Our View: Meeting a good starting point

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So the theory goes like this.

A welding company is looking for a place to set up shop. The Craig/Moffat County Economic Develop--ment Part--nership calls the company and tells company officials, hey, we have great land and great people.

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And more than that, we can help train a workforce for you, because we have a partnership with Colorado Northwestern Community College. You need 700 workers? We'll talk to the college and get a program up and running, so when you're ready to start, you're at full speed.

A collaborative effort between EDP and CNCC was one idea brought forth Tuesday night during a meeting when business owners and members of the Craig City Council, Moffat County Commissioners, Craig Chamber of Commerce, Moffat County Tourism Association and the EDP board listened to Jim Arnold, of Pueblo, about his two-day evaluation of Craig.

An EDP-CNCC partnership was just one of several promising ideas discussed at the meeting, but more importantly than that, the meeting itself was a good start in looking at EDP's future; a future that has been in some doubt since Tim Gibbs resigned his post as the EDP executive director in April.

Arnold came to Craig at the request of Dave DeRose, Red Cortner and Tom Mathers to help them consider what EDP's next step should be.

Now there is some direction, including getting commitment from the community and, for now, EDP seems to have that from several areas. However, EDP still needs to show steps in the right direction to get the others on board.

Part of getting community buy-in is accountability. EDP needs to support from the county and city, who in turn argue that getting support is a two-way street. Even though the council and commissioners have delegates on the EDP board, councilors and commissioners also want more regular updates on what the board is doing, small and large.

"We don't need a homerun every time," said councilor Bill Johnston. "We just need base hits."

And base hits would still be tangible results we could all see.

In order to start getting those base hits, the EDP board has to set a direction for whomever its new director will be. What exactly is EDP's responsibility? Do they recruit business? Do they retain business? Do they work on tourism? Should they be partnered with another agency? Should they standalone?

These are all questions that still need to be answered.

But it's a good place to start, and the editorial board encourages the process and congratulates the EDP board for taking these steps.

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