Editor’s Note: “The Economic Development Side” originally appears in the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce’s weekly member e-newsletter. It is written by Rhonda Dishner, the Economic Development Alliance’s executive assistant.
An inhouse office project to purge some old paper files recently became an exercise in remembering the past. And brought the realization that some things haven’t changed — unfortunately.
Take for instance the contents of one file cabinet. An entire drawer was stuffed with information about workforce development, training and education programs either proposed, planned or implemented here from about 1995 through around the year 2000. To make room for more current files, these old ones really needed to go.
The neatly tabbed folders held reams of documents about scores of “important” meetings to address the pressing need for a skilled labor force for “the future” (which is now, by the way). Accompanying the invitation memos were lists of the officials, educators, industry executives and business leaders who were being invited to attend discussions about skills that appeared to the lacking locally.
There were a lot of meetings.
And interspersed with the meeting memos were invitations to be a part of focus groups, summits, roundtables, partnerships, committees, task forces, collaboratives, teams, alliances and initiatives, all focused on positive change in workforce development to improve the economy.
Staff members of the Alliance were participants in a majority of these efforts because, even then, it was recognized that education was a key to growth of the local economy and job…
click here to read more.