New Direction for County Economic Development

JB Cisneros



Two priorities for Prowers County…jobs and houses, go hand in hand.  The City of Lamar and PEP, Prowers Economic Development, are expanding their efforts for economic development in a slightly new direction.

JB Cisneros, an analyst for CERF, Community Economic Resilience Fund, has been hired to find new revenue sources for funding, especially among regional tribal organizations, an area with which he is well acquainted.  It’s an untapped source of funding for the community and according to Cisneros, the first venture of its kind for Colorado.

Cisneros, who met with county and city leaders during an informal meet and greet at the Cultural Events Center on Tuesday, June 13th, will be tasked to recruit additional business opportunities, primarily in partnership with identified tribal governments.  The goal is to develop permanent full-time jobs and increase commercial investments, particularly additional residential housing developments.  During a recent meeting of the city council, Mayor Crespin remarked, “Projects of this nature receive a lot of federal funding and we’ve had tribal representatives in Lamar investigating potential development sites.” Some of those have included the former K Mart building on North Main Street, the Southeast Colorado Municipal Airport for potential industrial development leaning towards the aviation industry and another site visit was to the golf course.

Cisneros said he grew up on a Kickapoo reservation in Kansas and graduated from K.U.  “I have a background in banking, grants and economic development and have been working with various tribes for 25 years on a local, state and federal level,” he explained. “My primary take after today is, Lamar has a lot to offer, and I say that from the viewpoint of a business banker.”  He said he’ll develop more of a background on how his loan associations could be put to use for the county.  He said he’ll take that information for an initial presentation to the Southern and Mountain Ute tribes as well as groups in Oklahoma and California who whom he’s been working.

Cisneros will be on board for one year with his salary divided between the city and PEP.
By Russ Baldwin


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