Editorial: Progress 2014: We explore our potential
Feb 25, 2014 | 662 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Progress is what we make it; like beauty, its interpretation lies squarely in the eyes of the beholder.

Progress is tangible and progress is intangible.

Progress can be measured from a material perspective and sometimes progress is an immeasurable look into the future.

Progress is physical growth and progress is growth waiting to happen.

Progress is here and now, and progress is sometimes a plan today to be launched in a groundbreaking tomorrow.

Progress is a new store and progress is the remodeling of one that is old.

Progress is the rise of a giant, multilevel structure and progress is the demolition of a sad and tired old building whose time has passed but whose past is responsible for our hometown’s present.

Progress is the construction of an expansive residential development and progress is the erection of a single residence.

Progress is the achievement of a multimillion dollar dream home and progress is the assembling of a modest dwelling for a single mom by the hands of Habitat for Humanity volunteers and family members who are pouring out their hearts through sweat equity.

Progress is the announcement of incoming industry and progress is the decision by longstanding employers to add product, to expand their manufacturing floors and to create new jobs.

Progress is a nonprofit organization that partners with another to pave the way for opportunity through synergies and shared cause.

Progress is an award given by a national organization that has recognized the vision and focus of a forward-thinking community.

Progress is the joined hands of outreach by neighborhood churches that look beyond competing doctrines by looking more deeply into new priorities — people and needs.

Progress is a Chamber of Commerce press conference confirming the future of a new corporation and the distribution of a news release recognizing the year’s accomplishments of an existing industry whose good work has added to the national image of a town.

Progress is a new school to teach the impressionable minds of young children whose families have just moved into their new Cleveland homes from states afar, and from continents an ocean away.

Progress is a new road and progress is the improvement of one that has served us well for decades.

Progress is a wider and safer bridge, progress is the reconfiguration of a complicated traffic pattern and progress is adapting to the congestion of growth through multijurisdictional cooperation.

Progress is city government seeking the counsel of its county brethren and progress is a county leader looking for ways to better a community by reaching out to his municipal counterparts.

Progress is recognizing need, formulating an inclusive plan for its resolution and then determining what is doable, what is not and understanding how to know the difference.

Yes, progress is many things to many people.

We speak the word today because today is the report card for the Cleveland and Bradley County community’s past year.

We have titled it, “Progress 2014: Explore New Possibilities.” It is our annual tribute to all who have made 2013 the success that it was in our hometown: Businesses, industries, governments, utilities, churches, nonprofits, civic groups, developers, builders, schools, universities, doctors, lawyers, tradesmen and all others who are proud to call our hometown their hometown.

Many were staggered by The Great Recession whose grip tightened in late 2007 and then took hold of a nation, and a globe, a year later.

Seemingly, most thought it would never end. Some believe it still hasn’t. To look at some of the economic numbers, it probably hasn’t.

But we are rebounding. Frankly, over the past three years we have exploded.

To make our point, we simply will offer a few familiar names: Wacker, Whirlpool, Publix, Lee University, Mars Chocolate, Olin and ... well, you catch our drift.

However one chooses to define progress, looking back into 2013 and looking ahead into 2014 and beyond, it’s a sure bet most will agree on this point: Collectively, Cleveland, Charleston and Bradley County is a community on the grow.

We hope our readers enjoy today’s “Progress 2014: Explore New Possibilities.”

It tells the story of progress for today and a work-in-progress for tomorrow.