WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Community leaders continue in their efforts to plan for Wichita Falls’ future.
Falls Future is the community-wide strategy plan which targets key areas in the city needing growth.
“We realized the need to develop a comprehensive community-wide plan to grow Wichita Falls,” Wichita Falls’ Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Henry Florsheim said.
That’s when Florsheim said a diverse committee worked for about 10 months to put together a plan that was rolled out in mid-2018.
“It wasn’t just about attracting business, but it was things that were holding us back like schools,” Florsheim said. “You can see tangible results of that plan, including modern school facilities and the work around the main gate at Sheppard Air Force Base and the things our talent partnership is doing.”
Through its Talent Partnership Program, the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce creates and builds connections within the community, all whilst bringing people together in a structured way.
MWH Group President John Luig said at one point in time they had a difficult time hiring experienced talent, so they took advantage of the talent partnership.
“We decided that hiring interns and-or part-time young folks from Midwestern was a good opportunity, and we would bring them on and train them up and kind of grow our own talent,” Luig said.
Fast forward almost four years later, and Florsheim said it’s time for an upgrade to the community plan.
“There were three things that I heard over and over, and one was a need to work with MSU and really turn Wichita Falls into more of a college town, and second was more work with Sheppard Air Force Base,” Florsheim said. “How do we do more to support Sheppard and how do we take more advantage of what’s going on there? And the third, and this came out in almost every conversation, was to place a heavy emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Florsheim said the new steering committee, which consists of about 26 individuals representing almost every sector of the community, will work for about six months updating the current strategy, but they need the community’s input to make this an even better Wichita Falls.