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JDA discusses retention

By Staff | Sep 12, 2014

The Rugby Job Development Authority met in regular session Wednesday.

The board discussed marketing efforts for the Chalmers Addition housing project. JDA interim executive director SyAnn Graber said about $7,400 of the $8,000 budgeted for 2014 advertising has been used. Graber said $3,5000 from a MAGIC fund grant is available too.

Shelley Block, executive director of the Rugby Area Chamber of Commerce, met with the board to discuss cooperating to improve job retention efforts. Block presented a questionnaire she plans to bring to businesses. She said businesses are inquiring often about what they can do to attract and keep employees.

JDA?President Dave Cichos suggested Block look at a similar questionnaire done four years ago for comparison. Block plans to address the JDA?at its October meeting with findings.

Board member Tom Graner asked if there are state programs to utilize for attracting skilled labor.

“Rugby Manufacturing has trained its employees on welding,” Block said. “We need to look at grants and if we can help businesses with training. People may look at jobs and say I don’t have skills for that. How can we help?”

Graber said she is working with TrainND, a workforce training system, established by the state legislature in 1999.

Graner suggested reaching out to area natives, who moved away and might consider settling down in their hometown.

Board member Tanner Johnson asked Block if she’s a member of the Greater North Dakota Chamber. She said no, but later said she will look into joining the group.

Chalmers sale discussed

The board briefly discussed the sale of Chalmers lots to a company, KTMF.

Rugby City Council appointee to the board Joel Berg asked who KTMF is. A profile of the entity is not available online and Graber said she is not at liberty to comment further on the company.

Graner requested the JDA?continue to work on visibility of Chalmers lots with signage saying if a lot is sold and spray-painted numbers identifying lots.

Graber said a couple people each week are coming to the office about Chalmers lots and more are calling to inquire. Board member Craig Wollenburg asked for an update on soil conditions at Chalmers because storm sewer construction is pending. Mayor Arland Geiszler said a significant dry period is needed to place the balance of the storm sewer system. Geiszler and Johnson said increasing numbers of people have been driving through the addition and checking out lots on weekends.

The board did not have enough members present for a quorom and could not approve minutes from the previous month or the treasurer’s report.

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