Sunday, June 27, 2010

Report - Economic Development

My interest in jobs and economic development in Darke County remains strong. Economic Development Director Marc Salek, despite his busy schedule, has been kind enough to meet with me on occasion and share what information he was in a position to divulge.
For years, there were questions regarding what Partners for Progress was doing and the lack of any real coordinated efforts to improve the economic outlook for the county.
All that changed last November. Salek was appointed EDD and he hit the ground running.
His first job was to coordinate everything going on in the county. He told me there were many individuals and groups heavily involved in bringing jobs to, or keeping them in, Darke County. They just didn’t know what the others were doing.
A short seven months later, there is a sense of cooperation that did not exist before. And there is a united sense of purpose that did not exist before.
The latest update is on the expansion of CIC and new investors in Partnering for Progress. No game is won without planning and preparation… Salek and our community leaders are getting their ducks in a row. Watch for better days ahead.

CIC energized by new members
By Bob Robinson

The Darke County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) has recently expanded with the addition of three new members, plus four who are replacing term-limited members.

New to the organization are two Partnering for Progress investors, Perry Walls of Walls Brothers Asphalt, and Nancy Zechar of Comprehensive Health Network; and Gracie Ratliff, Director of Darke County Job & Family Services.
The PFP representatives were voted in at the last investor meeting, and Ratliff was appointed to fill a recently created workforce seat on the board. The workforce alternate is Sherri Mueller.
Ansonia representative Tom Welbaum replaced term-limited Jerry Koverman, Jim Goubeaux replaced Jim Buchy, Matt Kolb of Greenville Federal S&L replaced Dennis Baker of Second National Bank, and Todd Durham replaced Sharon Deschambeau for the Darke County Chamber of Commerce.
The CIC, first organized in 1971, meets monthly and is responsible for directing the efforts of the Darke County Economic Development Office.
“This new, larger board is an even better representation of the county, including villages and various development organizations, than ever before,” said Marc Salek, Darke County Economic Development Director. “And with the generous participation of the Greenville and Versailles communities, it can be safely said that the Partnering for Progress effort is a truly representative one.”
The three commissioners, Terry Haworth, Mike Rhoades and Diane Delaplane, along with two Chamber of Commerce representatives, Durham and David Compton, are on the board. Also represented are the communities of Greenville, Union City, Ansonia, New Madison, Versailles and Arcanum.
“The seven new faces have really helped to energize the CIC, and the addition of a workforce seat addresses a needed formerly missing component to our efforts,” Salek said. “We have also added some structure to the CIC meetings with each village, the city, the chamber, and workforce giving updates at the meetings.”
This is so that one “hand” of the county knows what the other “hands” are doing, he added.
This sharing and collaborating will help our overall efforts,” Salek said.
The Executive CIC board is composed of Phil Garbig, president, Jim Poeppelman, vice president, Dave Keiser, secretary, Randy Gump, treasurer, and Terry Haworth, commissioners representative.
The other board members are: Mike Bowers, Layth Scantland, Curt Garrison, Bill Bruggeman and Tom Welbaum.

Bob Robinson is the retired editor of The Daily Advocate, Greenville, Ohio. If you wish to receive notification of his comments, opinions and reports when they are posted, send your email address to: Feel free to express your views.

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