CHARLOTTE – North Mecklenburg County residents have the opportunity to help plan for future growth in the area at three interactive sessions Oct. 14 in Davidson.

The two-hour community growth workshops are part of the 14-county CONNECT Our Future initiative coordinated by Centralina Council of Governments.

"Our region is expected to grow by another 1.8 million people and  860,000 jobs by 2050. The goal of the CONNECT effort is to plan and change by local choice – not chance," Davidson Mayor John Woods said.

“We're encouraging residents to invest two hours at a workshop and make a difference in their county and the region for the next 40 years.”

More than 700 Mecklenburg residents have already participated in other CONNECT Our Future events to date, including open houses, small groups and RealityCheck 2050, a day-long visioning session.

The CONNECT Our Future effort is funded by a grant from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Workshops will be held 9-11 a.m., 1-3 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Davidson College Presbyterian Church Congregation House on Davidson-Concord Road.

Other workshops in Mecklenburg County are being held in Charlotte on Sept. 25 and Oct. 24, as well as Pineville on Oct. 2.

Each workshop will have the same agenda. Participants, working at tables of 10 people, will map out the county’s growth, considering where people will need to work, live and play and how to enhance and

protect quality of life as the region grows.

Ideas discussed and maps developed at the community growth workshops will be combined with the input already gathered across the region. From these shared ideas, four or five scenarios for the growth of the region will be created. In spring and summer 2014, residents from the region will again be asked for input about which of the scenarios they prefer.

To register to participate in a community growth workshop, go to http://www.ConnectOurFuture.org.