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Huntington Advances to Semifinals in America’s Best Communities Competition

The City of Huntington will continue its journey toward winning the top prize in the $10 million America’s Best Communities competition.

Frontier Communications officials on Jan. 13 presented Huntington with a ceremonial ticket to the competition’s semifinals, which includes a trip to the America’s Best Communities Summit this spring.

Sponsored by Frontier, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel, America’s Best Communities has instilled new hope and helped to inspire economic revitalization in small towns and cities across the country.

Huntington is one of just 15 communities nationwide to advance into the semifinals and is now eligible to win major investments to implement its innovative community revitalization plan, known as the Huntington Innovation Project (HIP).

The next stop for Huntington will be the America’s Best Communities Summit in Durham, North Carolina on April 26-27. That’s where the team will present its revitalization strategy for a chance to win a $100,000 prize grant and one of just eight spots in the competition finals.

Joining Huntington in the America’s Best Communities semifinals will be Lake Havasu City, Arizona; Charleston, West Virginia; Statesboro, Georgia; Valley County, Idaho; Chisago, Minnesota; Portsmouth, Ohio; DeKalb, Illinois; Fort Dodge, Iowa; Arlington, Washington; Valparaiso, Indiana; Tualatin, Oregon; Wenatchee, Washington; Madison, Indiana; and Angola, Indiana.

About 350 communities across the country entered the competition, and 50 were selected as quarterfinalists in April 2015. Each of the 50 was awarded $50,000 in seed money to develop a community revitalization plan and partnered with a major national or regional company that served as a strategic advisor as part of the competition’s Adopt-a-Community Program. Among the participating corporations were several members of the Fortune 500. Huntington was partnered with GE Fleet Leasing.

From this class of 50 quarterfinalist communities, the 15 with the best plans — those with the most innovative ideas being effectively executed — were named semifinalists. 

In its community revitalization plan, Huntington outlined projects and ideas that will help jumpstart the local economy and enhance quality of life. It focused on transforming struggling neighborhoods and blighted spaces into hubs for advanced making and manufacturing. The plan begins with three key initiatives in the Highlawn, Fairfield and West End neighborhoods and tying them together with high-speed broadband.  The Huntington Innovation Project will renew the community and be a gateway for revitalization in the broader Tri-State and Appalachian region.

If Huntington is one of eight communities to advance to the finals, it will have one year to implement its strategies, and the top three communities that make the largest impact and show the greatest potential for achieving sustainable revitalization will be selected as the grand prize winners. The top community will receive $3 million, with second place earning $2 million and $1 million for third.

To explore the communities’ revitalization strategies and for additional information on the competition, please visit www.americasbestcommunities.com.

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