Annual Election Held at GGBA Meeting

Last Updated on Nov 2, 2017 at 4:21pm | Garrett County Economic Development

Article courtesy of NCWV Media - The Republican. Staff Writer: Brenda Ruggiero. Photo Credit: Brenda Ruggiero.
The annual election was held at the regular monthly meeting of the Greater Grantsville Business Association Oct. 25 at Penn Alps in Grantsville.
Officers for 2018 remained the same, with Leah Diehl as president, Regina Holiday as vice president, Cheryl Bender as treasurer and Emily Newman-Edwards as secretary.
Board members for 2018 are Leah Diehl, Regina Holliday, Cheryl Bender, Blake Walker, Paula Sheffield, April Hershberger, Emily Newman-Edwards, Mike McCloskey and Tracy Fratz.
Several ideas were presented for consideration, including holding a greater Grantsville area jobs fair to attract potential employees. Discussion was also held about raising the employee standard and possibly holding workshops/seminars for perspective employees that would teach them the basics of being a good employee (i.e. timeliness, no cell phones, etc.), similar to Garrett College’s Work Force Essentials program. The conversation expanded to include how to “groom” students to be good employees. There are reportedly some businesses already going into the schools to meet with students about future employment.
“We talk all the time about how poor the work force is here,” County Commissioner Paul Edwards said. “I’ll argue against that. I’ll tell you we’ve got probably the best workers in the state, and when you talk to people who are hiring — career people — they always talk about the work ethic in Garrett County and how good it is.”
It was also suggested that the Facade Grant could be expanded to be just an overall business-betterment grant.
Another idea was for an active shooter management/ALICE training workshop to be added as a workshop next year.
Mike Dreisbach and Jan Russell are reclaiming the old Deep Creek Lake Visitor’s Center building with the help of the Northern High School’s carpentry program. The visitor’s center will be moved to the Little Crossings campus, and will be geared toward promoting the National Road and Grantsville. GGBA businesses are welcome to put brochures out when it arrives.
Dreisbach spoke for Garrett Trails in noting that the Eastern Continental Divide Loop has already started through the area. The bike trail comes down the National Road, and, in the last three months, Byco Enterprises won a bid to build a stretch of it at Meadow Mountain.
“There are a lot of good things happening,” he said. “From a Garrett Trails standpoint, we’re working pretty hard.”
There was also some discussion of the possibility of creating a co-working space in Grantsville, to give access to printers and wi-fi and office space to do work in for private contractors, and also for those who are trying to start a business.
“This is a major trend in a lot of places right now,” said Regina Holliday.
Grantsville administrator Robin Jones gave an update on the town. Grantsville is eligible for a grant of upwards of $50,000 through the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Community Development Block Grant for a study about annexation and water line expansion to the Hilltop area. GGBA will facilitate the polling of businesses to determine interest when the time comes.
Paul Edwards mentioned that the county is pursuing a county performing arts center with the governor’s help. This is still in the very beginning stages.
“We’ve been trying to work with the governor to fulfill some requests,” he said. “With fracking, regardless of what side you were on, everybody knows that there was an opportunity to make some money here in the county, and that was taken away. Whether it’s good or bad is irrelevant. Knowing that, the governor reached out to Garrett and Allegany counties. He’s done a lot of work on the Eastern Shore, and now he’s focused a little bit on Western Maryland, and he asked us to come up with some things that we would like to try to accomplish here that he would like to help us out with.”
NeuBeam internet is continually expanding internet capabilities throughout the county.
In attendance at the meeting were Leah Diehl, Blake Walker and Paula Sheffield, First United Bank; Jan Russell, Mike Dreisbach and Emily Newman-Edwards, Fronterra Resources: Savage River Lodge, The Cornucopia Café and Grant’s Mercantile; Scott Sweitzer, MRS Physical Therapy; Chris Stoner, Somerset Trust; Ronda Johnson, JTF1; Robin Jones, town of Grantsville; Charles Wilt and Lisa Skipper, Mountain Laurel Medical Center; Brenda Ruggiero, The Garrett County Republican; Paul Edwards, county commissioner; Tim Bender, Byco; Andy Kolonoske, Mountain Postal; Regina Holliday, Salt and Pepper Studios, Home of the Walking Gallery; and Tim Duck, ServPro.