Officials optimistic about Vermillion’s economic future

Officials optimistic about Vermillion's economic future Mayor Roger Kozak listens to comments at a community meeting held Tuesday afternoon in the Vermillion Public Library. Attending the meeting were officials from Job Service, Southeast Job Link, the One Stop Career Center, the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce, the Vermillion Development Company, and staff from the offices of the governor and the state's Congressional delegation. by David Lias Local, state and federal officials came away from a Tuesday discussion meeting held at the Vermillion Public Library with a greater sense of optimism about the economic future of the Vermillion community.

On the heels of the announcement of closing Gateway's facility here next month and the loss of 350 jobs has come interest from a number of other prospective employers wanting to learn more about what the city can offer in terms of potential employees and building sites.

"I think considering the situation that we have here, we have been able to still let the world know that we have a lot of good things going on here," Vermillion Mayor Roger Kozak said.

Officials from Job Service, Southeast Job Link, the One Stop Career Center, the Ver-

million Area Chamber of

Commerce, the Vermillion Development Company, and staff from the offices of the governor and the state's Congressional delegation were present at the meeting.

"We've got to pay attention � in the short term we could get hurt here � but in the long term I think we're going to be stronger for it because of our collective efforts," Kozak said.

"The fact that those things are happening definitely points out how people have been working on these things," said Curt Schempp, president of the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. "This has just started all of a sudden. This has been ongoing for the last seven or eight years, and we're starting to reap the benefits."

Schempp said he is confident that, despite the pending loss of Gateway jobs, new employment will soon be created in Vermillion.

Kozak said efforts that are already in progress to conduct a labor and housing analysis in Vermillion will be accelerated.

"Out of that study will be determined what will be the next investment that should be made in the community to help strengthen our economic environment," he said. "Do we need, for example, a spec building? Do we need to establish a revolving loan fund? If it would be along those lines, there would be additional help from the federal government in helping us establish those goals."

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