Economic Development Authority : 8.6.09

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Thursday, August 06, 2009

Present: Mr. Steve Crandall, Ms. Emily Pelton, Mr. Erwin Berry, Mr. Alphonso
Taylor,
Mr. Bennett Saunders, Mr. Greg Kelly

Absent: Mr. Natt Hall

PRESENTATION BY VIRGINIA EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION – Ms. Teresa Turner, Director
of the VEC Work Force Center in Charlottesville, reported that Nelson
County’s unemployment rate was 6.8% as of the end of June – lower than the
country as a whole and slightly lower than the state. She noted, however,
that the number of unemployed in Nelson has doubled since this time last
year and that the unemployment insurance payments going to Nelson residents
was $800,000 last year and $1.2 million in the first six months of this
year. Ms. Turner said that that increase in unemployment insurance payments
has a huge impact as unemployed max out their benefits and then apply for
county fall-back programs. She noted that the largest number (20%) of
Nelson unemployed are in the construction industry, followed by
approximately 17% in the “unknown” occupations and approximately 10% in
production.

Mr. Taylor reported that he is now employed as an outreach worker to help
those unemployed, including Nelson residents, with job development,
interviewing skills, and other job attainment skills during a five-week
process to get back into the work force. He said that he has not seen as
many using the services as he would like to see and is hoping to increase
usage. (Note: See NC Community Job Club under “Of Interest” at the end of
this report.)

Ms. Dottie Brown, a registered Business & Economic Development Specialist,
said that her position was created through the Federal Economic Stimulus
program to work with employers, new and existing, to update job orders and
create the new job orders. She said that her team is partnering with VEC and
re-employment specialists to bring all the components together to help
employers and those looking for work. Ms. Brown said that her team is
working training facilities and utilizing an interactive computer system to
match employers with job seekers.

Ms. Marilyn Carter, also a registered Business & Economic Development
Specialist, gave a central email address for business owners to obtain
information and assistance at businessresources@vec.virginia.gov and the
main VEC website for employers and those seeking jobs at www.vaemploy.com.
She said that the website is very user friendly.

TREASURER’S REPORT – Mr. Taylor reported total funds available as of June,
2009 as $121.098.16:
– $8,711.98 in an LGIP account;
– $100,000.00 in a BB&T CD; and
– $12,386.18 in a BB&T Checking Account

POINTS OF INTEREST MAP – Mr. Crandall reported that the map is not quite
ready for review but should be available at the next EDA meeting.

COMPENSATION – Mr. Taylor reported that county staff has asked that the
Authority consider receiving their EDA compensation quarterly rather than
monthly. Members voted 5-0 to authorize staff to change their compensation
to quarterly. Mr. Kelly asked staff to determine whether direct deposit is
available for the compensation.

FARMER’S MARKET – Mr. Saunders reported that the Lovingston Farmer’s Market
is struggling, with low participation from vendors and the public. He asked
whether the EDA would consider ways it might help support the market while
it builds. After discussion, members voted 4-0 (Mr. Saunders abstained due
to a family financial interest in the market) to fund up to $500.00 for ads
and/or banners to benefit the farmer’s markets in Nelson with ads to include
days, hours and locations for each and all advertising to be a part of the
Due Nelson campaign.

LOCAL FOOD HUB – Mr. Kelly reported that the EDA has been invited to tour
the facility. Members agreed to do so as part of a regular monthly meeting
in the future.

Meeting adjourned.

Copyright 2000-2009 by Rural Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Reports may be reprinted or excerpted with attribution

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