Economic development membership elects board, learns of 2018 goals
CRAIG — The coming year promises to be an active one for a local organization and the community’s economy.
Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership held its annual membership meeting Jan. 17 at Colorado Northwestern Community College. Members elected board members and approved the 2018 budget, and CMEDP Executive Director Michelle Balleck led members through the organization’s work in 2017 and plans for 2018.
CMEDP members elected incumbent Janell Oberlander, vice president of Colorado Northwestern Community College; incumbent Rich Thompson, plant manager at Craig Station power plant; and Chris Jones, Bank of Colorado president, to three-year terms and Justin Kawcak, agency owner of 360 Insurance Company and Greenfields Financial Services, to a two-year term. Members thanked outgoing board members F. Neil Folks and Eldon Holland for their service.
Balleck reported on major projects in the works for the organization and plans to move them forward in the coming months.
The Business Opportunity Toolkit kicked off at the end of 2017 and the contracted consulting firm was in Moffat County in mid-January for initial interviews. The toolkit will provide economic leaders answers to questions, including which specific industries have a defined market in the community.
Balleck said the project is the foundation for the organization’s business attraction and growth efforts. The project is a joint project of CMEDP, Craig Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Workforce Center and Colorado Northwestern Community College and is funded by Colorado Department of Local Affairs, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Moffat County Local Marketing District. The partners hope to conclude the project by mid-2018.
The community branding initiative is possible thanks to the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s “Brand Building for Communities” technical assistance opportunity. This support is part of the Blueprint 2.0 initiative and includes support from OEDIT’s marketing team and the firm the state uses for its marketing, Development Counsellors International. This technical assistance is valued at $50,000 and is expected to be unveiled next month. Partner institutions include the city of Craig, Moffat County, Moffat County Tourism Association, Memorial Regional Health, Moffat County School District, CNCC, LMD, the Chamber and CMEDP.
The Moffat County Broadband Initiative is being led by the city of Craig, Moffat County and CMEDP. The collaborative group is working to release a request for proposals for a network operator by the end of the month and will then apply for grant funding through DOLA to kick off the project management work.
The board’s regular monthly meeting immediately followed the conclusion of the annual meeting, and the board of directors elected officers. Tucker and Thompson were retained as chairman and vice chairman/secretary, respectively, while Jones was elected treasurer.
Sally Messinger, mountain district manager for Junior Achievement, also presented about the organization’s mission and partnerships with schools to create career success for students. The program is currently seeking interested business people to lead programming at East Elementary School in April.
For more information about Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership and its projects, contact Balleck at 970-620-4370 or email@example.com.
Twenty years ago, as a sophomore at University of Colorado Denver, Nathan Brough wrote an economics paper on hemp’s potential to grow the nation’s gross domestic product.