Shenandoah 2045: A Conversation About Economic Development

shenandoah 2045 economic development

Today’s conversation on The Valley Today with host, Janet Michael featured Tyler Hinkle, Shenandoah County’s Planner. This conversation is part of an ongoing series following the work on Shenandoah 2045 – Shenandoah County’s comprehensive plan. The planning process will unfold over the next four years with the majority of the community collaboration occurring from 2020-2022, with input in 2023-2024. Click here to listen to the conversation.

Joining Janet & Tyler to talk about the economic development chapter was Jenna French, Shenandoah County’s Director of Economic Development/Tourism and Sarah Mauck from District Six (Strasburg) of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC.)

Jenna explained how economic development factors into the comprehensive plan and gave us some background on the economic development strategic plan which comes from information in the overall plan. She talked about how businesses choose localities to open/expand their footprint and talked about the importance of being specific when thinking about what residents might want/need for their communities. The group talked about how planning for schools, infrastructure, and “rooftops” impacts growth.

Tyler & Sarah shared their experience at MayFest and the great feedback they received from people who visited their booth during the event. Their setup included a “lego town” where adults and kids could place things like businesses, houses, schools and roads into the town where they felt they would be best suited. It was a big hit with visitors of all ages.

Each month, a topic of the conversation is the importance of feedback from residences throughout the county. Input is needed and wanted to make the comprehensive plan as comprehensive as possible. The team working on the plan wants to be sure that all generations are included and that every opinion is heard and discussed.

The CAC will be setting up at other events to promote Shenandoah 2045 throughout the summer in different localities across the county:

If you can’t make one of the events, you can take the community survey (open until Labor Day) by clicking here.

You can also access their “map feature” and tell everyone what your favorite place is in the county; where you have an idea for how things could be different; and where problems exist on the interactive map. Zoom in to your community and let everyone know where you want to see more detailed improvements such as sidewalks, new stores, or public river or stream access. Click here to map your future.

For more information about Shenandoah 2045’s comprehensive planning process, visit their website: and follow them on Facebook.