Cities of Brewton and Thomasville Recertified as an “Alabama Community of Excellence”

The Cities of Brewton and Thomasville have successfully completed the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) recertification process. The recertification is based on the ACE Community’s progress in implementing its plans and progress towards approaching ACE Community Standards. In 2006, Brewton was designated an ACE community and Thomasville was designated in 2007. Both cities concluded the comprehensive three-phase approach to economic and community development for cities with populations between 2,000 and 18,000. However, to maintain the ACE designation, communities must be recertified within three to five years from their original certification.

The Cities of Brewton and Thomasville were recognized during the, Monday, May 5, 2014, afternoon session of the Alabama League of Municipalities Annual Convention held in Mobile, Alabama. The presentation of a plaque was made by Ms. Sidney Hoover, ACE Executive Director. The awards were accepted on behalf of the each city by local representatives.

“Communities with eligible populations must complete and submit an application in order to be considered for the ACE program,” said Hoover, Executive Director of ACE. “The two main criteria used in selecting ACE participants are 1) the level of local commitment to the ACE program, and 2) the community’s capacity to support the ACE program.”

“We are so proud of these cities not only for successfully completing all three phases of the ACE program but for their recertification as well.” said Hoover. “Their dedication to community development should be commended.”

During the graduation ceremony, Hoover explained ACE’s three-phase approach.

“Phase I is known as the assessment phase. During this time, a comprehensive report card detailing community assets, challenges and recommended strategies and actions is prepared and presented to the community along with recommended strategy and actions,” Hoover said.

“During Phase II, the Leadership Development and Strategic Planning component, each community must establish a leadership development program, prepare an up-to-date strategic plan, and identify a local ACE coordinator,” said Hoover.

According to Hoover, “Phase III is the Implementation and Comprehensive Planning segment. It addresses comprehensive planning, commercial business development, education enhancement, infrastructure, health and human services, retiree attraction, tourism, economic development, and quality of life/recreation issues.”

To maintain the Alabama Community of Excellence designation, a community must be recertified within three to five years from their original certification. Brewton and Thomasville have successfully completed the recertification process.

“Throughout each of these phases, ACE Partners work with each community to successfully achieve their goals,” Hoover stated. “The ACE program would not be possible without the funding, hard work and participation of the ACE Partner organizations.”

ACE Partner organizations include:
Alabama Association of Regional Councils (AARC)
Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries
Alabama Department of Commerce (ADC)
Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA)
Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education
Alabama Historical Commission (AHC)
Alabama League of Municipalities (ALM)
Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA)
Alabama Power Company (APC)
Auburn University- Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI)
Balch & Bingham
Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA)
Goodwyn Mills and Cawood (GMC)
PowerSouth Energy Cooperative
Regions Bank (RB)
Southeast Alabama Gas District
United States Department of Agriculture- Rural Development (USDA)
University of Alabama Center for Economic Development (UACED), and the
University of West Alabama

Twenty-six communities have previously been certified as Alabama Communities of Excellence: Arab, Atmore, Brewton, Childersburg, Demopolis, Eufaula, Evergreen, Fayette, Foley, Graysville, Guin, Gulf Shores, Guntersville, Haleyville, Hartselle, Headland, Heflin, Jackson, Jacksonville, Leeds, Livingston, Millbrook, Monroeville, Montevallo, Brewton, and Valley. Six additional communities are currently in the process of completing the ACE program; Alexander City, Elba, Fairhope, Helena, Rainsville and Saraland.