Vision 2020 Summit looks to improve London and Laurel Co.

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

More than 100 people gathered in Laurel County Tuesday for a summit to discuss the future.

City and county officials, business owners, local law enforcement, representatives from school districts as well as students participated in the summit to discuss how they can improve the City of London and Laurel County by the year 2020.

It's called Vision 2020, a vision of projects and ideas of where the City of London and Laurel County should be in eight years.

"The goal of the summit is to get the conversation started. The Vision 2020 Committee came up with some ideas and suggestions, but we need some action plans. We need the community to get behind what we came up with," said Vision 2020 Chairman Willie Sawyers.

Those who attended the summit spent the day sitting at tables with people they didn't know talking about subjects like health, education, quality of life and economic development and setting goals that they think will make their city and county better.

One of the larger goals is improvement in education, specifically the addition of a vocational and technical school for high school students by 2020.

"I think we need to make major changes and we need to think about how we can make our kids competitive globally and be prepared to be 21st century citizens," said parent Elizabeth Greer.

"I think that Laurel County has the potential to be one of the top schools in eastern Kentucky and the state period. So we should be at that level 10 years from now. We have the ideas and have the people here today that can do that," said Hannah Gibbs with the Laurel County Student Leadership Council.

Students from the Laurel County Leadership Council also voiced their concerns about economic development, and how they want to see the opportunities for jobs in fields they want to pursue 10 years from now when they are ready to start working.

"I want to go into psychiatry, and we have a big medical center here, but if there aren't any jobs in that field available I am not going to be able to come back which is where I have grown up. I know all the people here, my parents live here. I want to come back," said Gibbs.

The committee wants support from the community to work together to achieve these goals.

Besides a VO TECH school, Vision 2020 includes plans for a new city park in London.

The summit also set goals Tuesday that can be completed in the next few months like fund raising for arts in the local schools.

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