Thursday, February 26, 2015

Our Downtown Matters

Hopefully we are all familiar with the recent efforts to revitalize downtown Texarkana. Thankfully we have an outstanding Main Street program who works continuously to bring back the life of our downtown area. Our Main Street has focused on the Economic Development of this area through preservation, re-purposing, education and community involvement by providing technical assistance and expertise to the Texarkana area. Our Main Street is a proven strategy for revitalization and a powerful network of linked communities. Along with Main Streets efforts they have partnered with another organization that is taking part in these revitalization efforts, Better Block Texarkana.

Better Blocks mission is to provide an experiential hands on look at what Texarkana's downtown could become. Their events are temporary in nature, but designed to create a ground swell of support for downtown in our community. Lee Medley with Better Block Texarkana wrote a blog recently, “State Line Avenue is Texarkana’s GoldenGate Bridge,” discussing his insight of Texarkana and our State Line. There is no denying that our State Line is one of the most recognizable things we have going for us and we need to take better care of it including our entire downtown area. Lee expounds upon the idea if we embraced the idea of interacting with the line we could receive potential benefits along the way in our city. According to Lee Medley, “State Line defines us.  It is our GoldenGate Bridge, our Gateway Arch, and our Statue of Liberty.” It is this type of attitude that is going to make difference in our city. There is so much potential growth for our Economic Development for Texarkana if we continue in our efforts towards our downtown. Texarkana is definitely on the highway to a better downtown area and we are fortunate to have all of the support of those who are working on these efforts.

Coming soon, Better Block Texarkana and Main Street Texarkana are bringing back “Better Block” May 16, 2015. We hope that you will take a part in this endeavor to bring more attraction to our downtown. We need your support!

For more information on how you can get involved you can visit or contact Main Street Texarkana at (903) 792-7191.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Future of Our Cities

CannonDesign's plan for Jaypee Sports City features a continuous 10-mile park woven through a dense urban fabric of high- and low-rise developments. This entirely walkable parkland links all the city’s neighborhoods and social amenities. It's an idea that can improve the life and health of any city, says architect Peter Ellis.

Peter Ellis, an architect and designer of cities and also among the Boomer generation discusses in his most recent article, “How Boomers Will Shape the Future of Our Cities,” how the Boomers will have an impact on the quality of lives and human longevity through reclaiming the public realm in existing cities.

"Brian Kennedy, President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California states, “We will be able to give many people an extra decade of good health, based on what we are able to do in the lab now.” The primary triggers for most disease can be controlled, enabling people to remain productive well into their eighties, nineties, and beyond. How will this “revolution” in human longevity impact our cities? The quality of our lives depends, of course, on more than the latest advances in biomedical research. We now understand that our physical environment and our behavior are the root cause of many of our chronic diseases. This growing awareness underlines our demand for sustainable communities, which support an active and healthy lifestyle." - How Boomers Will Shape the Future of Our Cities
Taken together, the Boomer and Millennial generations generally comprise half the population of a typical city. United, we will be a powerful force for change in our cities.

Read More Here:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Embracing the Future and Today's Employees

Today we recruit and retain our best employees primarily through financial means. We attract talent using extrinsic incentives, such as an attractive salary, good benefit package, and flexible work arrangements. The competitive nature of hiring the best candidates has forced many companies to offer creative (and expensive) packages. What’s changed? Today’s employees come from a different generation and subsequently have completely different motivators. Money is not the primary driver for this new generation. In fact, one study shows that 50 percent of millennials would rather have no job than have a job they hate.

How do you prepare your organization for this new reality?
1. Embrace flexible and distributed workforces.
2. Hire employees who share in your greater mission. 
3. World-changing work gets done.
4. Business accelerates.

There is no easy button or magic formula to prepare you for the coming market changes. Rather, we encourage that you experiment -- test and adapt new models today to prepare your organization for the new phase shift that is yet to come.

It’s time to embrace the future.

Click Here to read more about “Why Your Best Employees Won’t Work for You in the Future – and that it’s not a bad thing.”

The Benefits of Cross-Training

Implementing cross-training into your company will help you to achieve operational readiness, while promoting teamwork among individuals and across departments. Cross-training will prepare you for the temporarily loss of an employee due to sickness, family emergency, vacation leave, departure or other reasons leaves the company susceptible to decreased productivity, lost revenue, a lower bottom line, and strained customer. “Cross-training helps the organization seamlessly fill the breach when an employee is not available to perform his or her job. It provides operational readiness that cannot be achieved with a temp employee. A ‘hot back-up’ is guaranteed with an effective cross-training program,” states Dan Carrison, a partner with Semper Fi Consulting in Sherman Oaks, California.

The Texarkana Chamber of Commerce has applied cross-training into our organization has seen positive results in times of temporarily or permanent loss of an employee.

Click Here to read more about creating and implementing a successful cross-training plan for your company.