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Columbus 2025 Goal: A Stronger City

One plan. One vision. One community. Working together for a greater region.

By Val Hunt Beerbower on January 13, 2023

An aerial view of downtown Columbus, GA.

Columbus 2025 is a collaborative community plan that brings together citizens, businesses, governments, and nonprofits to strengthen the community. In alignment with community partners, Columbus 2025’s key goals will increase competitiveness and position Columbus to grow jobs, attract and retain talent, and enhance the quality of life for a more vibrant region for decades to come.

“What started as an ambitious plan for a stronger region by 2025 has evolved into an unprecedentedly broad framework for how our community collaborates for a more competitive and prosperous region,” says Tabetha Getz, Columbus 2025 executive director.

“Since 2017, when implementation began, we’ve worked together to improve our competitiveness by focusing on three major components – jobs, talent and place.”

Tabetha Getz, Columbus 2025 executive director

The guiding principles to increase prosperity, reduce poverty and enhance quality of life, with a continual commitment to equity and economic mobility, are realized through these five action areas:

» Cohesive Image and Identity: Promote the region as a unified community – branded as an amazing place to live, work, visit and play.

» Enterprising Culture: Foster an enterprising spirit and innovative culture to support startups and creates a thriving entrepreneur ecosystem.

» Talented, Educated People: Attract, retain and develop top talent to strengthen the workforce pipeline.

» Targeted Economic Growth: Build greater economic mobility by supporting new and expanding businesses and public-private community investment.

» Vibrant and Connected Places: Enhance the quality of life by creating vibrant and connected neighborhoods and corridors.

A diverse group of representatives from public, private and nonprofit sectors formed the Regional Prosperity Initiative, which led a detailed study and competitive assessment of the Columbus region. The results drove the creation of the Columbus 2025 public-private community strategic plan, which was implemented in 2017.

The assessment identified the actionable items that would help Columbus grow stronger.

“At first, the research showed us some factors that we didn’t previously know were major areas we needed to work on, such as entrepreneur support,” Getz says. “Many in the community assumed because we had successful startups that we had a strong entrepreneurial culture. But when we looked at the numbers, it was clear that entrepreneurship would be one of the main action areas of the strategy.”

Getz says one of the reasons Columbus 2025 will reach its goals is because of the community buy-in.

“In the past, organizations formed their own plans and executed those plans themselves,” she says. “We now have common goals and objectives that we can work on collectively and are used to help form strategies that align with organizational missions and help us all move forward together.”

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