Highland EDA Seeking Two New Members

The Highland County Economic Development Authority is looking for new members to fill two open seats.  The EDA is working, through a number of programs, to develop new ways to grow the economy in Highland.

Betty Mitchell is the Economic Development Officer for the Highland EDA.

“We’d like to have people who have some sort of background in business, either having worked for a business that’s a small business in a rural community, or maybe owning a business,” says Mitchell.  “And, certainly, I think that if we’re going to work on attracting younger families, it would be great to have some younger members of the community get involved.”

As part of it’s work, the EDA offers Incentive Grants each year to support new and existing local businesses.  It is also working to expand broadband and cell coverage throughout the county and is working to get support for revitalization of The Highland Inn.  The EDA is also doing development work through a multi-year Rural Community Development Initiative Grant.

“One of the things that the EDA has been very involved with for the last couple years, with support from the Department of Housing and Community Development, is working with our partner organizations here in the county comprised of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, The Highland Center and the Highland Tourism Council, along with the EDA, to try to make sure that our efforts are moving toward a whole and that we can support businesses in a variety of ways,” says Mitchell.  “As we know, economic development is pretty incremental and small steps tend to add up and make big differences.  And so, looking at the strengths of all the organizations and ways that we can work together, this three-year process is turning us toward a definite emphasis on the realization that we need to try and attract younger families to the community. So, we’d love to have somebody join the EDA who’s interested in that aspect of community and economic development and join the team of vibrant volunteers that we already have on the EDA to further the work.”

The EDA meets the third Monday of each month at 7:30 at The Highland Center.  Members are expected to attend in person.  Mitchell says with some of the ongoing projects, some members may be putting in an extra five or six hours a month, but she says additional time depends on someone’s interest and availability of time.

The EDA application form can be found on the county website www.highlandcova.org, click on Economic Development Authority.   For more information, email highlandeda@htcnet.org

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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