New D9 group forming to assist Moffat County economy |

New D9 group forming to assist Moffat County economy

Joshua Gordon

Communities around the state are experimenting with a new approach to economic development, and the Craig Workforce Center is attempting to tailor that program for Moffat County.

Discovery 9 is a concept that brings unemployed adults together to serve as a think tank for creating jobs and bringing businesses to local communities.

The program is an idea of the Economic Enrichment Networks based in Grand Junction and is endorsed by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Three D9 teams have been established in the region — two in Grand Junction and another in Rifle.

Ray Beck, a Craig resident and city council member, has been instrumental in trying to establish a D9 team in Craig.

He said he was motivated to do so when he attended a D9 workshop last summer in Rifle with Darcy Owens-Trask, former Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership director.

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"I thought this was a great idea from the start and Darcy agreed," Beck said. "It's grassroots economic development at its best."

Beck said the D9 team will in "no way, shape or form" replace EDP, but the new group is intended to assist local economic development.

"This has nothing to do with council and this has nothing to do with politics," Beck said. "This is about doing something positive for the community."

D9 opportunity teams are comprised of nine members: seven unemployed adults whose diversity represents a cross-section of the community; one representative from the local Workforce Center; and one entrepreneurial host who is actively engaged in the business community, Beck said.

The D9 program has three goals: creating new business opportunities while tapping into creative and networking resources of its members; assisting D9 members in finding jobs by integrating them into the business community; and to be a community think tank at a grassroots level.

Linda Dill has signed on to represent the Craig Workforce Center.

She said she's excited about the opportunity because she has never seen such a unique approach to economic development.

"I think this is going to be a great resource to get people excited about how to start their own business," Dill said. "This team is going to be a big asset not just for themselves, but for local businesses."

Jay Oxley has been assigned to serve as Craig's entrepreneurial host. Oxley is also an EDP Board member and will act as a liaison between the two groups.

Participation on the D9 team is vountary. Team members will be expected to fulfill a one-year commitment and be available to attend meetings once or twice a month.

Beck hopes a team can be put together in the next month and he plans to stay involved with the board in a facilitator role.

Applications to fill the remaining seven positions are being accepted by the Craig Workforce Center, 480 Barclay St. The application process will be followed by interviews.

For more information, call Linda Dill or Morganne Foster at the Craig Workforce Center at 824-3246.

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“I thought this was a great idea from the start and Darcy (Owens-Trask) agreed. It’s grassroots economic development at its best.”

Ray Beck,Craig City Council member, about establishing a Discovery 9 economic development team in Craig

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