The Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance has launched a new Thrive Ally program to help potential relocators and new residents moving to the area get connected to the community and local resources through trained community advocates.
“We believe our community's greatest asset is our people, and there’s no better way to learn about a new place than to hear directly from the community members themselves,” said Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance CEO Ryan McCrady. “Research shows that people often decide to stay or leave a city based on how easy it is to acclimate to the community. Springfield has a lot of great things to offer that someone new to the area may not know about. We hope this program will help encourage those moving here to make Springfield their permanent home.”
McCrady said the SSGA is recruiting a diverse group of passionate community members from various backgrounds who can help ease that transition process for people moving to the community, or those who have been here longer but haven’t been able to connect to the area. The SSGA will host training sessions twice a year to certify new members and host networking meetups. Thrive Ally members will also be the first to know about Thrive In SPI projects and events happening in the community.
McCrady said the key part of the Ally program is the website database that displays bios of all the Thrive Ally team members. Each Ally profile highlights the topics on which they can provide insight for those potential or new residents who share similar interests. For example, Thrive Ally team members can help answer questions about resources in the community such as childcare options, local churches, schools or activities.
“We know moving is never easy and there are so many questions people often have when they move to a new area,” said McCrady. “We’re looking for people who are passionate about Springfield and Sangamon County and want to make a difference educating others about what our region has to offer. This is a chance for current residents to engage with our community and become more connected themselves without making a significant time commitment.”
To learn more about how to become an SSGA Thrive Ally, go to www.ThriveInSPI.org/Ally.