The United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties is holding its first-ever community health and human services forum early next month.
The Nov. 5 forum in Kennewick will include panels on education, health, safety and self-sufficiency, with experts talking about current challenges in those areas, how they're being addressed and possibilities for the future.
"The purpose is really to understand, what are the building blocks? How can we continue to maintain quality of workforce and quality of life in the community?" said LoAnn Ayers, a United Way board member and past board chairwoman.
The interactive forum starts at 7:30 a.m. and runs until noon at the Three Rivers Convention Center.
Several Tri-City area leaders are scheduled to sit on panels, from Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg to Rich Cummins, president of Columbia Basin College in Pasco.
Ayers said elected officials, nonprofit leaders, members of service clubs and the business community especially would benefit from attending.
"From my perspective, this really sharpens your knowledge of challenges and solutions" and can help focus strategic planning, service implementation and directing volunteer efforts, she told the Herald.
Cost is $20. Space is limited and the United Way said the first 200 guests with get a flash drive with the speakers' presentations.
To sign up, go to www.unitedway-bfco.com/communityforum.htm or call 783-4102.