GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — There's all sorts of speculation about Greeley's latest problem.
Maybe it coincided with a massive oil and gas boom.
Maybe it has something to do with values or education or training.
Whatever it is, there are a lot of "Help Wanted" signs in and around Greeley and hiring managers are worried. "We are in a labor shortage," said Kevin Aten, chief human resources officer for the Greeley-Evans School District 6. "We're in direct competition for some entry-level jobs. It's here, it's Loveland, it's Fort Collins, northern Colorado, and our friends in Sterling say it's just spreading."
Workers of all levels and pay grades are at a premium in Greeley, from unskilled labor positions to the high paying energy industry jobs, even higher-level corporate positions.
Companies have raised pay, improved benefits and working conditions — they're even offering sign-on bonuses to attract and retain staff.
Companies are not only faced with a shrinking pool of applicants and higher wage expectations, but applicants with varied skill levels, commitment, and frankly, a less motivated work ethic.
Together they've created a growing concern about the future of the workforce in Weld.
"It's not an easy answer by any stretch of the imagination," said Cathy Schulte, senior vice president of Upstate Colorado Economic Development. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Griswold's Bitgood Road Bridge to officially reopen tomorrow
GRISWOLD - A ribbon cutting ceremony tomorrow will officially reopen the Bitgood Road bridge over H opeville Pond.The road has been closed since April as Hemlock Construction, the same company working on repairs to the bridge over Pachaug Pond on Route 165, carried out the project.Unlike the bridgework on Route 165, a state project, the Bitgood Road improvements were overseen by the town. Finance Director Erik Christensen said the project has cost $1.3 million to date, about 80 percent of which is covered by federal funds.
Rocky Hiil OK's plan for new intermediate school
ROCKY HILL — Town leaders have given their enthusiastic backing to a proposed grade 4 to 5 intermediate school that would be constructed along with a planned new elementary magnet aerospace academy. The town council approved a series of resolutions at a special meeting Monday that set in motion what educators say would be an unprecedented, collaborative project between the town, the Capitol Region Education Council and the State of Connecticut. The state would contribute up to 95 percent of the cost of the intermediate school and local residents would have access to the playing fields and facilities of both schools. In return, Rocky Hill would commit to a dramatic increase in Open Choice enrollment, a program established to reduce desegregation and racial isolation in Hartford by increasing minority enrollment in suburban districts.
"To me, this is truly a home run,'' council member Bill MacDonald said. "Imagine someone is going to build your house and charge only 5 percent of the cost. How would you say no?" CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Developers propose $20M sports complex in Berlin
ERLIN — A $20 million, 265,000-square-foot indoor sports complex has been proposed for 58-acre site off the southern end of Berlin Turnpike south of Meadow Lane, town officials said Thursday. The complex is proposed by Washington Management LLC of Hamden, which hopes to get financing and land-use approval by next summer so construction can start by fall 2015, project architect Tom Arcari said during an announcement at town hall. He said he hopes the facility can open in 2016.
The building will have two indoor mutipurpose fields for soccer, lacrosse, football, field hockey, rugby and baseball infields; three collegiate-size basektball courts, a running track, a climbing wall, a store, health and fitness center and a restaurant. The meeting to announce the project was attended by Mayor Rachel Rochette, Town Manager Denise McNair and Economic Development Director James Mahoney. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Local concern grows in Glastonbury about gas pipeline expansion, fracking waste
A proposed expansion of a gas pipeline that traverses Glastonbury has many concerned about the construction impact, as well as the fracking process from which the natural gas comes, and the potential for fracking wasted dumps becoming part of the Connecticut landscape.
The Algonquin natural gas pipeline runs from New Jersey to just north of Boston, and essentially bisects both Connecticut and the town of Glastonbury. The pipeline crosses underneath the Connecticut River from Rocky Hill near the intersection of Old Maid's Lane and Tryon Street.
Glastonbury resident Jennifer Siskind, a local coordinator with Food & Water Watch, lead a presentation at the Connecticut Audubon Society's Center at Glastonbury called "Impacts of Natural Gas Pipeline Expansions on Glastonbury and Beyond" on Nov. 19. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Proposed exit 33 in Stratford equals ghost town for Milford's Devon reidents
MILFORD >> A conceptual plan by the state Department of Transportation to relocate Exit 33 off Interstate 95 to alleviate congestion in Stratford has prompted small-business owners in the Devon section of Milford, and others, to launch a fight against the plan. The exit relocation concept was considered in 2006, but was stopped by protests from business owners and legislators on the Milford side of the Moses Wheeler Bridge, largely because the Devon section of the city depends on business of customers who drive through after coming off Exit 33. At a press conference Tuesday, environmental officials, business owners and politicians said they are calling upon the Board of Aldermen and state legislators to introduce legislation that would keep the project from happening.
Former Speaker of the House Jim Amann, also the former chairman of the Devon Revitalization Committee, said the exit relocation doesn’t make sense to Devon after 10 years of work to revitalize the area. He noted that when the Moses Wheeler Bridge was closed for construction years back, many great Devon businesses closed because the area became a ghost town.“Neither Devon, nor Milford — nor even Stratford — can afford the economic impact to our tax bases and the loss of revenue our businesses will face as a result of this redesign,” Amann said. Amann added that he hates to see one city “pitted against another.” CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Naugatuck merchants worried about impact of bridge construction project
NAUGATUCK -- Now that money has come in for Naugatuck to repair the Whittemore Bridge on Maple Street, the borough must devise a plan for construction. The more than $6.2 million worth of repairs will likely begin in the spring, and officials will soon begin planning traffic patterns during construction. At least a couple of downtown merchants are concerned about how the project, which will take two construction seasons to complete, will affect business. "We've always wondered whether it would be closed one way or whether it would be two-way during construction because it will impact our business," said Marco Nardelli, a co-owner of Nardelli's Grinder Shoppe on Maple Street, about 200 feet west of the bridge. "We would definitely prefer two-way traffic, otherwise it would cause a hardship for our business." Preliminary indications from the borough are that the bridge will be open one way only going eastbound -- from the center of the borough toward the highway and the east side. They have long said that would be the safest and most cost-effective process.Nardelli said if it needs to be one-way, he would prefer traffic to come westbound into the borough from the highway."We're there for the convenience of our customers and one way going eastbound is certainly not going to be convenient," he said, adding that the company's billboard ads on Route 8 say "easy on, easy off." Fire Chief Ken Hanks, who will have input on the decision, said he has spoken to Nardelli and Howie Rosenblatt, owner of Rosenblatt's Department Store, also on Maple Street. He said while he hears their concerns, the safest thing is for one-way traffic to go eastbound."We've had some preliminary planning done, but now that we have the money in, I'm sure we will discuss it more in the near future," Hanks said, adding that a temporary traffic light for emergency responders could be an alternative. Burgess Bob Neth, chairman of the Five Year Capital Committee that recommended funds for the project, said he has also heard from business owners and hopes to find a way that will satisfy everyone. He said officials plan to discuss this next week. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE