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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
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    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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