GRANBY: On Monday, March 5 at the Granby Library representatives from every segment of the public and private sector in the county gathered to continue their quest for solving the issues of affordable housing, workforce development and economic resiliency in Grand County. This work has been ongoing since 2017, and this time, the committee began with a debrief of the first Job and Career Fair.
“As a collaborative unit, we have an opportunity to speak as one voice and promote Grand County as a special place to live, work, and play,” explained Sky Foulkes, CEO at Winter Park Resort.
With over 15 employers at the fair, the evening became an opportunity for networking, collaboration and community building. The next fair is already taking shape as human resource managers are targeting a Fall event. The jobs are out there, it is just a matter of finding the right individual for the work.
“We are ready to open a second shift as soon as we have enough employees to warrant the move,” said Jed Parmenter of Colorado Timber Resources.
Affordable housing took the stage with Sheena Darland’s update on the housing needs assessment contract. Now seeking applicants, the selected contractor will provide the town of Granby with data that informs the decision-making process.
“Ideally we would like to use the housing group to create a kick-off meeting that invites many of the housing champions in the county,” explained Darland. The work of this group will be an important agenda item at the April meeting.
The conversation then turned towards the tourism sector. Granby will be leading the efforts in a pilot program known as “Create Here.” This outreach campaign asks entrepreneurs to submit a business plan that will be reviewed by a panel of county experts. The chosen business will receive marketing support, some financial incentives and county publicity during the initial year of operation. In addition, Glen Girard of Evergreen Revenue is leading an initiative to create a local products guide that will feature county artisans.
As the work of this group continues throughout the year, the blueprint for success took shape at the March meeting. Every group created specific goals and tasks with completion dates. Attendees were then updated on the progress in developing a countywide website portal. Designed to connect jobs with employees, affordable housing with residents, and promote the community that is Grand County, this website will be a featured component on upcoming grant work supported by the Grand County Economic Development Department. For more information on the work of this group and their progress for economic resiliency please contact DiAnn Butler at 970-531-1343.
[About Grand County Economic Development:
The Grand County Economic Development Department (GCED) works with businesses throughout the region to promote a culture of entrepreneurship and collaboration. Working with local employers, the GCED has established an advisory committee that is comprised of a diverse group of businesses and community champions representing different sectors of the economy. Their goal is to strengthen the county workforce, develop local talent, provide affordable housing opportunities and to elevate the quality of life for those who live in the county. For more information please visit www.grandforbusiness.com or follow us on Facebook @grandforbusiness ]