OrthoWorx recently announced it is launching several initiatives designed to enhance community vitality and quality of life in the Warsaw region. The initiatives were among those recommended by a community attributes study performed for OrthoWorx by the Building Better Communities group at Ball State University.
Among the initiatives are:
- A dedicated community web portal, focused on improving awareness and visibility of the many quality of life assets that already exist in the area;
- Financial support for improvement and expansion of the existing bike paths and greenways system in Warsaw and Kosciusko County; and
- Support for expanded educational and youth programming at the Wagon Wheel Theatre.
“Recruitment and retention of talented employees in the orthopedic industry is critical to the long-term health of the companies that provide economic opportunity to more than 40% of Kosciusko County residents,” said David Floyd, OrthoWorx Chief Executive Officer. “One of our key initiatives is to provide focus and funding for projects that will aid in recruiting and retention while generating enhancement that benefit all citizens of the area. Community vitality and vibrancy are important to every enterprise in our region.”
The Ball State report noted a great wealth of existing community assets, especially in the areas of arts and recreation. However, it also noted that many of these opportunities were not well marketed, and no single resource existed to keep local residents abreast of area happenings. The report also noted that, compared to most places from which the orthopedic industry recruits talent, the cost of living in the Warsaw area was a distinct advantage that was not well communicated.
“We see an opportunity to bring together what is best about life in our region and create a focal point where residents and potential residents alike can learn about the advantages of living here,” said Floyd. “We will fund the creation and operation of a community web portal designed to do just that, and we look forward to partnering with the many organizations in the area who contribute to our quality of life to help ensure their efforts are as visible as possible.”
OrthoWorx has committed to providing funding for efforts to create connections and improvements to the existing bike path and greenways system, a community attribute that was ranked as very highly valued in the study. The organization is working with the City of Warsaw and the local Greenway committee to identify priority funding areas.
Similarly, the study ranked cultural and educational enrichment opportunities as critical to the vitality of the community. As a result, OrthoWorx is partnering with the Wagon Wheel Theatre to assist the newly non-profit theatre group to expand its community and youth educational programming.
OrthoWorx anticipates expenditures of approximately $350,000 for community enhancement projects during 2012.
The Ball State report also identified other areas as promising for further study and possible future funding. Those include:
- Improvements to and availability of daycare and pre-school facilities;
- Projects related to diversity and inclusiveness; and
- The need for a community center that could serve as a conference and meeting facility as well as provide the capacity for additional arts and cultural offerings.
OrthoWorx will be exploring those areas to evaluate priorities and community support in the coming year.
The OrthoWorx Board of Directors and the newly formed Strategic Advisory Board provided guidance and counsel regarding Community Enhancement funding priorities. For more information about the OrthoWorx Board of Directors, click here. For more information about the Strategic Advisory Board, click here.