WPCOG Hires Catawba County Native as the Next Community & Regional Planning Director
Community and Regional Planning is one of the critical departments of the Western Piedmont Council of Governments that serves the region and its local governments. The department includes community planning for a number of local governments including nine (9) towns where WPCOG staff serve as the town planner. The department also includes transportation planning, the Data Center, and environmental planning.
The WPCOG is pleased to announce the hiring of Alison Adams as the WPCOG Community and Regional Planning Director. Adams is no stranger to the region having graduated from Fred T. Foard High School in Catawba County. She went on to obtain her Bachelor of Arts in Geography – Urban Planning from the University of North Carolina - Greensboro and her Master’s in Strategic Leadership from Mountain State University. Adams currently works as a Senior Planner for the Town of Huntersville, NC, and her prior experience includes planning work at the Town of Davidson, City of Statesville, Town of Holly Springs near Raleigh, and Iredell County.
WPCOG Executive Director Anthony Starr said of Adams’ hiring, “Alison brings a wealth of experience in local government planning including work in some fast-growing communities. Her leadership skills are quickly evident when you meet her, and I am confident she will quickly impress our local government leaders and regional stakeholders. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of her efforts to support our local governments and improve our region.”
Alison Adams said, “Planning is a vital part of creating healthy and safe communities. I look forward to serving the WPCOG local governments and region by providing support to aid informed decision making and responsible growth.”
Community and Regional Planning Division includes the development of comprehensive plans, small area plans, development regulations, strategic planning, and a number of other planning services. The department also leads efforts to implement portions of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.
The Transportation Planning Division provides critical work that shapes the transportation improvements for our region. Transportation is one of the key issues that impact the mobility of residents and businesses, affects economic development efforts and enhances the quality of life for residents. The Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) serves as the federally designated organization responsible for transportation planning for the region including Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties. Elected officials from each of the 28 local governments in the region appoint delegates to the Greater Hickory Metropolitan Planning Organization which is housed in the WPCOG. That group is responsible for leading the prioritization of transportation projects including highway, public transit, and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Over 103 transportation projects are planned to begin for the Western Piedmont region during the next five years with a total cost exceeding $1.3 billion.
The WPCOG Data Center provides important data and analysis for local governments, businesses, and community stakeholders that directly impact policy decisions. The Data Center answers over 600 data requests each year, conducts public school student estimation models used for school construction and district boundary changes, publishes the Economic Indicators Newsletter that provides economic analysis about the region’s economy, and many other data services.
The Environmental Planning Division completes important work regarding air and water quality. The division provides staff support to the Water Resources and Air Quality Committees who work to improve the health of our communities and the region. This division also prepares a number of environmental assessments and watershed plans that measure the impact of projects and development on our region’s water supply and water quality. Each year this division organizes the Western North Carolina Air and Water Quality Conference hosted at Lenoir-Rhyne University. This division also manages the regional stormwater partnership aimed at providing coordination of outreach efforts and planning for the region’s local governments that must meet specific federal requirements to reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff.
The WPCOG is regional planning, service and economic development agency that is owned by and serves the 28 local governments in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties.