The first round of community outreach and engagement is complete. Thank you to everyone that attended any of the 31 community workshops held in various municipalities throughout Westmoreland County. Respondents identified issues and opportunities that will be incorporated into the recommendations stage of the planning process.
Many issues and opportunities were noted during the first round of outreach, and there a few that rose to the top: employment, transportation, and local population. Employment issues were the lack of job opportunities available, specifically for young people, and the lack of of a skilled workforce. Transportation issues include the lack of public transit, particularly to rural areas, and general traffic congestion along major roadways like Route 30. Population issues relate to changing demographics such as the aging and declining population, along with the lack of diversity in Westmoreland County. The top assets were location, history, and environment. Westmoreland’s location within the region, especially it’s proximity to Pittsburgh was noted as a strength. The plethora of historical sites throughout the County and the many related events were also important to respondents. Finally, the natural environment including the Laurel Highlands, miles of trails, waterways and parks were key assets.
Priority Issues Workshop
The Priority Issues Workshop is the next opportunity for the community to provide input for the Comprehensive Plan. The purpose of the Priority Issues Workshop is to gain an understanding of the potential goals and actions that Westmoreland County could undertake to address issues related to: population growth & retention, transportation, business retention & attraction, regional competitiveness, main streets & neighborhoods, shared services & local government consolidation, livability/quality of life and land use regulations & development. This workshop will also identify metrics that can be used to measure Westmoreland County’s progress in meeting these goals. Stay tuned for more information including a date, time, and location for the workshop.