Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce 2011.05.25

Written by David Green.

There’s one thing the Lenawee Economic Development Corporation is focusing on, said director Jim Gartin, and that’s jobs.

Gartin spoke to Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce members Thursday at the  group’s monthly meeting.

Gartin said the goal of his organization is to bring in new business to match the county’s workforce.

In 2009, the vast majority of county business reports he received were negative.

“It’s almost completely reversed in 2011,” he said. “We want that positive trend to continue.”

Gartin said positive business reports are coming from at least 90 percent of the companies contacted.

Unemployment figures have dropped by four percent in the last 12 to 15 months. Each percentage point equals from 300 to 400 workers in Lenawee County, Gartin said.

He said there’s a lag of about 18 months before a strong recovery kicks in. He expects that to show here in the first quarter of 2012.

Working toward the future through job training doesn’t help the present situation, Gartin said, but he also hopes to bring skilled labor back to southeast Michigan—those who had to leave to find work.

“There are limited resources everywhere,” he said. “We need to collaborate and work together.”

That includes groups such as the local Chamber of Commerce offices.

Gartin mentioned the series of entrepreneurial workshops instigated by the Lenawee Economic Development Corporation last year. Funding comes through South Central Michigan Works.

One of those classes—one that focuses on selling through eBay—is scheduled June 2 in Morenci.

EVENT—First Federal Bank has scheduled a customer appreciation event June 17. New York style hot dogs will be served.

MEMBERS—New members Jessica and Phil Stark, owners of Little People’s Place, and Les Tompkins of JLT Graphix were introduced.

  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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