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Kathryn Rentz Amanda Roudabush 1/13/14 Preliminary information and suggestions for projects in ENGL 5095

The programs Agenda 360 and Vision 2015 are working together to create a cohesive community that will allow for increased economic and cultural growth. Agenda 360 and Vision 2015 have three overarching goals: To attract and retain talented workers, to expand job opportunities and retain existing jobs, and to provide economic opportunities and quality of life for those who live and work in the region. Our class will be working in conjunction with Gerald Checco on the development and implementation of his proposed project “A Region Welcoming International Presence.” The following report will present possible questions for Mr. Checco, list three possible project ideas for our class to undertake, and examine three suggestions for individual research projects to support our groups’ work.

Possible Questions for Mr. Checco
After reading Mr. Checco’s “A Region Welcoming International Presence” it is clear that there is a great deal of information that needs to be clarified. The following questions are based on the Mr. Checco’s project and will aid in clarifying the details behind his potential plan. 1. What ideas do you have to retain the foreign students that are graduating in our region? 2. How can the partnerships we currently have with the “Sister Cities” from around the world become more prevalent in the implementation of international cooperation? 3. In your opinion, what is hindering the integration of international professionals into our region? 4. How would you suggest local communities handle refugees upon arrival in our region? 5. What current partnerships do we have with International Corporations such as Procter & Gamble? How can we establish more programs within other local companies that have international interests? 6. What do you mean by the term “business incubator” and how can we develop a program to ensure the success of cross-cultural communication within our region? It will be interesting to hear more about Mr. Checco’s vision for his project. Once we have established the goal it will be exciting to find a way to make his project become a reality.

Possible Project Ideas for “A Region Welcoming International Presence”
Mr. Checco’s “A Region Welcoming International Presence” and the goals of Agenda 360 can be used in as a guideline to create projects that our class can reasonably undertake. Agenda 360 lists it’s three overarching goals  To keep talented workers in the region and attract new ones.  To grow new jobs and retain existing jobs.  To provide economic opportunity—a chance for a good quality of life—for everyone who calls the region home. To ensure the progress of both Mr. Checco and Agenda 360 I believe that these goals should be our guideline when developing projects for our class.

Project 1: Develop Materials to Aid International Companies Employing Foreign Professionals
As a class we will work with an international Chamber of Commerce to create materials that will help to integrate foreign professionals into our region. These materials will help to introduce our region to international professionals and allow them to learn about their new surroundings. The information can be organized into a type of welcoming packet that can be given to new arrivals by their individual Chamber of Commerce. Some ideas for inclusion are  Printed brochure that gives an overview of what our region has to offer in the way of economic, social, and cultural activities and attractions.  Guide to the region with recommendations for dinning, entertainment, and historical sites.  Resources for international professionals on how to navigate their new home. These are just some of the ideas that will help to acclimate foreign professionals to their new surroundings. The partnership with the Chamber of Commerce is essential since they will be the gateway between the foreign professionals and our region.

Project 2: Cultivate a Relationship with Foreign Students
The second idea incorporates Mr. Checco’s suggestion of cultivating the relationship between foreign students who are graduating from our local Universities and businesses from their countries of origin. Agenda 360, in their overarching goals, states the need “To grow new jobs and retain existing jobs.” An idea for a class project would be to work locally within our University to establish a link between the foreign students on campus and their future job opportunities, both here and abroad. To do this we will need to  Establish a link between our class and a foreign student group on campus.  Create a dialogue between our class and the chosen foreign group about their ideas on potential jobs within our region.  Develop materials such as presentations, literature, and handouts to encourage foreign students to remain in our region after graduation. Once we have established a relationship with the foreign students we can then discover the companies they plan on working for in their home country upon graduation. This will allow us to develop a relationship with those companies that can then be fostered by international Chamber of Commerce’s and local international businesses.

Project 3: Increase our Cultural Relationships through our Current International Sister Cities Program
According to Mr. Checco our region has lost touch with the International Sister Cities Programs. This has resulted in a lack of economic opportunity and a diminished quality of life for foreign individuals who call our region home. Agenda 360 also believes that the cultural relationship between our region and foreign professionals is an important aspect of our economic growth. A good project would be to talk with a representative of an International Sister City. The goals of the project should be

Open a line of communication between the International Sister City and Agenda 360 to discover what we can do to help bridge the gap that currently exists within the region.  Create a webpage together that will help a foreign professional to learn about their new home through their Sister City Organization.  Develop a program and materials to acclimate foreign professionals to the region and its amenities and cultural opportunities. The partnership between the International Sister Cities and Agenda 360 will allow foreign professionals a safe place to learn about the region. The information we create can be incorporated into the Sister City foundation, while allowing the region to build a better relationship with foreign professionals.

Possible Research Projects for International Relations in Our Region
There are many opportunities for research on the potential projects that have been presented in the above work. Using the information we will receive from Mr. Checco, it will be imperative to understand the overarching goals of Agenda 360 and develop research to go along with our potential projects. There are three ideas for research projects that will aid in the completion of our group projects. 1. Learn more about the International Chambers of Commerce that exist in our region. We will need to do some online research into how many Chambers of Commerce there are in our region. Then we will need to understand how they interact with the region. What they do for their foreign professionals and how they currently partner with other organizations within our region. 2. Research the various foreign student groups on campus. Find the materials and organizations that those students currently utilize when first arriving from their respective countries. Look into the websites, printed materials, and other information they have access to at the university. 3. Search the International Sister Cities program. Delve into their individual websites and find out what types of programs they offer for foreign professionals. Learn about how they contribute to the region and why, or why not. Discover how we as a class can help to rebuild a relationship between the International Sister Cities and the region. All of these individual research projects will aid the class in finding information on the specific organization that will be focused on for the group projects. The research will be difficult at times, but we will need to do the leg-work to help facilitate a change.

Conclusion
Working with Mr. Checco, in combination with Agenda 360 and Vision 2015 will be an interesting assignment. I am looking forward to making a difference in the way that foreign professionals are view our region. The main purpose of our projects will address the overarching goals of Agenda 360, which are to keep talented workers in our region and attain ne talent, to grow and retain jobs in our region, and to provide economic opportunity and quality of life to everyone who calls our region home. Our class will have their hands full throughout the semester. In the end we will proud to have been part of something that can change the state of our region for the better.