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action Greensboro ANNUAL REPORT


>>> A message from the team Since the early 2000s, Action Greensboro has had an ongoing commitment to develop and attract the talent Greensboro needs to stay competitive in the global economy.

We developed the Guilford Education Alliance in the early 2000s to advocate and support our K-12 system. Opportunity Greensboro, our higher education initiative, incubates transformative partnerships in our community including the STEM Early College at NC A&T, Union Square Campus, and the Opportunity Greensboro Fellows Program. We continue our commitment to the attraction, retention, and development of young professionals in our community through synerG Young Professionals. And, our investments in downtown, from the Grasshoppers Stadium, Center City Park and the Downtown Greenway, create an attractive landscape to attract the best quality talent from around the globe. We know our ability to nurture, attract, and align a well-educated, skilled workforce is essential to maintain our city’s growth. In 2017, Action Greensboro, and our supporting foundations and regional partners, launched a program of work to support our region’s growth through a talent alignment strategy for the Piedmont Triad. We consulted national experts in workforce and talent development to guide us through an evaluation of our current assets and opportunities for better alignment and focus moving forward. We gleaned the successes and best practices needed for continued support and growth – and we recognized spaces for improvement. And finally, we used this insight to make our programs stronger. We will roll out the work of this strategy in 2018 and look forward to the community’s involvement.

The action greensboro Team

>>> Opportunity greensboro fellows program With an interest in better preparing college students with talent and leadership development opportunities, Opportunity Greensboro launched the Opportunity Greensboro Fellows Program in 2016. In year two (class two), the Fellows Program provided 11 programmatic components for the 53 cohort members. Each Fellow was paired with a volunteer community mentor, met key leaders in our community, and increased their knowledge and awareness of Greensboro and our jobs/industries here. Through paid internships with 30 different local companies, the Fellows gained industry experience, enhanced their professionalism in the workplace, updated their LinkedIn profiles, and learned the importance of their professional brand. Throughout the 10-week program in 2017, the Fellows made over 50 new friends and participated in the following programs/events: • Program kick-off at HQ Greensboro • Two-day participation in the Leonard Kaplan Leadership Institute at the Center for Creative Leadership • Welcome Reception at VF Corporation & Closing Reception at Smith Moore Leatherwood • Mentorship Dinner at the O.Henry Hotel • Professional development sessions (alumni panel, personal branding, and personal finance) • Social engagement activities (Night on the Downtown, Greensboro Grasshoppers game, and Get Outdoors at Lake Brandt) Ultimately, the Opportunity Greensboro Fellows Program continues to connect higher education, local business and the 50,000+ college students in Greensboro. This evolving program would not be possible or successful without support from Opportunity Greensboro, local colleges and universities, volunteer community mentors, internship host sites, corporate partners, and event sponsors.


Fellows by the numbers






applicants attended 5 pre-intervi ew workshops

nonprofit stipends awarded






After completing the Fellows Program:


of Fellows understand the leading industries in Greensboro


of Fellows are interested in staying in Greensboro post-graduation


indicated they know key leaders in Greensboro


indicated that the Leonard Kaplan Leadership was an impactful part of their summer experience Top 4 aspects of the Fellows Program that were extremely impactful:

Internship Leonard Kaplan Leadership Institute Mentorship program Cohort model


unforge ttable summer experien ce in greensb oro

>>> Triad Talent alignment strategy Action Greensboro and Piedmont Triad Partnership are leading the Triad Talent Alignment Strategy. The purpose of the Strategy is to ensure education and workforce development efforts are aligned with the needs of employers and to coordinate existing education and workforce development initiatives currently underway throughout the region. Avalanche Consulting and the Council for Adult & Experiential Learning (CAEL) are engaged to research and facilitate the strategic planning process, which includes: • PHASE 1: Workforce Analysis will determine the makeup of the region’s labor force and identify the industries and occupations that are thriving. • PHASE 2: Supply-Demand Gap Analysis will identify what skills the workforce currently has, what skills employers need, and how to fill in gaps in the workforce pipeline. • PHASE 3: Talent Alignment Strategy will provide recommendations on how to align and improve the region’s talent pipeline.

Stakeholder input has been key to the process. Over 150+ leaders have been convened for input including economic developers, workforce developers, steering committee members, manufacturing employers, healthcare and biomedical employers, professional employers, higher education and K-12 leaders - through focus groups, interviews and an online employer survey. A Steering Committee consisting of industry, education, and workforce leaders from throughout the Piedmont Triad serve as advisors to the Strategy. Funding for the Strategy is provided by a variety of regional organizations including Piedmont Triad Partnership, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, Winston Salem Business Inc., Guilford County Economic Development Alliance, High Point Chamber of Commerce, Randolph County Economic Development Corporation, Piedmont Triad Regional Council, Randolph County and Action Greensboro. Strategy data and recommendations will be released in 2018.

Limebike Action Greensboro supported the launch of the city-wide bike share program, LimeBike, in Greensboro. City Council approved entering into a contract with LimeBike at their July 18 meeting, and the official launch took place during First Friday on August 4, 2017. Since the establishment of LimeBike this past spring in the Greensboro community, 19,868 different people have taken 51,026 rides, resulting in a reduction of 736.34 gallons of gas AND 14,226.41 fewer pounds of CO2 emissions. Greensboro was one of six initial cities to adopt the LimeBike program, and LimeBike is now in cities across the U.S. including Washington D.C, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Diego and Dallas.

>>> morehead-cain civic collaboration This summer, a group of five Morehead-Cain scholars from UNC-Chapel Hill partnered with Action Greensboro and synerG Young Professionals to research how Greensboro can best attract and retain young professionals. The scholars worked in the city for eight weeks and their experience culminated in a presentation to a group of over sixty local leaders. Throughout the summer, the group set out to answer the question: “How can Greensboro promote prosperity and community for young professionals looking to live in a midsize city?” They investigated quality of life assets and employment in the city through specific models entertainment, civic engagement, social justice, public spaces, and economic development. Through their initial research, they realized there was a fair amount of overlap between the modules, and we recognized a set of common challenges between them. These challenges included a lack of cross-sector collaboration, a lack of young voices in decision making, and lack of unified vision for Greensboro’s young professionals. Their final recommendations centered around the theme of “Learn here, work here, play here, lead here.” This theme is targeted towards the challenges at various stages in a young professional’s life in the city. A full report of their work can be found at Various recommendations have been adopted by a cross-sector of organizations including the City of Greensboro Smart Cities Initiative, the Young Professional EcoSystem and Downtown Greensboro Inc.

Planit Greensboro

Action Greensboro partnered with the City of Greensboro Planning Department on public engagement of their Comprehensive Plan, Connections 2025, through a speaker series titled “PlanIt Greensboro.” To inform Greensboro residents about a growing demand for diversified housing – fourplexes, bungalow courts, mansion apartments, live-work units – Dan Parolek, a nationally known leader in Missing Middle housing presented to the city in October. In November, Geoff Anderson, CEO of Smart Growth America, presented to local developers, nonprofit and civic leaders. Anderson presented trends from cutting edge housing, the impact of public art in communities, walkability and social equity in planning.

2017 was a year of collaboration for synerG. Through developing the Young Professional Ecosystem group, partnering on a multitude of projects, and strengthening the role of YPs in the community, synerG showed that collaboration is key to making an impact in Greensboro. synerG launched a new Adulting 100 series, which included the following topics: Language of Investing, Financing For the Future, Social Networking in Real Life, and Salary Negotiations (with two more sessions to come in 2018). synerG also launched an official programming partnership with the Greensboro Jaycees, which included Leadership Lunch & Learns and On Taps. synerG also created a new YP Educators Academy, a focused training and retention effort for Guilford County School Educators.

12 10 6 10 120 40 32

On Tap NetworkiNG events attended by 1,150 people collaborati ve networking and leadership events with local YP groups First Friday on the Block events attended by 4,000 people lunch and learns attended by 350 people YPs ATTENDED lead your city summit YPs educated on nonprofit board leadership accepted into inaugural yp educators academy

Through synerG programs and community partnerships, synerG is leading the way for young professionals in Greensboro and ensuring they have a seat at the decision-making table. To direct and support this work, the council developed an Advocacy Agenda which supports downtown development, creation of an advisory YP Commission for the city, and being an active community voice.


Downtown greenway

2017 was another banner year for the development of the Downtown Greenway. Activities included: design and construction of key sections, the opening of LoFi Park, and successful events, including Wheels on the Greenway, Free Fitness, and Run 4 the Greenway. Additional funding in excess of $3 million was secured and interest in private development along the Downtown Greenway remains strong.

Construction was completed along North Eugene Street between Smith and Fisher and along Fisher between Eugene and Greene. This section features an improved intersection at Eugene and Battleground, innovative stormwater treatment gardens, and LoFi Park in addition to the trail and site furnishings.

Bragg Street

Wheels on the Greenway

Construction was completed along Bragg Street between Eugene and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Innovative stormwater treatment gardens complement the greenway trail that extends this southern section to 1 mile.

This 2nd annual event was hosted on Sunday, May 7. Over 125 kids received free bike helmets and safety training, and over 70 bikes were donated to the Warnersville Recreation Center!

Railroad Corridor

Run 4 the greenway

The design for the 1mile railroad corridor along the western side was completed. This final section will include enhancement of the College Branch stream and connection to the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway.

October 28th marked the 8th annual event that featured a 1.25mile run and doggie jog, 4-mile race, and a party with live music, food and beer, and costumed children and adults.

Spark Grant recipients Action Greensboro and Downtown Greensboro, Inc. officially collaborated on the Spark Grant project in 2017. Spark Grants are aimed to support unexpected, fun and exciting projects in downtown Greensboro with an effort to create buzz and community involvement.

Bounce House Gallery “Bounce House Gallery is exactly as it sounds, a gallery inside a large white bounce house,” said Sidney Stretz. This experimental art venue invites Greensboro residents to experience the arts in a new and playful environment. Participants should expect to see sculpture, installation, sound, dance, and performance inside and around its inflated walls. Bounce House Gallery is mobile and will be placed in different locations throughout Greensboro, hoping to inspire play and adventure from all different areas within the community.

Moving Canvas The Dance Project and the Center for Visual Artists will collaborate to create an interactive dance-art machine, which is a digital canvas that will allow users to translate their movement into a visual artistic creation, projected onto a wall. “This is a really fun opportunity for us to work on something we’d probably never be able to do otherwise, bringing dance, technology, and visual art together. Plus, we’re excited to collaborate with our creative neighbors, the Center for Visual Arts,” said Anne Morris, Co-Director of the Dance Project. The interactive wall will generate graphics based on motion, creating artwork that is colorful, engaging, and fleeting, encouraging a continual cycle of creation.

“Where the Crosswalk Begins” “Where the Crosswalk Begins” is a public safety awareness campaign. Greensboro Police Department will facilitate an enforcement component in the form of “good behavior” tickets in addition to giveaways from downtown businesses (gift cards, bus passes, etc.). An artist/s will be commissioned to work with the public & create temporary sidewalk art, which will incorporate a Watch for Me NC stencil. The sidewalk art will serve as a directional or way finding element, which simultaneously brings awareness to pedestrian safety.

Church Street Underpass Mural Project The Fisher Park Neighborhood Association will commission an artist to create a work of art for the underpass along Church Street as Murrow Boulevard/Fisher Avenue crosses overhead in order to create a safe and welcoming passage between the neighborhood and downtown. Other goals include encouraging walkability to cultural and retail amenities close by and adding to the public art inventory that exists in the City.

Urban Affairs Street Art Documentary Fest / Opening Reception The CVA and Urban Grinders have collaborated to create a public art initiative titled 336 Urban Arts Project (UAP). The purpose of this collaboration is to organize community events and promote the creation of public art in Greensboro; one such event is the Urban Affairs Street Art Documentary Fest. This festival will feature an array of street art mediums, including graffiti, murals, and multimedia installations.

Made in Greensboro celebrates those makers — the entrepreneurs, the artists, the community builders, the next generation of leaders. 2017 SUCCESSES: • Made in Greensboro celebrated hitting its 100th maker profile! • Officially partnered with the City of Greensboro. • Partnered with UNC-Greensboro to celebrate their 125th anniversary with banners on downtown parking decks.

Total Website Users in 2017: 26,884 Total Website Page Views: 48,940 Website visitor demographics: • Page visits from countries include: Canada, Germany, China, UK, India, Brazil, Philippines, Australia • Page visits from cities within NC include: Charlotte, High Point, Raleigh, Durham, Burlington, Winston-Salem, Asheboro, Burlington, Wilmington, Chapel Hill, Summerfield • Page visits from cities outside of NC included: Dallas, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Washington, New York, Houston,, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Nashville Age Brackets: 7% of users are 18-24 20% of users are 25-34 25% of users are 35-44 24% of users are 45-54 17% of users are 55-64 7% of users are 65+ Total Social Media Stats: Facebook: 622 new page likes and a weekly reach of over 217K people Twitter: 350 new followers, 3,938 users visited the Twitter page Instagram: 563 new followers, 4,383 likes on maker images

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Profile for Greensboro Chamber of Commerce

2017 Action Greensboro Annual Report  

2017 Action Greensboro Annual Report