The University of Georgia recently welcomed the newest communities selected for the Connected Resilient Community (CRC) program to Athens for a day of discussion, planning and team building to kick off the CRC process. The CRC program, facilitated by the UGA Archway Partnership™, helps communities tap into the resources and expertise at UGA to address local issues and become more attractive to economic development. 

Selected communities for 2023 are Appling County, Grady County, and the cities of Sylvester and Cartersville.

Jennifer Frum, vice president for UGA Public Service and Outreach, was the keynote speaker for the day. Frum shared information about PSO and Archway, as well as some of the great work already happening in CRC communities.

“The Connect Resilient Communities program offers a unique way to put the knowledge of UGA to work for Georgia,” said Frum. “We’re excited to see how these communities utilize the resources of UGA to build resiliency to attract economic development opportunities.”

With the help of data collection and analysis from the CRC team, communities develop priorities that serve as guides for project selection. Attendees were presented with in-depth research on demographics, economic growth and other trends that can impact their communities and used that input to jumpstart ideas for projects. Through breakout sessions and table discussion, participants shared what their hopes are for the CRC program and worked to build a plan for their three projects.

“We were excited to host the new CRC communities in Athens and dig deeper into the University of Georgia resources available to them through the program,” said Brittany Standifer, community engagement manager for the CRC program. “Every community’s priorities are a little different and it is a privilege to assist them through the CRC process and land on the projects that are the best fit for their community’s needs. I am looking forward to seeing it all come together over the next few months and year.”

The success of the Archway Partnership program led UGA to initiate the Connected Resilient Communities (CRC) program in 2022. CRC utilizes the Archway Partnership’s award-winning model of community engagement to connect even more rural Georgia communities to the resources of UGA. Communities work with UGA to complete three resiliency projects in under two years, achieving silver, gold and platinum recognition in the process. So far, UGA has partnered with nine communities through the program, with three having achieved the full CRC designation.

UGA’s innovative approach to rural engagement through the Archway Partnership led to being awarded the 2022 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

Learn more about the Connected Resilient Community initiative.