has proven that success for our County and Region is not only possible, it is developing everyday! Another reason that Bradley County truly is Tennessee at its Best!

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