This is Economic Development Week, an annual event created by the International Economic Development Council to increase awareness of local efforts to promote economic vitality, highlight programs that create jobs, and celebrate entities that improve the quality of life in communities everywhere.
Which makes this the perfect week to note some important milestones being reached by northern Arizona businesses and organizations. In Flagstaff, this year is the 10th anniversary of two very popular businesses, Flagstaff Xtreme and Mother Road Brewing Co. It’s also the 20th anniversary of the latest iteration of The Orpheum as a entertainment venue.
In Winslow earlier this month, they celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Eagle’s “Take It Easy,” which not only introduced much of the world to California Rock, it also inspired the popular “Standin’ on the Corner” Park. Meanwhile, the Sedona Historical Society, which runs the popular Sedona Heritage Museum, will mark its 40th anniversary this weekend.
Finally, this year is the 95th anniversary of Route 66, the Mother Road that connects many of our northern Arizona communities.
Economic Development Week isn’t about just looking to past achievements, but also the programs that will ensure more economic growth in the future.
One exciting program that local businesses can take part of now is the Incumbent Workforce Training (IWT), a federally funded grant program that can reimburse your business for part of the cost of training existing employees.
The program is designed to help businesses identify skills gaps that occur as businesses innovate and evolve.
The grant program provides 50 – 90% financial reimbursement to employers who train members of their existing workforce. The reimbursement is up to $50,000 and the employee must be full-time with regular benefits and have passed the company probation period.
This program is a true win-win for both the employee and employer. Employees receive new skills and the opportunity of job growth in their current companies, while employers have the benefit of an employee that already knows their business but has more skills to assist in making the company more productive.
For more information, please call Coconino County Health and Human Services at 928.679.7400.
Meanwhile, whether you are an employer or an employee, with a company that’s just starting out or marking an important milestone, I wish you all a very happy Economic Development Week.
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