Duvall, Boyd make trip to D.C.
BAKERSVILLE – The Mitchell County Economic Development Commission Board of Directors met this past Friday and received an update on a recent trip to Washington, D.C., approved a budget proposal, discussed developing a program similar to Burke County’s Work in Burke and received a report from EDC Director Mickey Duvall.
Duvall and EDC board member and Mayland Community College President John Boyd visited Washington, D.C., earlier this month and met with U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry and Rep. Mark Meadows about the submission of the Power Grant application and local opportunity zones.
Boyd said he is optimistic about the power grant.
“We think we have a pretty strong grant,” he said. “I thought we had good meetings. It was a whirlwind.”
Duvall said meeting with Meadows and McHenry should pay off for the EDC.
There’s nothing like a face-to-face meeting,” Duvall said.
The approved EDC budget proposal asks the county commissioners for $180,000 out of the article 44 sales tax fund. The budget also calls for $48,000 of county funds that would go directly to the Visitor’s Center.
EDC board member and Mitchell County Chamber Executive Director Patti Jensen said Work in Burke, which Burke County uses to help fill skilled labor positions, would work well in Mitchell County.
“Our local industries are struggling to fill positions,” Jensen said. “Work in Burke is a great model.”
The Work in Burke website allows students to click what they like to do and connects them with a page showing what skills they need for those jobs and where they can obtain said skills.
Burke’s workforce development starts with middle and high school students. Jensen added a similar local program could work smoothly alongside Mayland.
“I feel like it’s desperately needed in Mitchell County,” Jensen said.
The rest of the board was optimistic about the program and Jensen said she will continue to look into bringing a similar program to the area.
“It’s worth looking at,” said EDC board chair and county commissioner Keith Holtsclaw. “We have a lot of well-paying jobs available in our area.”
During his report, Duvall said the EDC’s Project Glass Top is progressing well and a new project dubbed Project Rosebud is now moving forward as well.
“We’ve done everything we can do to this point on Glass Top,” Duvall said. “Project Rosebud is a large project. You’ll be hearing more about it as time goes on.”