Go Forward Pine Bluff (GFPB)
May 7, 2019
A coalition of Pine Bluff civic, government and business leaders announced in November 2015 the inception of a multiyear, grassroots effort known as Go Forward Pine Bluff designed to grow the city’s tax base. After more than a year of work by over 100 participants of task forces and committees, Go Forward Pine Bluff (GFPB) rolled out in January 2017 its strategic plan to improve the city with more than 1,000 people in attendance. Presented at that event was a 40-page brochure detailing the planning process, the recommendations and implementation action steps. A special election for a 5/8-cent city sales tax to fund implementation of GFPB initiatives was successful in June 2017.
Since that roll-out presentation, GFPB’s staff and volunteers have been busy implementing the strategic plan’s concepts, which include downtown revitalization, community marketing and rebranding, business development and workforce development. As a sign of the effort’s success thus far, several businesses have opened in downtown Pine Bluff, construction is underway on a new 32,000-SF main library on Main Street, construction is complete on a new $11 million multi-purpose aquatic center near City Hall, downtown streetscape improvements will begin soon, and a series of workshops have been sponsored to provide information to local entrepreneurs. Jefferson County also is nearing attainment of nationally-set workforce development goals to become a certified ACT® Work Ready Community, a national “framework program” that emphasizes standardized workforce skills credentials.