Janie Tomek, Co-Coordinator for Caldwell Igniting Voices, was in studio Wednesday morning to talk to WPKY about Igniting Voices and it’s goal moving forward.

Caldwell Igniting Voices is a grassroots effort supported by city and county leadership to unite the community under a common vision that can answer the questions, “who are we?” and “what can we be?” Their goal is to design a roadmap for Princeton and Caldwell County that is developed by actual voices in the community.

Because Caldwell County is a relatively small community it doesn’t have the funds to focus on everyone’s agenda but rather needs to focus on common goals and visions that will grow the community and help move it forward. Igniting Voices is attempting to invite and involve as many voices from the community as possible in a type of forum to discuss how the community can retain residents, attract new residents as well as visitors and tourists, and create opportunities to allow the area to grow.

Janie expressed her ardent thanks to city and county government as well as civic organizations and clubs for consistently giving their time and passions toward the community; but, mentioned that now it was time for others in the community to start stepping up and acting as well. Janie said that Igniting Voices will be an organized and intended approach that will work with already existing civic groups and clubs to host discussion groups for community members to voice their visions and goals for the area.

These discussion groups will be lead by facilitators that will be trained by officials from the University of Kentucky and the Community and Economic Development Issue for Kentucky. The facilitators will ask four questions, “What do we cherish about our community,” “what do we want to preserve for future generations,” “what is your vision for Caldwell County in future years,” and “what do we need to start” in order to gather input from community members. Input will be gathered over several months before being sent to UK, who will do a report to reveal and define Caldwell County’s priority goals.

Igniting Voices’ hope is that through this series of discussion groups Caldwell County and Princeton will finally realize what they want to be as a community and will start working toward that goal.

Janie said that anyone interested in becoming a facilitator can attend one of two training sessions Tuesday, October 3rd, at the Tourism Center in downtown Princeton. Sessions will be held from 11:30AM to 12:30PM and from 5:30 to 6:30PM and will be taught by a representative from UK.

If you don’t want to be a facilitator but still wish to participate then you can attend the public discussion groups that will be scheduled at various locations throughout Caldwell County. Igniting Voices will be releasing those locations soon and will announce them through social media as well as through the newspaper and radio, so be sure to keep an eye out.

You can catch the full interview with Janie Tomek below.