8 CIVIL AND MUNICIPAL VOLUME 4, ISSUE 6 commitment to robust infrastructure. At the helm of this endeavor is Mayor Blankenship, who shares, “We have an annual paving project in place that is funded by a city and state gas tax that improves quality of life for our Ozark citizens.” The city’s infrastructure commitment extends beyond paving. Ozark boasts of a standalone utility board that handles water and sewer, another crucial aspect of infrastructure. “We’re constantly looking at areas that we need to expand,” Blankenship asserts, alluding to an imminent project along Highway 231, which will expand water and sewer lines to the south end of town, creating further opportunity for development. Ozark works closely with its Emergency Management Agency (EMA) group in response to potential emergencies. “We have people within the city assigned to the EMA group,” Blankenship says, explaining that in an emergency, key individuals including representatives from the Public Safety Department, gather at a central location to manage the situation effectively. This approach ensures Ozark’s readiness to tackle any potential storm, literally and metaphorically, in its path. Ozark’s school system is dynamic and evolving, fostering an innovative environment. This sentiment is encapsulated in the words of Smith, who shares, “ The Ozark City School Board started a #ONEeagle’ campaign – Ozark Needs Everyone. We’re trying to communicate the positive attributes and get everyone on board.” This campaign aims to promote community positivity, inclusivity, and the mindset that ‘United we are ONEeagle’. Workforce Development is a priority in Ozark, especially considering the prevalent employment shortages across the nation. “We have several partnerships that focus on addressing workforce needs,” Smith confirms, mentioning collaborations with local community colleges, Southeast Alabama Works, and our K-12 school systems. Another unique element to Ozark’s workforce development is its connection with Fort Novosel, which provides an influx of retiring soldiers ready for new careers. Smith views these individuals as fantastic additions to the workforce, noting their leadership training, physical fitness, and soft skills. Through various programs, these transitioning soldiers are given support to enter the workforce