CHEROKEE COUNTY, KS.--- Cherokee County's Economic Development Committee is preparing for a productive new year. The committee just formed six months ago and they have a busy agenda planned for this year. At the very top of their agenda is the unification of the county. Committee leaders say each region of Cherokee needs to be connected for development and further advancement.
"Now that we're in the new year, we're ready to start meeting with them to find out how things are going and what kind of challenges they're facing. If there are ways that we can be of assistance to them, and just kind of get a gauge for what's happening with each of them," said Janet Miller, Economic Development Director.
The committee also plans to focus on strengthening tourism opportunities within the county. Many people are familiar with Route 66 and Big Brutus, but the county has even more to offer.
"In addition to that, we have a lot of hunting, fishing, wildlife-type tourism that's very popular in the county and we want to promote that," said Trish Carroll, Economic Committee Chairwoman.
The economic development director says her team is also working to strengthen the workforce by introducing the Certified Work Ready Program.
"To demonstrate to site selectors and business and industry that are looking to locate in the area. We have the ability through act to be able to validate the skills of our workforce," said Carroll.
The program consists of a test, which measures the skill set of a work force. Once it's clear how many qualified workers are in the county, that information will be marketed to businesses looking to locate in Cherokee.
"I think that project is going to be a tremendous way for us to measure and work on improving the quality of our workforce, which will be tremendous help as we look to maybe try and attract some businesses to the area," said Miller.
Tonight the economic development committee is meeting to discuss these plans for the new year and solidify a budget. Committee leaders are expecting to see many positive changes this year.
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