Interested in what the future might hold for the Sauk Valley?
Today is your lucky day.
Sauk Valley Media presents “Directions 2014,” a special edition subtitled, “Vision 2030 – A look at the Sauk Valley of the Future.”
As the name implies, “Vision 2030” looks ahead to what our region might be like 16 years from now.
No, our staff did not buy a crystal ball, consult a fortune teller, or borrow Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine.
What we did do was conduct numerous interviews with experts and leaders across the areas of commerce and community to see what they thought. That information appears in stories that populate the 52-page edition.
We also asked various leaders to contribute guest columns. Offering their views were an economic development coordinator, a factory president, a grain merchandiser, a chief officer at a bank, a transportation system executive director, two mayors, and two hospital executives.
SVM reporters and editors chipped in with their own two cents’ worth on what the future could bring across multiple topics.
The following categories are covered:
Employment prospects: What needs to be done to attract new employers to the Sauk Valley? Who will do it?
The Workplace of Tomorrow: Technology already is having an impact in the retail and manufacturing workplaces. What other changes are ahead?
Agricultural Outlook: Farmers have all kinds of technology available to them. Those who succeed will choose wisely which gadgets to use.
Banking Changes Ahead: Online banking is changing the financial services landscape. The race is now on for banks to get their mobile infrastructure in place.
Housing Forecast: The Sauk Valley is slowly recovering from the burst of the housing bubble. What is the outlook for home sales in the future?
The Roads to 2030: From streets to highways to rail to airports, how prepared for the future is the infrastructure of the Sauk Valley?
Educating Tomorrow’s Leaders: Preparing students for a rapidly changing workforce is just one of the challenges facing schools in the Sauk Valley.
The Future of Health Care: Technology will allow health care providers to be much more plugged in with patients in 2030.
Changing Face of the Church: How will religion in this area be different in 2030 in a growing multicultural nation? How will that change Sauk Valley churches?
Outlook for Cities and Towns: How will communities pay for the services and amenities that will make residents want to stay or move into their cities?
Consolidating Resources: The Twin City Fire Command is an example of how Sauk Valley cities might try to coordinate their efforts in the future.
Riverfronts and Recreation: Riverfront development will have a major part in the efforts of Sterling, Rock Falls and Dixon to become “destinations.”
The future is not ours to see with 20/20 accuracy, but it certainly is capable of being pondered and shaped by the people who live here. We hope the facts and insights offered in “Vision 2030” contribute to a better understanding of where our region is headed.
We encourage readers to take some time to read the section, think about it, and actively contribute to what will become the Sauk Valley of the future.