Monday, August 31, 2009

July unemployment rates

Once again Carroll County has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state. Carroll's July unemployment rate was 4.0% compared to Iowa's unemployement rate of 6.5% and a U.S .unemployment rate of 9.4%.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Whiterock Conservancy Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Khrushchev Visit

I was honored to attend a luncheon for more than 100 invited guests served at the Roswell and Elizabeth Garst Farmstead near Coon Rapids Saturday. The occasion was the 50th anniversary of Soviet Premier Nakita Khrushchev's visit to Iowa, whose cooperation reinvented Soviet agriculture and produced one of the few thaws in the Cold War.

Thirty Russian officials and businessmen, along with members of the Garst family and guests were treated to a menu that replicated a lunch served during Khrushchev's visit in September, 1959. The menu included barbeque ribs, fried chicken, ham, corn casserole and slaw. A delicisous apple pie dessert topped off the meal. Elizabeth Garst was emcee of a short program of speakers who commented on the lasting effects of the 1959 visit.
Honored guest Sergei Khrushchev, son of Nikita, was a popular figure at the luncheon, signing autographs for those in attendance. Many events took place in Coon Rapids for the anniversary, including a dedication of the Garst Farm to the Register of National Historic Places, a Farm Progress Show, parade and street dance. The event was extremely well organized by the Garst family and Whiterock Conservancy staff.

Sergei Khrushchev, son of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, signs an autograph for 10-year old Hannah Sackett. "I love history and this is the best thing ever," said Hannah.

The delegation of Russian officials and businessmen sat for this photo with the Garst family. In assembling the subjects for the photo, I overheard one photographer say to the other, "It's like herding cats!", to which the another photographer, speaking in a thick Russian accent said, "It's like herding mulit-lingual cats."

Members of the Russian delegation at a luncheon that replicated a meal during Nakita Khrushchev's to the Garst Farmstead in 1959.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Marketlink to add 30 Jobs in Carroll

Marketlink, Inc. will open a new state-of-the-art outbound call center in Carroll in mid-October. The new call center will initially have a staff of more than 30 full-time employees, the majority being full-time professional telephone sales representatives who will learn approximately $9.50 per hour or more plus benefits, according to Kourtney Keough, company president.

“We are extremely excited about becoming part of the Carroll community,” Keough said.
“The Chamber of Commerce and Carroll Area Development Corporation have been terrific
to work with, and the community’s support has been outstanding.” Hiring for the phone representative positions will begin shortly and interested persons can apply now at the Carroll Workforce Center or send a resume to The call center will be located at 18657 Highway 71 North.

“Opening our 6th call center in the Midwest will help us meet our future growth projections
and expanding clients’ needs,” said Bob Beaman, Senior Vice President of Operations. “We
look forward to utilizing the great workforce in the Carroll area.”

Marketlink is a leading provider of outsourced teleservices solutions. Founded in 1992 and
headquartered in Des Moines, IA., Marketlink offers telemarketing solutions to clients in the
cable television, telecom, financial services, agriculture, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing
industries. The Carroll call center will specialize in telephone-based sales for the cable industry, servicing clients such as HBO, Comcast, Cox, Charter and Showtime.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Coping With and Managing Conflict" Workshop

Join Chamber Exec. Director Jim Gossett as he presents "Coping With and Managing Conflict", a three-hour interactive workshop that will show participants how to recognize and resolve conflict in personal and professional situations. The Workshop will be held Wednesday, September 2, 2009 from 9:00 A.M. - noon, in the St. Clair Room at St. Anthony Regional Hospital Education Center. In this fast-paced workshop, participants will learn how to recognize what conflict is, how to identify the various types of conflict personalities and learn strategies for managing conflict. The cost is $25 per person for Chamber members and $45 per person for non-members. Get a registration form here by clicking on "Coping With and Managing Conflict" listed under Seminars and Workshops.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Progress Celebration

Join the fun and festivities Saturday at the Depot
Free Live Entertainment
5:30 - 11:30 PM
Full Blown Woodies
Ferd the Snurd
Dude Mathies & Last of the Full Grown Men

Time Flies

It's hard to believe two years ago today the Chamber Board and many volunteers dropped what they were doing and moved the Chamber and CADC offices from the temporary location in the former Wittrock Motors building to the renovated Depot. It sure doesn't seem like we've been in the Depot that long.

Pictured is former Chamber President and DMACC Provost Steve Schulz and Chamber Member Pat Soppe, Soppe Chiropractic, who helped with the move that day, along with about twenty other volunteers. It took just shy of two hours to complete the move, which the Chamber staff had organized very well. So well in fact that just four days later the Chamber was able to hold the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new office, provide tours for more than a thousand visitors and hold the largest Progress Celebration to date. Quite an accomplishment!

Since that time, hundreds of meetings have been held here to plan and carry out Chamber and community activities and initiatives. Not only are we able to a better job for Chamber members from here, but visitors who come to the Chamber office to learn more about the community receive the first impression that residents want them to get.

None of this would have been possible without the foresight of the Depot Centre, Ltd., an organization that for nearly two decades has been dedicated to renovating the depot and making it come alive with activity to promote the community. They raised money, found grants and put alot of sweat equity in a facility that Carroll can be proud of.

Stop in sometime soon and enjoy the product of a true community effort.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CADC Organizes Sen. Grassley's Ambassadors Tour

Carroll Area Development Corporation was proud to help Senator Charles Grassley and his staff organize bringing diplomats from 55 countries to experience Carroll County's hospitality as they learned about Carroll County's presence in the global market place.

Overnight housing was arranged in private homes for the diplomats. The hosts and diplomats met at Santa Maria Winery where they enjoyed a reception, short program and meal. Special thanks goes out to the sponsors: Gold Sponsors-Carroll County State Bank, Iowa Soybean Association and West Central Cooperative; Silver Sponsors-Dow AgroSciences/Renze Seeds, Star Destinations/Windstar Lines, POET Bio-refining and Devansoy; Bronze Sponsors-Commercial Savings Bank, Daily Times Herald, Future Health Software, Farner-Bocken Co, Lidderdale Country Store, Santa Maria Vineyard & Winery, St. Anthony Regional Hospital and Art & Naomi Neu.

The steering committee consisting of Art Neu, Trish Roberts and Neil Trobak did a great job.

Today the group toured Goodrich Engine Components and West Central Cooperative. They will spend the rest of the trip touring Iowa and conclude with a stop at the State Fair. Thank you Senator Grassley for giving Carroll County an opportunity to shine.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Great Fun at the Ag Golf Outing!

Friday August 14th was a great day for golf, food, fun and prizes at the Carroll Muni. Thank you to our many sponsors for making this outing possible. First place in the four flights were: American Home Shield, Iowa Corn Processors #2, Iowa Corn Processors #1 and Farm Credit Services of America #3.
In the photo on the left, Don Venner golfing on the Koster Grain Team is contemplating his next shot.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chart of the Week

Where Western Iowa Job Seekers look for Work

Want ads and display ads are still the most used way for job seekers to find the employment opportunity they are looking for, according to Western Iowa Advantage's , "Workforce Needs Assessment". Released today by Iowa Workforce Development, the report illustrates the demand for workers and the skills required in the workplace. The chart shown above (click here or on the chart to enlarge) depicts the most used media for those searching for a job. This is helpful to employers who want to reach the most potential employees. Click here to view the entire report on CADC's website.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Carroll to Host IHSBCA All-Star Series

Carroll, Iowa will be the site of the 33rd Annual Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Series, August 6-9, 2009. Sixty-four of Iowa’s best graduated high school senior baseball players will converge on Merchants Park in Carroll for the All-Star Series.
A local committee made up of association members and high school baseball boosters organized the local effort to make the 2009 All-Star Games a memorable experience for players, coaches and fans.

“The All-Star Series provides a great opportunity for these young men to develop new friendships with players they have often competed against throughout their high school careers. The overall experience of this event is something they will always remember,” said John Waddle, Head Coach at Coon Rapids-Bayard and President-Elect of Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association.
Thursday, August 9:
6:00 p.m. Large Schools East vs. Small Schools West
8:00 p.m. Small Schools East vs. Large Schools West
Friday, August 10:
6:00 p.m. Small Schools East vs. Small Schools West
8:00 p.m. Large Schools East vs. Large Schools West
Saturday, August 11:
11:00 a.m. Small Schools East vs. Large Schools East
1:00 p.m. Small Schools West vs. Large Schools West
Sunday, August 9:
10:00 a.m. Consolation Game
12:00 p.m. Championship Game (two teams with best over-all record)
Admission for all games is $5.00. Come join the fun!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chart of the Week

Iowa State University's Retail Trade Analysis Program for Carroll County offers an enormous amount of information comparing Carroll County to state averages and the other 98 counties in the state. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Iowa Department of Revenue are used annually to create this report.
The chart at the right depicts the trade classifcations assigned each county (click to enlarge).
An interesting bit of information is found by looking at the combined population of the various classifications:
Carroll County is in group "C - Less Urban-Small Trade Center". This group has nearly half the counties in Iowa (45), but only 22% of the state's population, while 10 metropolitan counties have about half of the population.
Carroll County compares favorably to its 45 peer counties in nearly every category: per capita income, population change, median daytime population change, per capita retail sales growth an sales growth increase. View the full report here.