The Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) program has launched the competitive application process to select its 2017 class. The ACE Program offers a variety of professional expertise to help Alabama’s smaller cities focus on their distinctive assets and resources. Alabama towns with populations ranging between 2,000 and 18,000 are eligible to apply for consideration to be admitted into the incoming 2017ACE class.
To assist communities as they determine whether the ACE program would assist them to prepare for a more vibrant future, ACE invites Mayors and three to four additional key leaders such as City Clerk, City Administrator, and City Council representatives to attend one of two sessions of the same workshop on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. The workshops will provide communities with an opportunity to learn about the 2017 ACE Application process and selection criteria. Full details of the application process and the application are available on the ACE website. http://www.alabamacommunitiesofexcellence.org/
The two workshops will be held on Wednesday, January 25th from 9:30 am – 11:30 am, or 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm. Both workshops will be held in Birmingham, AL at the Alabama Workforce Training Center located at 3500 6th Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35222 in the 1st Floor Auditorium.
Although the workshop is FREE, registration is required as space is limited. Registration will be open through January 18th or until full capacity is reached. For workshop registration, visit the Alabama Communities of Excellence website: http://www.alabamacommunitiesofexcellence.org/2017appworkshop/
The workshops will include brief welcome and introductions and an overview of the ACE organization. Participants will hear first-hand from a current ACE community how the program has assisted their community. Additionally, the time commitment and specific program requirements to become an ACE community will be reviewed. The application process is highly competitive, therefore an outline of the selection process and a review of the actual application and information requirements will be covered. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions that are specific to communities.
Those communities that are selected to participate in the incoming ACE class will enjoy a number of benefits from the program. While completing the program’s three phases, communities receive some of the best technical assistance available. More importantly, the community maps out its unique vision and sets a direction for it to follow to achieve sustainable economic and community development. In addition, cities designated as an Alabama Community of Excellence receive exposure in state publications and on the official state website promoting ACE communities, and inclusion in state marketing and recruitment efforts as a community “prepared for growth and development.”
The ACE program offers a comprehensive, three-phase approach to economic and community development for cities in Alabama with populations between 2,000 and 18,000. Throughout each of these phases, ACE partners from the private sector, government agencies and universities work with each community to aid them in planning and preparing for a more vibrant future while striving to achieve the qualities listed in the Definition of an ACE Community document, found on the ACE website: http://www.alabamacommunitiesofexcellence.com/about-ace/definition-of-an-ace-community/ .
Presently, 32 cities have been designated as ACE communities. These include: Alexander City, Arab, Atmore, Brewton, Childersburg, Demopolis, Elba, Eufaula, Evergreen, Fairhope, Fayette, Foley, Graysville, Guin, Gulf Shores, Guntersville, Haleyville, Hartselle, Headland, Heflin, Helena, Jackson, Jacksonville, Leeds, Livingston, Millbrook, Monroeville, Montevallo, Rainsville, Saraland, Thomasville and Valley. Work is underway with six additional cities as they progress through the 3-phase ACE program. These cities include: Abbeville, Geneva, Jasper, Oneonta, Red Bay, and Spanish Fort. A map of the current ACE communities can be found on the ACE website: http://www.alabamacommunitiesofexcellence.org/ace-town/.
The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, March 6, 2017. The preferred method for submitting completed applications is via on-line submission at: http://www.alabamacommunitiesofexcellence.org/apply/ but applications can be mailed (post marked not later than 3/6/17) to the address on the application. (For those who choose not to use the preferred on-line filing process, visit the website at http://www.alabamacommunitiesofexcellence.org/wpcontent/uploads/2013/02/2017ACE-Application.docx to print the application.) Communities will be selected before the end of April 2017.
Please direct any application questions to: Ms. Sidney Hoover (Sidney.Hoover@outlook.com) or via
telephone (205) 567-3248 and any January 25th workshop questions to Martha Whitson