How Businesses Prepare for the Busy Season
If ever there was a time for labor issues in the Colorado central Mountains to be front and center it’s the month of March as hundreds of thousands of spring break vacationers descend upon neighboring ski resort and Leadville Today. So, how do businesses attract and retain the workforce they need in an era of record-low unemployment rates? While the nearsighted view for many Leadville businesses is to simply get through the busy weeks ahead as best they can, knowing that you make money when you can around these parts.
But for those with a bit of far-sighted vision, there’s also some good news. So mark the calendar for Thursday, April 2 as the Vail Valley Partnership in cooperation with the Colorado Workforce Centers and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment host the Find/Keep Summit.
Business owners and anyone in charge of filling those jobs is invited to join businesses in Northwest Colorado’s mountain and resort communities to learn best and promising practices in the field of talent attraction and retention, hear area economic projections, and network with businesses from communities with similar economic drivers.
It’s an all-day conference from 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and will be held at nearby Silverthorne Pavilion over in Summit County. The cost is $25 which is worth the price to help resolve those job-fill issues which you may have thought was a phase and is now a full-on reality. Organizers promise a day of “a community conversation on workforce attraction and retention in Northwest Colorado. Businesses from across the region will talk about best practices and effective strategies for recruiting and retaining employees.”
So if you’ve ever wanted to know how Fritz Howard owner of Melanzana in Leadville gets and keeps his crew, he’ll be of the featured speakers in the afternoon session entitled, “Keep”: Employee Retention Strategies That Work. The entire line up looks informative so why not sign up today and know that you’ve put a solution into motion regarding what you’re going to do about the upcoming summer season!
Spring Break: Students Get a Reprieve
March is Spring break time and so it is for Leadville students as well. This week from March 9 – 13, Colorado Mountain College students in Leadville will be on break, returning to the classrooms on Monday, March 16. For students in the Lake County School District, spring break begins next week from March 16 – March 20, with class resuming on Monday, March 23. Enjoy your break!
Electrical Upgrade from Avon to Gilman
Holy Cross Energy is planning to upgrade the electrical lines from Avon to Gilman solving a redundancy issue in the local transmission circuit that according to US Forest Service documents would provide “enhanced reliability which would benefit public safety, local and regional economies, and national security.” While the estimated decision date is September 2020, the date to weigh in on the project will be next Thursday, March 12.
The Forest Service (USFS) is hosting a public open house to discuss the proposed Holy Cross Energy (HCE) Avon-to-Gilman 115kV Transmission Line project. The informational meeting will be held at the Holy Cross Ranger Station located at 24747 U.S. Hwy 24 in Minturn, Colorado on Thursday, March 12, 2020 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. USFS and HCE staff will be present to answer questions about the project.
The meeting is aimed at providing information and soliciting comments on HCE’s application to the USFS for a Special Use Authorization to construct, operate, and maintain a 115-kV electric transmission line that would provide circuit connectivity between the Avon and Gilman substations. The entire proposed line is 8.9 miles in length, however the route would cross approximately three miles of National Forest System (NFS) land. The proposed action includes construction of new power structures; right-of-way clearing and hazard tree removal; conductor stringing and splicing work; staging and access via vehicle, ATV, and helicopter; and minor maintenance and patrolling.
About three miles of the transmission line is anticipated to be buried underground, and the remainder of the line would be hung on overhead transmission structures. If approved, construction would take approximately eight months and occur during late spring through fall when weather conditions are favorable. The Special Use Authorization would also authorize the use of existing and new access roads for the associated construction and future maintenance activities.
Public input will assist the White River National Forest in preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project. The EA will include an analysis of the potential effects of issuing a Special Use Authorization to construct and operate the transmission line on NFS lands.
Acting Eagle-Holy Cross District Ranger, Adam Bianchi, stated, “The meeting will be an opportunity for interested members of the public to understand the proposal, our analysis process, and some general timelines. We are looking forward to answering questions and gathering feedback.”
Opportunities to Comment
Project information can be found on the WRNF website HERE. To subscribe to project updates, including receiving emails regarding upcoming opportunities to comment, CLICK HERE. The Forest is seeking input from interested members of the public. Public comments will assist the Forest in determining the scope of the analysis to be conducted and the range of alternative courses of action to be considered within the EA. Public comments are a key part of the review process as required by NEPA.
Written comments must be submitted via mail, fax, electronically, or in person (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays) to: Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor, c/o Matt Klein, Realty Specialist, White River National Forest, PO Box 190, Minturn, CO 81645; FAX (970) 827-9343. Comments may also be submitted online HERE. Persons commenting should include: 1) name, address, telephone number, and the organization represented, if any; 2) title of project for which the comment is being submitted (Holy Cross Energy Avon-to-Gilman Electric Transmission Line); and 3) specific facts and supporting reasons for the Responsible Official to consider. Additional information may be obtained from: Matt Klein, Realty Specialist for the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District, firstname.lastname@example.org or (970) 827-5182.