NEW: Click HERE to view a .PDF of the Graham County Strategic Tourism Plan
GREAT is a partnership of
citizens that meets the health, social, economic, educational, and recreational
needs of Graham County residents, while preserving its cultural heritage and
natural resources and instilling pride in community and place.
Description of Graham Revitalization
Economic Action Team - GREAT
The Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team – G.R.E.A.T. is an inclusive community leadership team in place and functioning in Graham County. It is a citizen-based organization that provides an innovative approach to address many of the challenges faced by Graham County through civic engagement. It brings a variety of leaders to the table to address the complex issues facing the community. GREAT has an active membership of over 100 people serving on its Board of Directors and seven committees. The organization functions as a 501 (c) (3) organization with adopted bylaws and rules of procedure. The Board of Directors (7-21 members) serves as the governing body of the organization.
assistance from the Small Business Technology Development Center (SBTDC) at
Western Carolina University, community data was collected and focus groups were
held to determine community needs in Graham County. The end result was the
creation of a strategic plan that identified seven key “economic drivers”
with detailed strategies and actions and a committee structure to coincide with
The seven committees of the organization have become viable and work together to address community issues. The goal of bringing a variety of citizens, community leaders and agency representatives to the table has resulted in greater cooperation and collaboration. Collaboration between the public and private sectors and promoting inclusion of all interested parties is a new and innovative model for this community. A key component of GREAT’s success is the citizen involvement in the organization. In addition to local citizen participation, there are representatives from a variety of county, regional and state groups actively involved with the organization including: Graham County Schools, NC Cooperative Extension, Stecoah Valley Center, Graham County Health Department, local business owners, Town of Robbinsville, Graham County Government, Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian - Junaluska Museum, Catholic Social Service, US Forest Service, NC Forest Service, Soil and Water Conservation, Southwestern Regional Development Commission – Region A, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee Valley Authority, ALCOA, and NC Dept. of Commerce. These organizations play an active role in serving on the identified committees and providing their expertise in goal attainment. GREAT is prepared to be the catalyst in addressing local needs through implementation of the goals and objectives of the Strategic Plan.