On July 1, 2020, NWCCOG EDD received a $400,000 EDA CARES Act grant for regional COVID recovery and resiliency building. $150,000 of this ($30,000 per county) has been granted directly to each of our five counties for each to work on their own unique projects for recovery and resiliency efforts. The projects each county is working on is as follows:
Eagle County: Eagle County Vista Project
The Eagle County Vista Project is a community vision and strategy project that invites community members to help identify solutions to challenges created by COVID-19, and design a future for Eagle County with health, equity, and resilience in mind. To date, the county has made presentations to local community partners, recruited for members of the Stewardship Team, developed an engagement strategy toolkit, worked on an integration strategy with the Eagle County Comprehensive Plan, and coordinated resources to support outreach into the Latinx community.
Grand County: Economic Workflow and Resiliency Effort
Grand County will use the funds to build the capacity of their Work in Grand initiative, a partnership of regional business and industry leaders working together to help tackle one of the greatest economic hurdles to economic sustainability and resiliency: access to a reliable talent supply chain. This funding will be used to enhance the WIG platform established before the pandemic hit by assisting the longevity of the local workforce find equitable jobs, housing, and other resources in the county and will help connect businesses to employees. Over the last six months, WIG has developed an Industry Lead Partnership in the area of Tourism and Hospitality, and has convened this group monthly to discuss talent supply needs and solutions.
Jackson County: Establishment of a Public Health Department
Jackson County was lacking a public health department in the years leading up to the pandemic. Once COVID hit, it was glaringly obvious they needed one. Jackson County has hired a public health nurse, and has been able to offer testing and vaccinations. The county public health board, made up of the 3 commissioners, are meeting monthly to provide updates on current COVID-19 case numbers, vaccination efforts and numbers, current dial status and what that means for Jackson County, happenings at the school related to health, the future of our new public health program, and visions moving forward. A collaborative relationship has been formed between the Board of Public Health and its advisors, which has allowed for effective policy implementation for our community.
Pitkin County: Visitor Communication Plan for the Winter
Pitkin County will use the funds to build a collective, comprehensive visitor and guest communication plan to ensure a successful, safe and open winter. The county has formed a working group comprised of the Aspen Chamber, Basalt Chamber, GoSnowmass, Pitkin County Public Health, Aspen Skiing Company, and the City of Aspen to develop and implement this communications plan recognizing that the collective community’s path for an economic recovery and resiliency relies on ensuring that the county and all the communities within are safe to visit, and businesses are able to remain open all year round. The communications plan has included the development of the Healthy Winters Campaign which included six posters as marketing and messaging across the entire community, to visitors, tourism as well as at the ski area.
Summit County: Toolkit for Economic Recovery and Resiliency
Summit County will use the funds for a variety of tools including business training programs and support workshops, talent development projects, COVID economic impact studies, messaging, and cooperative efforts with Summit County and other organizations to coordinate economic recovery and resiliency efforts into the future. Cooperation between Summit County, the Summit Chamber, Summit Prosperity Initiative, and the business and non-profit communities, has been instrumental as we navigated the changes to the COVID dial and the related restrictions. These groups have been working together to communicate the changes to the various business sectors and visitors and to develop strategies for the various business sectors to open back up for business.