Highland EDA Seeking Two New Members

The Highland County Economic Development Authority currently has two open seats to fill.  The EDA’s mission is to promote sustainable economic development, while preserving rural heritage and natural beauty, support existing businesses, promote new investment and ignite entrepreneurship. Betty Mitchell, has been involved with the organization since it was formed in 2006.  She is now the Economic Development Officer that represents the EDA.  She explains what the EDA is looking for in new members.

“They certainly need to have an interest in the community and in seeing it grow and prosper and I think that would probably be true for most people who live in the county,” says Mitchell.  “If they have business experience that’s certainly good, because they can identify with what people go through trying to make a living and growing their businesses in the community.   We have a strategic plan that was formed back in 2015 and we’re going to be revisiting that and updating it, so if anybody has a planning interest, that would be wonderful.”

One of the open seats is a full four-year term, which goes through June 30, 2025.  The other is a partial term, which goes through June 30, 2023.   EDA members cannot be an employee of Highland County and they need to reside in Highland County or an adjoining locality.   The time commitment varies.

“I would say at a minimum, we’re talking two to three hours a month,” says Mitchell.  “We have a monthly meeting and getting ready for that and attending it would probably be about three hours a month.  That’s kind of what some people do, others get more involved with special projects, that we may have from time to time, and if that’s the case or if they’re taking those on or doing research for them, they may spend a lot more hours than that.”

EDA meetings will continue to be offered virtually, even after all the pandemic restrictions are lifted, so members will have the option to attend virtually.

“So, like lots of county governments during the pandemic we started having our meetings on Zoom and we continue to do that so people have the opportunity to attend virtually and that has certainly, I think, freed up travel time,” says Mitchell.  “People in Highland to get to meetings in Monterey sometimes travel 30 or 40 minutes one way.  It’s been nice during the winter and during the pandemic that we haven’t had to worry about that and can continue to meet.”

The Highland EDA meets the third Monday of each month at 7pm.

“One of the efforts that the EDA has been involved in, in the past five or six years, has really been looking to see if we can’t do more to attract new residents to the community and we’d love to see more young people moving here,” says Mitchell.  “So, if there’s somebody out listening to this story who falls in that younger demographic, we would absolutely love to hear from you.  We think it’s very important to have all ages represented.  At this point, we only have one woman on the EDA, so we don’t want to get too unbalanced as far as gender representation.  So, we would love to have people let us know if they are interested and we can talk one on one if they have more questions about the time involvement or what they may bring to the table.”

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.

Current Weather