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Mayors, City Clerks, City Council Members and other key leaders from nine Alabama communities including Abbeville, Chelsea, Geneva, Lineville, Oneonta, Orange Beach, Tallassee, Wetumpka and York participated in an Application Training Workshop held on 2/9 at the Center for Commerce in Montgomery, Alabama. The workshop provided communities information about the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) program and the competitive application process being used to select communities for the incoming ACE 2015 class. ACE is currently accepting applications from communities desiring to be considered for admission into this 2015 incoming class; the application deadline is March 6th.
ACE, a non-profit corporation, uses the combined expertise of its 16 partner organizations to provide selected Alabama communities with community development programs and tools needed to ensure sustained and long-term success. The ACE program targets Alabama towns with populations ranging between 2,000 and 18,000. At present, 26 cities have achieved the esteemed designation of being an ACE community. These include: 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, Thomasville and Valley. In 2013, ACE accepted Alexander City, Elba, Fairhope, Helena, Rainsville, and Saraland into the ACE program, and these communities are currently working to complete the program requirements to achieve designation.
The Application Training Workshop began with an overview of the ACE organization, an assessment of the time commitment and program requirements to achieve designation as an ACE community, and then continued with a discussion of the selection process and a review of the actual ACE application and its required documentation. Participants heard from Mayor Rudy Rooks and City Clerk Shane Smith of Heflin, Alabama. Mayor Rooks noted that the ACE program keeps communities focused on their vision, and this has helped Heflin to continue to grow and prosper. Heflin was accepted into the 2005 class, was designated an ACE community in 2007.
The ACE program offers a comprehensive, three-phase approach to economic and community development. Throughout each of the phases, ACE partners from the private sector, government agencies and universities work with communities to aid them in planning and preparing for a more vibrant future. Visit the ACE website for more information on the Alabama Communities of Excellence: http://www.alabamacommunitiesofexcellence.org/about-ace/definition-of-an-ace-community/ .
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Deadline Extended: Application deadline is Wednesday, March 11, 2015. The preferred method for submitting applications is via on-line submission at http://www.alabamacommunitiesofexcellence.org/apply/ Communities selected for the ACE 2015 class will be announced during the Alabama League of Municipalities annual meeting in May. Please direct any questions to: Sidney Hoover (Sidney.Hoover@outlook.com) or (205) 567-3248.