EDA gives kudos for ‘Industry Day’
The Woodford County Economic Development Authority (EDA)’s monthly meeting Friday, March 24, featured few members but plenty of praise for the first Woodford County High School Industry Day. More than 130 students toured five area plants on Tuesday, March 21: NSG Pilkington, Yokohama, Ruggles Sign, Quad Graphics and OSRAM Sylvania. Each sub-group toured one in the morning and another in the afternoon, after a lunch at Versailles Baptist Church provided by More Than A Bakery, another plant that hasn’t opened yet. New EDA member Paul Schreffler took part in the morning presentation and tour at NSG Pilkington. “I think it’s really important to get awareness out there, even in younger grades, as to what the opportunities are. I think some of those kids were quite impressed and surprised at the level of technology that exists here in Versailles at those companies – the robotics and process control …” Schreffler said. “They were given a good idea of what the range of those occupations were, from management all the way through the operators, and the types of skills needed, and the fact that it’s a global marketplace.” Gene Hornback suggested that next year WCHS Industry Day involve students as young as eighth graders. “Some of these kids don’t even know what these industries are, who’s here and what’s available, so it just kind of opens their eyes – not only for the skill set and technology and stuff that’s needed for these jobs, but just the fact that these jobs are right here in the (Versailles) industrial park,” said William Downey. Vice-chair Mike Coleman, presiding for an ailing John Soper, said he hoped the EDA will help connect young Woodford County residents with the good-paying industrial jobs in their backyard. Budget With members Soper and Courtney Roberts absent and Ron Layman recently having stepped down, the EDA barely had a quorum Friday, but unanimously passed its proposed budget for fiscal 2018, which begins July 1. Members of the EDA are unpaid, though in a deal agreed to in January, Soper is paid a total of $5,721 per-month to provide economic development services to the county and two city governments. The budget projected a cash forward and year-end balance of $14,954.18. Income: • Woodford County: $5,250; • Versailles: $7,500; • Midway: $2,250; • Total: $15,000. Expenditures: • Accounting: $6,000; • Legal: $5,500; • Insurance/bonding: $1,500; • Miscellaneous: $500; • Business recruitment: $500; • Education/training: $1,000; • Total: $15,000. The sources of income must be approved by the three funding bodies – Woodford Fiscal Court and the city councils of Versailles and Midway. Coleman explained that the projected source of income was based on the percentages the three governments paid Soper.