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Local leaders discuss community development at first ACE meeting

By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP - Managing Editor
Leaders from all facets of the Brewton community met Friday morning to discuss economic development for the initial steps of the Alabama Community of Excellence program (ACE).
A team from the ACE program was in Brewton to facilitate the discussion on economic development and community planning. City officials, business owners, education leaders, bankers,
local economic recruiters and other community leaders were among the local representatives at the meeting.
The three-hour meeting was designed to introduce the state's ACE team members to the strengths and weaknesses within the Brewton community. The team plans to take the data they gather and submit a report back to the city with a plan to meet particular goals.
The group broke down to discuss three primary sectors of public life: healthcare, education and economic and community development. The ACE team members said they will send a report card to the city in about one month telling them of their findings.
Brewton is one of only eight Alabama communities involved in the ACE program, which is in its first year. Other cities involved include: Monroeville, Demopolis, Wetumpka, Valley, Guin, Haleyville and Guntersville.
The project is made up of a team of corporate partners that includes: Alabama Association of Regional Councils, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama Development Office, Alabama Historic Commission, Alabama Power Company, Alabama Southern Rural Access Program, Auburn University's Economic Development Institute, Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama, Reading Alabama, Inc., Tennessee Valley Authority, University of Alabama's Center of Economic Development and Region's Bank.