Bob Downing

The Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium is holding six public workshops including one in Akron and another in Canton as part of its VibrantNEO 2040 program.

The first phase of the project will focus on helping local residents identify what choices can be made now that give Northeast Ohio the greatest chance for success in the future.

The workshops will focus on what’s called scenario planning and participants will get a glimpse of what Northeast Ohio might be like in the year 2040.

The Akron meeting will be Thursday at the Akron Urban League, 440 Vernon Odom Blvd.

There will be a Canton meeting on Wednesday at the Metropolitan Centre, 601 Cleveland Ave. NW.

The workshops will begin at 6:30 p.m. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m.

Prior registration is not required, but is encouraged.

To register for the Akron meeting, go to

For the Canton meeting, go to

For more information on the workshops, go to

The rest of the schedule is:

• Tuesday, Oberlin Inn, 7 N. Main St., Oberlin.

• Tuesday, John F. Kennedy High School, 2550 Central Parkway Ave. SE, Warren.

• Wednesday, Third Federal Savings and Loan auditorium, 7007 Broadway Ave., Cleveland.

• Thursday, Corporate College East, Warrensville Heights.

Two additional rounds of public workshops will be held in August and September.

The 33-member consortium is largely funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of a new federal Sustainable Communities Initiative that involves several federal agencies. The effort is a three-year planning effort to revitalize 12 counties in Northeast Ohio.

The Fund for Our Economic Future provided a $500,000 matching grant. Consortium member organizations have pledged more than $2.35 million in staffing and operating expenses.

For more information, go to

Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or