Our strategic planning process involves as much of our community as possible. In the end, we have a document that provides a long-term vision for change.
Our Planning Process
It’s important for our entire community to be involved. We start by engaging our community to be involved in any way possible: centralized planning meetings, smaller community meetings, surveys, and by becoming directly involved.
To understand how we should move forward, we begin by taking a look at our community’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (aka SWOT analysis). This helps us to build out a framework on which we can build a strategic plan.
After a thorough SWOT analysis, we can turn those items into goals and action steps. Those, in turn, guide us towards building out goal teams and committees. These goal teams and committees are vital.
The second generation plan was developed over seven months of intensive planning. Each Goal Team updated their individual Mission Statements, and SWOT analyses were divided into program categories to allow Goal Teams to easily access this information. Planning sessions were held in multiple townships and institutions to increase community participation.
Those of us involved in our planning process ranged from hard-working locals, to business leaders, to politicians. Together, we organized for the greatest collective impact.
Program Benchmarks for 2015
We are committed to working with our community partners through the strategic planning process to achieve Southern Bancorp’s 20-year transformational goals of reducing poverty, unemployment, and high school incompletion rates in the communities we serve. To ensure that our work results in life-changing impacts, we are establishing measurable indicators, or metrics, to track our work and evaluate each community’s progress toward these goals.
The provisional benchmarks below illustrate this concept and our commitment:
|Education: ACT Scores|
|Helena-West Helena School District||16.5|
|State of Arkansas||20.9|
|ACT score variance||4.4|
|Program Benchmark: Reduce the variance between state and local average ACT scores by 1.1 points|
|High School Graduation|
|Helena-West Helena School District*||56.5%|
|State of Arkansas||68%|
|High School Graduation Rate Variance||11.5%|
|Program Benchmark: Reduce the variance between state and local graduation rates by 3%|
|College Remediation Rates|
|Helena-West Helena School District||87%|
|State of Arkansas||48.1%|
|College Remediation Rate Variance||38.9%|
|Program Benchmark: Reduce the variance between state and local remediation rates by 10%|
|Economic Development: Unemployment percentage|
|State of Arkansas||7.3%|
|Program Benchmark: Reduce the variance between state and Phillips County rate by .5%|
|State of Arkansas||16.9%|
|Program Benchmark: Reduce the variance between the state and Phillips County poverty rates by 5%|
Sources: Education data, 2009, AR Department of Education; Unemployment data, 2009, Bureau of Labor Statistics; Poverty data, 2008 3-year moving average, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates, US Census.