When you think of the resources that Wayne County has, what comes to mind? The natural spaces? Our abundance of higher educational facilities? Whatever you love about Wayne County, it would be impossible to achieve without Our People. This month, Forward Wayne County is highlighting some of the folks that make our communities so great to be in, from top to bottom!
Early Childhood Success
From supporting our youth directly to providing resources for parents, Wayne County has plenty of resources for early childhood success. Birth to Five is one such resource. They offer several programs designed to educate parents, improve family functioning, support childcare providers, and much more.
The Nest is another program that focuses on nurturing and empowering mothers, especially those affected by addiction. Additionally, the EXCEL program from Achieva Resources provides developmental screenings for children from birth to age five.
These are just a few of the resources available to children and parents in Wayne County. Our youth are the future of our community and workforce. Giving them a head start ensures a strong future for us all!
When our community is educated, our community succeeds. Wayne County is home to 5 public school districts, 4 private & charter schools, and 5 higher education institutions: Earlham, Indiana University East, Ivy Tech Richmond, Purdue Polytechnic, and Bethany Theological Seminary.
Additionally, Wayne County students have access to two career centers where they can gain work experience during their high school careers.
Each of these educational facilities is full of people who care about the future of Wayne County! Their hard work helps our people (and in turn, our community) grow.
Attracting and retaining a skilled workforce is one of Forward Wayne County’s main goals. Fortunately for us, we have many partners on our side!
Eastern Indiana Works is a partner that we work with often – and for good reason. EIW has services & resources to help develop the workforce across the nine Indiana counties they serve, including Wayne. Whether it’s helping individuals find a job or helping an employer train and grow their workforce, EIW can help.
Additionally, Forward Wayne County hosts an Employability Coalition. This group is made up of educators, business leaders, and employers across Wayne County who are dedicated to developing and upskilling our workforce through programs, internships, and more. Our Coalition also represents Wayne County on the East Central Indiana Talent Collaborative.
Health and Wellness
The health and wellbeing of Wayne County’s residents is one of the most important factors for our county’s growth. Luckily, Wayne County has many organizations dedicated to keeping our residents healthy!
Reid Health, one such organization, has many different locations across Wayne County and serves a wide variety of patients. Reid provides general health services as well as an array of specialized services like allergy care, dermatology, hearing, and countless others.
The Wayne County Health Department hosts regular clinics that provides screenings, testing, and vaccinations to Wayne County Residents. As for mental health, organizations like Centerstone provide counseling and therapy, along with many others. Neighborhood Health Center offers counseling services, as well as primary and some specialized care.
Strong neighborhoods are the foundation of strong communities. Our Main Street groups exist in Centerville, Cambridge City, Hagerstown, and Richmond. These groups work together to improve their towns and main streets, creating community events to bring residents together!
Other groups, like Richmond Columbian Properties and Richmond Neighborhood Restoration, work directly in neighborhoods to educate residents and improve living spaces by hosting cleanup events or renovating buildings. This boots-on-the-ground type of work is invaluable in strengthening community bonds and preserving our spaces!
Government and Policy
Government can seem like a foreign concept to a lot of residents, but Forward Wayne County is committed to working with our local government partners on behalf of our people!
Programs like HELP Wayne County are how FWC has regular conversations with our local leaders on how best to use resources for our communities. By being at the table, we can communicate with government leaders and advocate for positive change in Wayne County.
Our communities are shaped by our environment, and Wayne County has several groups dedicated to the preservation of our natural spaces!
Organizations like Hayes Arboretum and Cope Environmental Center educate the public about our flora and fauna and have natural spaces for our people to explore and enjoy. In addition, each of our communities has public parks that are open to anyone that are maintained by each of our towns’ parks departments!
Wayne Union Recycle, as the name suggests, provides recycling opportunities for residents in Wayne and Union counties. Their programming includes document shredding, e-waste days, and toxic waste disposal. This creates opportunities for our residents to safely dispose of items that would otherwise be difficult to safely discard and keeps our environment healthy!
Arts and Culture
According to a survey from Americans for the Arts, 87% of Americans believe arts & culture are important to the quality of life. There is no doubt that residents thrive when a community is artistically rich. Luckily, Wayne County is one such community!
Wayne County has a ton of great museums to explore! Waynet has a list of museums and historical sites available that highlights spots across the county, such as the Overbeck Pottery Museum, the Gennett Walk of Fame, Model T Ford Museum, the Richmond Art Museum, and more! Whatever your interests, Wayne County has artistic and cultural enrichment for everyone.