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Chamber of Commerce: The plan for tomorrow

The Beatles once sang "tomorrow never knows." To some extent this statement is true, but it did not keep a group of community leaders from gathering on Jan. 30 to hear a report on the future.

The steering committee for Terre Haute Tomorrow presented its Community Plan to more than 75 people gathered at the First Financial Bank Conference Center.

Dozens of local citizens, working through committees and sub-committees, developed goals, objectives and strategies.

Hours of meetings, writing, and hard work have gone into the development of the plan. In several instances, we see hopes and dreams reduced to writing. In others, we can point to realities.

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Future of Vigo's 3 main high schools must become priority, Tanoos says

Aging buildings at North, South, West eyed for replacement or renovation

Within the next several months, the Vigo County School Corp. is expected to hire an architect/engineer to study and eventually make recommendations related to the future of the district's three major high schools.

Terre Haute North and South Vigo high schools, as well as West Vigo High School, are in need of major renovation and potentially replacement, Superintendent Danny Tanoos said. "We will bring in an architect/engineer to look at the buildings to tell us what their thoughts are" on whether to renovate or replace the facilities, Tanoos said. Another option might involve new construction and some renovation of existing facilities.

Such a major endeavor would be costly and likely require a public vote, or referendum, which is required if a high school project costs more than $20 million.

The future of the high schools is a component of the Terre Haute Tomorrow community plan, and the school district would likely enlist the help of the group in seeking public support for such a comprehensive building program.

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Group tackles community's negative perceptions

If reshaping Terre Haute's future seems like a big project, letting go of negative perceptions of its past may be just as difficult.

But that's the goal of the massive "Quality of Life/Community Image" action team within a civic, volunteer group calling itself Terre Haute Tomorrow. The organization, made up of local leaders, met Friday morning to unveil their 10-year plan for the community.

There are five key areas outlined in that plan, including economic development, workforce readiness, leadership development and infrastructure. But quality of life and community image is the first "action team" on the list and probably the one with the broadest mission.

"Everything we do adds or detracts from our image as a community," said Norm Lowery, president and CEO of First Financial Bank and chairman of the quality of life action team. He was speaking Friday morning to about 75 participants in Terre Haute Tomorrow at the First Financial Bank conference center on South Seventh Street.

There are several subcommittees within the quality of life team, including the Wabash River Development and Beautification group, better known as Riverscape. Charlie Williams, co-chairman of the Riverscape subcommittee, said he prefers the expression "Quality of place" to "quality of life." The Riverscape group has 10 years of momentum and its goal is to "reinvent Terre Haute and its quality of place."

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'The beginning' of Terre Haute's tomorrow

Leaders unveil 10-year plan to create a better future for the city

January 30, 2015 - There are those who hope it will be a landmark date in the history of Terre Haute.

Dozens of Terre Haute leaders gathered Friday morning to unveil a 10-year plan designed — among other things — to uproot and destroy the idea of “Terrible Haute” once and for all. They hope their efforts create a new path and better future for the city.

As their motto states: “Our future starts today.”

We must “once and forever pronounce the death of ‘Terrible Haute,’” said Norm Lowery, CEO and president of First Financial Bank and chairman of Terre Haute Tomorrow, a volunteer group of civic leaders promoting growth and opportunity. The group met for two hours at the First Financial Bank conference center on South Seventh Street where they received colorful, bound copies of the 40-page Terre Haute Tomorrow “community plan.”

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'Tomorrow' group addressing skilled worker shortage

Enhancing skills to enhance worker's lives

No one said it would be easy.

Terre Haute Tomorrow, a volunteer group of civic leaders hoping to build a better future for the city and its residents, is taking on "workforce readiness." It's a slippery concept, but the basic idea is to enhance peoples' work skills to both improve their lives and provide a better crop of workers for potential and existing employers.

Currently, Terre Haute is widely seen to suffer from a shortage of workers with skills to do much of what even existing companies need. And this is viewed as a problem statewide. As the Terre Haute Tomorrow "Community Plan" states: "Companies looking to relocate or expand their operations in Indiana often find that the workforce lacks the basic technical skills necessary to fill their positions..."

The goal of the Terre Haute Tomorrow workforce readiness "action team" is to close that "skills gap." The team is made up of more than a dozen business leaders and educators who are hoping to connect employers with trained and ready employees.

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Terre Haute Plans for Tomorrow


Today marked a day in history for the city of Terre Haute.

City officials announced the end of the nickname "terrible haute."

They say, as a community, we're all apart of the new initiative Terre Haute Tomorrow.

The question is, how will the community provide a better way of life for residents?

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