About a dozen community leaders set down for a day long strategy planning session last week with Pam Alexander Amy Whitehouse last Thursday.

Alexander is of Harness Point Community Outreach in Jonesboro and Whitehouse was here from the University of Central Arkansas Outreach and Community Engagement department.

Booneville Development Corporation Executive Director Susan Featherston arranged for the session after completing the first year of the 30th annual Community Development Institute at UCA.

“I applied for this because they can some into the community and help you siphon out what you need to do,” said Featherston. “Kind of give us an idea of what we need to focus on.

“We worked on the negatives of Booneville and the positives of Booneville.”

Among the negatives were the drug culture and general uncleanliness, she said.

“That is getting better,” Featherston said of the drug problem. It’s just cleaning up the houses and cleaning up the businesses. Just focusing on getting out town back.”

The need to address cluttered businesses in particular was presented to the Booneville City Council last Monday by a resident.

Positives, she said, include new businesses and the work being accomplished by the Booneville Industrial Development Corporation’s Downtown Beautification Committee.

“We’ve got people who get off of work and come into town to clean up,” she said.

Some would no doubt argue another negative with Booneville is a lack of jobs but Featherston said the reverse is actually true.

“We’ve got employment here, we just can’t find qualified people to work. There are so many jobs in this town, said Featherston opening an app on her phone. “We have personal care attendant in Booneville, a residential care technician that pays $20,000 a year, maintenance tech C shift at Rockline, assistant manager at Dollar Tree, Area Agency is hiring, Rockline for a paletizer, research opportunity at the Dale Bumpers Research Center, store counter sales for O’Reilley’s.”

The list continued.

“It’s so simple,” she said.