Letter to the Editor from SCEDD

 

December 5, 2023

The Southern Colorado Economic Development District (SCEDD) is an organization serving 13 counties in southern Colorado. SCEDD’s mission is to support the economic development efforts of our member counties, cities, and economic development partners. SCEDD has assisted the counties that make up the Economic Development District with a host of grant-funded projects aimed at improving the economic environment. In addition to identifying funding sources for vital economic development projects, SCEDD assists its member counties with obtaining funding, measuring outcomes, reporting requirements, fiscal management, and overall adherence to funding guidelines.  Most importantly, SCEDD is adept at relationship building and creating partnerships (public and private) that ensure the success of the region’s economic development efforts.

As an Economic Development District – designated by the Economic Development Administration – it is SCEDD’s responsibility to write a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) every five years.  This document serves as a blueprint for SCEDD and economic development practitioners throughout the SCEDD region.

Current regional initiatives include a Workforce Development Initiative that is in the final planning stage and an on-going Broadband effort aimed at increasing internet access to unserved areas.  In Prowers County, SCEDD has worked closely with Prowers Economic Prosperity (PEP) and Lamar Community College to develop a grant-funded program directed at training and job placement in the trades and sewn goods industries.  This collaborative effort has involved local employers, community stakeholders, educational institutions (namely Lamar Community College), and PEP. SCEDD is providing grant support; however, this effort is locally driven and will not be successful without local involvement.

Recently, a SCEDD staff member made a presentation at the Prowers County Commission Work Session.  During the presentation, the staff member referred to the building project on Memorial Drive that is led by the Lamar Community College Building Trades program. The staff member stated that local tradespeople could not be found and that electricians had to be brought in from Colorado Springs to work on the project.  It was brought to the attention of SCEDD leadership that this statement was not true and that local tradespeople are involved with the College’s Construction Trades program. Lamar Community College has a successful Building Trades program and should be commended for the work they are doing in skills training and in developing local housing. The College’s efforts would not be successful without the support of local tradespeople and the dedicated construction trades staff at Lamar Community College.  SCEDD leadership apologizes for the misstatement and the misrepresentation of the role local tradespeople have in community and economic development efforts in the City of Lamar and Prowers County.

Leslie Mastroianni
Executive Director

Filed Under: Letters to the Editor

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