By REBECCA HAZEN
The Industrial Development Authority discussed at length the ongoing workforce problem, jobs that companies haven’t been able to fill, at the Monday, July 21 meeting.
Mike Pfunder, President of Trenton Pressing, attended the meeting and spoke in favor of having an employment recruitment center based in Trenton.
A potential employment recruitment center would serve as a “one stop” employment office that would draw upon people in Dade County and neighboring communities in Alabama.
“Sixty percent of our workers drive to Tennessee to work,” IDA member Evan Stone said. “We can offer them employment right here in Dade and they wouldn’t have to fight the traffic, but we need to publicize available jobs.”
It was noted that, in addition to the 60 percent of the workforce that commutes to Tennessee, there are high school and college graduates from the region that need to be enticed to work right here in Trenton and Dade County.
The recruitment center could possibly be undertaken by the Alliance for Dade, which could manage both in-person inquiries and inquiries through social media and website portals.
IDA Director William Back will have discussions in the future with members of the Alliance for Dade and others to formalize a proposal.
Also during the meeting, the IDA discussed air conditioning repairs in the CHI Memorial building. It was noted at last month’s meeting that there were temporary rented air conditioners in place.
The IDA received bids from only one of four contractors (Tri-State Electric, Reeves Heat and Air, Jolly Heating and Air, and W.J. O’Neil). The IDA accepted O’Neil’s bid of $17,600 to replace the front heating and air unit, which covers roughly 80 percent of the building.
IDA members discussed where meetings should be held in the future, and decided to continue meeting at the Dade County Public Library until further notice.
The IDA entered into a short executive session to discuss a possible sale of a tract within the industrial park, but no action was taken afterward.
The next IDA meeting will be Aug. 16.