Viewpoint: COVID-19 Impacts and Looking Forward

This article was published on: 05/29/2020

Column by Emily Benedick

At NCRPC, we know the topic on everyone’s minds is COVID-19. I must admit, this is not how I pictured my first 12 weeks serving as Executive Director. When I started in this position on March 2, I envisioned learning side-by-side with Doug McKinney up until his final day on May 1, but COVID-19 had other plans.

In these times, it is easy to get bogged down by the negative which inadvertently causes many of us to turn a blind eye to the incredible positives that have risen up in our communities. While the negative impacts are certainly serious and need to be understood, the positive stories also provide hope and inspiration as our communities continue moving forward.

There are a lot of “what ifs” happening right now because I do not think anyone really knows when this virus will be under control enough that life can continue on as normal. I am not sure we even know what the new normal is going to look like for the next few months or even year. What I do know is our communities will come back stronger and more unified than ever after surviving such an unprecedented and challenging time together. The North Central Regional Planning Commission will continue to serve our Cities, Counties and everyone in between as best we can to help ensure the success of North Central Kansas for many years to come. I want people to know that we are truly here as a resource and willing to listen to any challenge and try to help as best we can.

As we begin to look forward, I am eager to explore what new opportunities we can bring to North Central Kansas, as well as continue to ensure our current program offerings thrive. As an organization, we are fortunate to have a wide range of experience from dedicated and ambitious staff. Thank you to the many individuals, businesses, and organizations who are working hard to keep North Central Kansas resilient. The teamwork and heart that comes out in our communities and region during these trying times is unlike any other.

This article appeared in the May 2020 NCRPC Newsletter.