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.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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