Beyond 21 Plan – A Community Plan to Attract, Retain, and Support the Adult Population


With more than 75 community partners, we implemented the Beyond 21 Plan to meet the needs of our adult community. This plan represents the collaborative efforts of all partners to address local unemployment, talent attraction and retention, the growing needs of an aging population, strengthening community leadership and civic engagement, and improving our community’s health.



Team Leaders:
Ryan Simons, President, Wilson Chamber of Commerce

Overall Strategy:
To exploit challenges and opportunities in existing leadership and civic engagement pathways, as a way to better equip decision makers in our community to lead, follow, and serve.

Outcome Statements:

  • Develop tools to identify leaders in our community, and assure a reliable pathway for them to serve in specific leadership capacities.
  • Ensure that leadership in Wilson is appropriately reflective of our community’s diversity.
  • Every citizen in Wilson should be empowered to lead, serve, and advocate for issues that affect their quality of life.
  • Healthy family development should be encouraged in Wilson, and parents equipped with resources to be effective leaders at home.

Team Leaders:
Candice Rountree, Program Manager, Wilson County Department of Social Services

Barbara Blackston, Executive Director, Wilson County Improvement Association

Nancy Sallenger, Executive Director, Wilson Crisis Center

Overall Strategy:
To provide quality, individualized services to our aging population in Wilson. Over the next twenty years, the number of people age
65 and over in Wilson County is anticipated to increase by more than 73 percent (NC DAAS). This plan addresses the needs of
seniors, caregivers, our workforce, and citizens as we experience a major cultural shift.


Outcome Statements:

  • Older adults and their families will make informed decisions and easily access existing health and long-term care options.
  • Older adults will remain independent and age in the place of their choice with appropriate services and supports.
  • Older adults will have optimal health status and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
  • The safety and rights of older and vulnerable adults will be protected and prevention of senior abuse, neglect, and exploitation is
    a priority.
  • Strengthen the community by planning with older adults for the future

Team Leaders:
Teresa Ellen, Director, Wilson County Health Department

Paula Furiness, Wellness Coordinator, Wilson Medical Center

Overall Strategy:
The residents of Wilson County will have optimal physical and mental health.


Outcome Statements:

  • The residents of Wilson County will have improved access to healthcare.
  • The residents of Wilson County will have awareness of and utilize existing behavioral healthcare resources.
  • The residents of Wilson County will utilize educational resources to make better health care decisions.
  • The residents of Wilson County will have access to physical activity resources.
  • The residents of Wilson County will have awareness and access to healthy local food resources.

Team Leaders:
Dr. Gary Daynes, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Barton College

Rodger Lentz, Chief Planning and Development Officer, City of Wilson

Overall Strategy:
To support existing employers and build the local economy, the Wilson community needs to take steps to ensure that it is an attractive place for employees and entrepreneurs to locate.

Outcome Statements:

  • The economic development of Wilson will be supported through entrepreneurship.
  • A natural and built environment that supports active living will be developed and sustained.
  • The positive stories of our community will be shared with our residents and beyond.
  • Wilson will be a lively and authentic place by embracing its history, revitalizing our historic fabric, and offering a variety of cultural and social events for diverse audiences.

Team Leaders:
Rob Holsten, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Wilson Community College

Overall Strategy:
To connect underemployed and unemployed adults to educational, job readiness, and skill training resources

Outcome Statements:

  • Labor market data, career opportunities, and workforce development programs will be provided and maintained in a central
    source for all citizens.
  • The underemployed and unemployed adult workforce will be trained for the current and future needs of Wilson employers.
  • A pipeline of trained workers will be developed to respond to the local industry’s needs.

Beyond 21 Plan – A Community Plan to Attract, Retain, and Support the Adult Population

2016 Highlights:

  • Identified new ways to market our community assets while building attractive and inclusive developments in downtown Wilson
  • Expanded the Annual Community Health Fair to provide access for health screenings and dental care to uninsured local citizens
  • Developed and introduced an agribusiness training program to provide specific skills for the high technology jobs in our local agribusiness community
  • Created a behavioral health screening tool and identified local physicians to serve as pilot locations to evaluate effectiveness
  • Expanded the available care and protection training offered by our local law enforcement for our elderly population