PEP Board Reviews Director’s Search

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PEP Logo

The advertisement seeking a new executive director for PEP, Prowers Economic Prosperity, should be placed on twelve on-line sites, catering to that specific job market. Some final changes in the ad literature related to qualifications were discussed, after which the ad should be posted to receive national scope.  Given the timeline of the ad, however, board members felt that having a new director hired and relocated to Prowers County by the start of the New Year is heavily optimistic.

Lawrence Brase, PEP treasurer noted that the monetary contributions from the private sector to fund the revamped organization won’t be done until the beginning of 2017. He said the funding will be handled through SECED, Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development.  Stephanie Gonzales, Executive Director, stated that those donations will be routed through a statewide Enterprise Zone which qualifies each contributor to receive a 25% tax credit.

PEP President, Rick Robbins, led the discussion about appointing a PEP board member to the Lamar Partnership Incorporated Board. LPI recently revised its by-laws to accept mostly at-large membership.  Prowers County Commissioner Ron Cook was selected to represent PEP.

Robbins gave an overview of information he received and several contacts he made at a recent Economic Development County of Colorado meeting he attended which, he said, could aid the county in future job development. “Several sessions had a common theme regarding training courses to develop job skills.  In Colorado, there are three million jobs available for which less than 20% require a four year degree,” he explained.  Robbins said one critical area for future jobs development is related to Colorado STEM, a community-driven effort to develop a process that brings the sciences into local curriculums.  STEM stands for Science-Technology-Engineering and Mathematics.  PCDI hosted a local seminar last year which provided a forum for educators to present their concepts to the area.

Another facet described at the EDCC convention was Career Wise Colorado which develops apprenticeship programs throughout the state. It allows business to help build their own skilled workforce for specific job requirements and putting businesses and students together to match skills with employment needs.

Robbins said some programs discussed could have a future application at the community college level. He described how ‘unmanned air systems’ could play a role in streamlining some of the necessary work done in farming and ranching with the use of drones.  Their future application for the ag industry would develop jobs through required skill sets and certification required by the FAA to be licensed to operate and fly them.  He said community colleges can develop the courses required by the FAA.  Some work drones could undertake range from mapping fields for moisture and fertility, crop status, water supplies for cattle and an update on fences, as well as taking infra-red head counts of a herd or grazing patterns.

Robbins recently hosted Dave Tabor who serves on the Board of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce Executives and is Past President and Board Member for the Association of State Chamber Professionals. “We toured the area and visited Colorado Mills, which became a state chamber member.  We also looked at C.F. Maier, the local chamber offices and attended KVAY’s recent open house.”  Robbins said Tabor detailed how the state chamber is interested in the work of rural chambers of commerce and showed an interest in Lamar’s needs and how they could be addressed through lobbying efforts.  The Lamar Chamber is discussing an invitation to join at the state level.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureCity of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyCollegeConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyEducationFeaturedTransportation


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