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Reach Higher: “Game Changer” event gives weight to local entrepreneurial fervor

While easily considered successful on a number of levels, in the very least Shasta County Economic Development Corporation’s recent “Game Changers” event solidified the notion that entrepreneurship is alive and well in the North State, and is increasingly supported by the business community.

As stated in the mission of the event, the North State has historically been a lumber and agriculture based economy with some growth in the medical and service sectors. However, the overt message was the number and types of employment and innovative opportunities can, and most likely will, increase through the exchange of ideas and information.

Globally connected technology and manufacturing can become the new face of our economy driven by a community that supports innovation, entrepreneurism and education. The Game Changers event came about as a way to demonstrate to our community that these very qualities are taking place now and that a movement is afoot to highlight the growth and innovation taking place today, and the possibility for what it could be tomorrow.

Shasta County has already begun to foster a start-up environment ripe with innovative companies, many of which have brought to the area new jobs, economic stimulation and global connections. As local businesses recognize the opportunities to grow and expand through global commerce, it becomes a catalyst for impacting expectations within the community overall – particularly those of our youth.

Photo courtesy of Skip Murphy.

If there was a qualifying message at the event, it was that education leads the way to the possibility for entrepreneurial success. Additionally, when youth become aware of the ways global commerce and technology create possibilities within our own community they begin to feel inspired to find ways to create careers and live closer to home.

Along those lines, Shasta County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) invited Nancy Whitworth of Greenville, South Carolina to speak about the revitalization of the Greenville downtown as part of the overall strategy for economic growth in her community. Mrs. Whitworth is the Deputy City Manager and head of the Greenville EDC and has spoken across the nation about Greenville’s award-winning downtown revitalization.

Her speech at the event detailed the ways the city and community of Greenville have worked towards creating a beautiful and thriving community center filled with unique shopping, restaurants, artwork and scenic beauty all as a place for businesses to thrive with business incubation sites, office and other support systems. Once a textile based community, Greenville is building its future by fostering the same types of innovative businesses being introduced at the Game Changers event.

The possibilities for community members to be involved in support of the community are many. Shasta EDC is one such organization that is looking for people who can bring something to the table. Reach Higher Shasta is also looking for community input on building support for post-secondary educational attainment.

For more information on the Reach Higher initiative, and to see how you can be a part of it, please visit www.reachhighershasta.com.

Joshua Corbelli wears a number of hats these days – journalist, small business owner and team builder. He’s always had a place in his heart for the written word, and works, though not as much as he’d like, to keep his skills sharp. Contact him at joshua.corbelli@gmail.com.