Local First Arizona

WILLCOX — Local First Arizona is seeking to capture the essence of what Willcox is through photos and video to share on multiple media platforms.

The profile seeks to capture Willcox’s history, culture and events. Once created the community profile will be used in advertising Willcox on the Local First Arizona website and via the Arizona Office of Tourism.

The City of Willcox will also use the profile as part of its economic development effort.

“They help with marketing strategies, not just for tourism but also for economic development and finding those missing pieces in your community and they help get the word out about businesses relocating to local areas and smaller cities. They share the information at the state level and even at different platforms that they have access to across the United States,” said Willcox City Manager Caleb Blaschke. “They’ll gather the demographics of the area and they’ll create this platform and profile that really markets our community.”

The profile project is a partnership between the Arizona Office of Tourism and the City of Willcox. AOT paid 50 percent and the city the balance of $2,500.

Liza Noland, director of Rural Programs for the Local First Arizona Foundation, told the Range News that the Willcox profile would take roughly two months to complete.

“What we’re trying to gather is a snapshot of the quality of life within the community,” Noland said. “There are very few places where you can go and get the essence of the community and understand what it’s like to live there. And that’s what this profile is.

“Imagine that somebody has just accepted a job in Willcox from Ohio. They’re gathered around the computer with their family, maybe their spouse is asking what can I do? Can I start a small business? Where can I work? The kids are there and asking what they can do if they live there. There’s really nowhere to gather that information for that experience. So that’s what we try to put together for everybody who might look at what it’s like to live in Willcox. That’s what this profile is.”

Local First Arizona will be visiting Willcox on Jan. 16 to speak with various members of the community to categorize a listing of community elements. This first meeting will be a candid discussion on why long term residents have chosen to live in Willcox.

Local historians, individuals who work with youth, and community members who participate in key elements of the Willcox area are invited to the City Council Chambers at 3 p.m. to partake in the meeting.

After this first initial meeting, a listing will be created highlighting art, culture and historical heritage as well as entrepreneurial opportunities in Willcox.

“We’ve done 11 profiles so far. We’ll have 17 or 18 done by the end of the year,” Noland said.

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