Turning Vision to Action

Power of 32 outcomes suggest the public wants greater collaboration across sectors and governmental jurisdictions to help us thrive by 2025.

Power of 32 is one of the largest geographical areas ever to undertake a visioning project. Power of 32 engaged thousands of people across 32 counties in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to create a shared vision for a thriving future.

The project, facilitated by AmericaSpeaks, began with months of in-depth research on each of the counties, while building relationships with community leaders and stakeholders across the region.

The gathering of public input for the Power of 32 project was divided into three phases:

  • community conversations, to listen to people concerning the challenges and strengths of the region
  • framing solutions, to identify policy options
  • regional town meetings, to start prioritizing policy options for the region

From June to November 2010, 156 “community conversations” were held in each of the 32 counties. More than 3,000 participants were asked to respond the following question: “It is 2025. What is it about our region that makes you most proud? What was key to getting us here?” The Power of 32 collected more than 15,000 comments from diverse people who offered their perspectives on our strengths and challenges, their hopes for our brightest future, and how best to ensure it.

Participants saw many possibilities for building on the region’s strengths and addressing its challenges. They introduced many specific possibilities: building the tourism economy, realizing jobs through Marcellus Shale production, expanding recreational opportunities, engaging citizens more in local and regional matters more often, and looking to government to lead the way in cross-jurisdictional collaboration. The message was clear: if the region is to thrive, the citizens, leaders, business, education, and government must work together for change.

Based on public input, hundreds of leaders from all four states came together to forge relationships, solve problems and create actionable projects to improve the quality of life for everyone. The result was the Regional Agenda.

Today, the Power of 32 is implementing the agenda and turning vision to action.