HAMPTON, Va. - Hampton has been chosen as one of eight cities in the nation to partner with Facebook in a new community boost initiative.
The intensive seminar is for anyone in the region and Facebook is developing the program to teach digital and social skills to businesses and job seekers. The City of Hampton is hoping those skills will help boost the local economy.
The decision to choose Hampton isn't exactly a surprise to Robin McCormick, who is the communications strategist for the city.
"We think it's because we already have a fair amount of digital savvy. We use Facebook pretty aggressively to reach people," said McCormick.
In an open-concept office in one of the top floors of Hampton City Hall, the city's marketing and communication team work hard to maintain a strong digital footprint.
"It's exciting for the city, but it’s really exciting for the region’s business community," said McCormick. "We certainly are very supportive of our small, minority-owned, and women-owned and even medium-sized businesses. And those are the ones Facebook is talking to. Not your large corporations. Here in Hampton Roads, we have a lot of those startups. We have so many retired military people who start their own businesses, NASA spinoffs; we have a lot of business growth here."
The city is hoping the seminar will help local businesses and citizens flex their digital muscles and in turn boost the local economy.
"It has a track for business owners, marketing track and a networking track. So there are free seminars anyone can take advantage of to grow their own skills, grow their business skills or learn to use the digital space that's out there," said McCormick.
However, the city also sees this as an opportunity to better engage the community in local government.
"People don't always come out to public meetings or hearings, but they're happy to tell you what they're thinking on Facebook, Twitter or Nextdoor," said McCormick.
The city hopes to lock down dates for the seminar with Facebook soon.