Man, have I been keeping busy, but in a good way. Honestly, there is so much going on in Bates County right now and I wish I could tell you all about it. As I always say though, there is a lot of discretion that comes with my job, and until the right time, I cannot talk about. What I think is important right now is to start filling you in on my day-to-day work so you can see exactly what I do behind the scenes.
Everybody knows my schedule and knows that I generally try to be in the correct city on their given day. I have really enjoyed this part of my job because it gives me the opportunity to be part of the office and keep in touch with what is going on around the county. What I have discovered though, is that things tend to come up (like a meeting) and so I generally will not spend a whole day in one location. For example, on Tuesdays I always plan to be in Rich Hill, but this week I had a meeting about Work Ready Communities in Butler so I was there all morning. This is where my Friday “float day” comes in because I then go make up some of the time that I lose throughout the week in the cities. It is important to me to be a part of the communities that I work for and so I try my best to keep to my schedule.
More specifically, there was a lot happening in the month of February. I started the month by writing a scholarship to the Missouri Economic Development Council (MEDC) that would assist with funding so that I can attend the Heartland Economic Development Course. This course is the first of a five year process so that I can become a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD). I found out a few weeks ago that I did receive that scholarship and therefore I get to go to Heartland in April. This is such a great opportunity for me and I cannot wait.
In the middle of February I attended the MEDC Winter Conference in Jefferson City. This was my first trip to the Capitol since moving here and it really is beautiful! It was just a 2 day conference about legislative updates and changes in the past year. Being from outside the state and since the legislative session has started it was a very educational few days for me. I have now been to 2 of these MEDC conferences and both have been well worth my time for the education and networking alone.
One item I have been working really hard on is an update to the Butler Subdivision Regulations and I finally was able to present it to the Butler Planning Commission in February. Right now the whole Commission has a copy of the update I wrote and we will be meeting this month to do any edits and hopefully finish it so that I can take it before the Butler City Council.
Those are what I believe are the major items from my work in February. I can say in the past month or two I have really started to get settled into my job and I love the environment around me. I have nonstop support from everybody and I have even had multiple people reach out to me. Time spent either in meetings or on the phone with people that are curious about my position and have questions about their businesses is time well spent to me. This past month I have been lucky enough to sit down with business owners to discuss their business plans and I have gotten to talk to businesses who are thinking about locating in Bates County. Sometimes it is not even that involved, people just want to sit down to let me know who they are, and that is great too. February really was a great month for me and I feel like Bates County is taking very positive steps forward.
In the next few months I want to start focusing more on the businesses within Bates County. There are so many opportunities out there, like becoming a Work Ready Community and holding seminars that focus on the needs of the businesses. To do this I first need to get to know the businesses and I will be doing that one by one, in person. I want to hear from all of you and in return I want to be able to help you and show you what I have been working on. This is a very necessary step so that I can determine how to move forward from here.
So, that is kind of what I have been doing and what I plan to focus on in the upcoming months. I cannot believe that as of March 16 I have been working as the Bates County Economic Developer for 6 months. My next blog will be a review of my first 6 months on the job and my goals for the next 6 months. If you have any suggestions how to improve this blog or the Facebook page, or if you have anything specific you would like me to discuss, please contact me!