But progress is much more. Yes, it is about bold steps, passion for improvement and commitment to the future, but it is also physical. Progress is that which can be seen from afar and up-close. Progress is about building. Progress is about growing. Progress is about expanding.
In our Cleveland and Bradley County hometown, the year of 2012 saw plenty of building, growing and expanding.
It is why we take great pride in helping to tell the story of our community’s past year. But more importantly, it is why we believe in asking the community to speak for itself. And in today’s edition of the Cleveland Daily Banner, our hometown voices are speaking ... and in great volume.
Today we pay tribute to “A Future in Review 2013,” our annual look back at a community whose people, businesses, schools, industries and organizations are looking ahead.
Today, our newspaper is all about Cleveland and everything Bradley County.
Today, we offer an unparalleled 128-page salute to the heart, to the soul and to the very fabric of that which more than 100,000 people call home.
Staggered by The Great Recession whose icy grip has stolen the confidence of America’s, and the world’s, economy since 2007, some might ask, “How is the Cleveland and Bradley County area faring under such times of struggle?”
Here’s our take. Times in our hometown are not perfect, but times are still very good.
To borrow from past presentations by Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis, “It’s a good time to live in Cleveland and Bradley County.”
“Where’s the proof?” might be asked.
Retirees are moving here from other towns, neighboring regions and distant states ... because they want to.
Whirlpool Corporation has not only rebuilt a massive factory and distribution center, the leading appliance manufacturer chose to do it right here at a time and in an economy when relocation options were plentiful.
Wacker Chemie AG is standing firm on a $1.75 billion commitment to its Wacker Polysilicon North America complex near Charleston in spite of competitors who are already pulling back and laying off; yes, Wacker’s steam has slowed, but its plant opening remains affixed on mid-2015.
Neighboring Volkswagen, just on the other side of White Oak Mountain across the Bradley County line, is still growing and still hiring.
Publix Supermarkets Inc. is constructing a giant new grocery at Mouse Creek Crossing along Paul Huff Parkway whose changing landscape is becoming a recurring theme.
New hotels like Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn signal belief in this city and commitment to the people of this area, and to visitors who choose Southeast Tennessee as a destination and sometimes a comforting pass-through.
Lee University is making good on a longtime dream; that is, to connect its beautiful campus to downtown Cleveland through a series of new construction and remodeling projects that will net a Communications & Arts Building, a state-of-the-art performance center (Pangle Hall) from the original First Baptist Chuch sanctuary and plenty of open green space.
Existing industry continues to grow. Current businesses are updating, upgrading and remodeling. Outside operations are looking in to gather their own perspective on this growth community called Cleveland and Bradley County.
No, times are not perfect. But times are good.
We can think of no finer place to be today than right here.
Today’s edition will tell our readers why.
We trust all will enjoy this year’s Progress Edition. It is a vast publication that has involved every department and all employees in our building.
It is a story of our people. It is a testimony to our hope. It is a vision of our future.
It is us.