Congressman Heath Shuler spoke at the press conference thanking the Asheville Chamber for their leadership in the community and help in securing the grant. Joe McKinney, head of the Land-of-Sky Regional Council, also thanked the Asheville Chamber for their help with the project.
Mr. Stearns congratulated the Land-of-Sky Regional Council on their award that will fund the development of a regional plan for sustainable development. The plan will launch an unprecedented community outreach efforts, including the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, to reach the Region’s diverse, but interrelated rural and urban Appalachian communities. To develop the regional plan, Consortium partners will involve participation from populations that are traditionally left out of regional planning processes (including, but not limited to, rural mountain landowners, farmers, urban minority populations, small business owners, seasonal second homeowners, health care providers) to solicit their input and commitment to the planning process and the final plan.
The Chamber will continue to work with Land-of-Sky over the next several years to see this plan come to fruition.