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In a rough economy, creating jobs is a necessity.
While this is easier said than done, seeking out new opportunities is what makes or breaks businesses.
Craig resident and businessman Dave DeRose knows this first hand.
DeRose, owner of Masterworks Mechanical, Inc., recently visited the Triangle Tube boiler factory outside of Brussels, Belgium. He traveled with a group of about 40 contractors to get a closer look at the condenser boilers the American company sells around the country after making the journey from Europe.
“They’re shipped to New Jersey and finalized, and then shipped around the United States,” he said. “We use a lot of their stuff, so they paid for me to go over there.”
DeRose took part of Craig with him on the trip: information compiled by the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership.
The idea was to present manufacturers at the factory with the theory that the company could and should consider bringing a factory to Colorado, and possibly to the Craig area.
“They responded well,” he said. “It’s just the first invitation for them to dance. They’re really high-efficiency boilers, and they work really well, so it might be good to work on them here. I didn’t see any lack of employment in Belgium.”
DeRose said the process of bringing a Triangle Tube factory to the area makes sense financially.
“If you’re paying a guy 20 euros to work in Belgium, it’s the same as paying $15,” he said. “There’s room for anything we want to put here, and I think we just need to keep an open mind.One of the reasons this company fits well is that Colorado is a green energy state, and this is a very green energy effective boiler.
“It could reduce your carbon footprint by 30 percent. It still uses natural gas, electricity, it just uses a lot less of it.”
Although no deals are in the works with Triangle Tube yet, DeRose encouraged other businesses in the region, state and beyond to take advantage of opportunities.
“I’m probably the first person in Colorado to be an economic development ambassador,” DeRose said. “Whether they contact us or not is irrelevant. You have not because you ask not. I think that economic development has to be continually sought after because if you just run on the status quo, you’re in trouble.”
Convenience store chain raises money
When at a convenience store counter picking up a candy bar, energy drink or a few gallons of gas, Craig residents were able to pitch in for something important.
And, while individual handfuls of change and dollar bills may not have seemed like a major contribution on their own, every little bit helped.
Kum & Go convenience stores raised a total $115,000 as part of a relief effort for Joplin, Mo., which experienced an enormous EF-5 tornado on May 22 that killed more than 150 people and injured more than 900.
The Iowa-based company accepted donations from May 27 to June 5.
Company spokeswoman Catherine Huggins said Kum & Go stores across 11 states brought in $57,000 in the first weekend alone.
Kum & Go will present the American Red Cross with the money at an official ceremony in July.
“This cause really resonated with our customers,” she said. “At one of our stores, we had a man come in just to buy a 32-ounce drink, and as soon as he found out what we were doing, he slapped down a $20 bill on the counter.”
Huggins said she did not have a total for the amount raised store by store, but she found it personally encouraging that Kum & Go customers from as far away from the Midwestern devastation as Northwest Colorado would dig deep in their pockets to help those in Joplin.
“It’s been an outstanding campaign because of the level of concern everywhere,” she said.
Editor's note: A version of this story with an error has been corrected.
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