Knox-Haskell Rural Leadership Program Opens Enrollment

By Jimi Coplen

The Knox-Haskell Rural Leadership Program is gearing up for its fifth year! This 8- month leadership series will be packed with outstanding speakers, tours, workshops, networking and much more. The Development Corporation of Haskell (DCOH) and the Knox County Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Service are sponsoring the Knox-Haskell Rural Leadership Program.

Each class will include curriculum elements such as communication, conflict management, dealing with difficult people/situations, diversity, leadership styles, customer service and team building to name just a few. In addition, there will be local tours of businesses, museums, and other places that make each county unique.

This class will also teach you the inter-workings of city, county and state governments, school boards, economic development and more. These tours will help participants learn more about their community and the region.

“This program is excellent for people who are new to the community or have recently returned to the community. Also, for anyone wanting to get involved in the community, this is a great opportunity,” said Jimi Coplen, DCOH Executive Director.

The leadership series will be open to 20 people. Those participating will attend an orientation on October 5, 2018. Monthly sessions will be held on the first Friday of each month from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., starting October and going through May 2019 in Knox and Haskell County. The group will take a trip to Austin in February 2019. And, each group will launch a community project upon completion of the training in May.

The program costs $275 and may be paid by the employer or by individuals. Each participant will receive 4.8 CEUs from Vernon College. This fee includes all travel, food, a shirt, the overnight trip to Austin and all supplies. Applications are available to Knox County residents at the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Service office in the Knox County Courthouse. For Haskell County residents, applications can be picked up at the DCOH office located at 24 Ave. D or by emailing dcoh@haskelltexasusa.com  The application deadline is September 15, 2018, but sooner is better because space is limited.

For more information call the DCOH at 940.864.3424 or Knox County at 940.459.2651.

Download Application Here: Leadership Application

Haskell Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center Update

By Mary Jane Buerkle, IOM, Vice President of the Board of Directors

Welcome to summer! These past few weeks have been unbearably hot, but we are grateful for the rain we have received this week! We hope to get timely precipitation throughout the rest of the growing season so as to ensure the best potential for our crops.

As the annual Texas Sales Tax Holiday approaches (August 10-12), during which most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks sold for less than $100 will be tax-free, we want to reflect upon what makes our community strong – our businesses. We know how easy it is to click-click-click and make purchases online or leave Haskell to shop in bigger cities, but we want to encourage everyone to stay and shop in Haskell as much as possible. We are fortunate to have a thriving business community with so much to offer! Please keep Haskell merchants in mind when you’re making your purchasing decisions – it’s vital that we support each other!

Speaking of our thriving business community, we’re proud to welcome a new member to the Haskell Chamber and congratulate a member business on their ownership change! The Chamber hosted ribbon cuttings for Kaleidoscope to celebrate their new owners, and at Texas Star Antiques, a brand-new business, both of which are located on the square. It is great to see people believing in Haskell as they launch their businesses, and we certainly wish them the best!

We have several activities coming up for which to prepare. We’ll have our semi-annual City Wide Garage Sale in October, and we’re planning to do another “Sip, Shop and Stroll” during the holiday season. We also already are making preparations for our Christmas Parade – we now have less than five months until Christmas! As warm as it is now, we’ll soon be trading that for cozy blankets, pumpkins, fall leaves and eventually (we hope!) a little snow!

As always, we thank you for your support of the Haskell Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center. We encourage you to stop by the Chamber and visit with our manager, Amanda Hernandez, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the office on the east side of the square or call her at (940) 864-2477.

 

 

 

DCOH News & Updates

By Jimi Coplen

KTAB on the Road was a great success on Tuesday, July 10th. The DCOH, Chamber of Commerce and Keep Haskell Beautiful were all represented. We even scored a live interview. This event was great publicity for our community. We greatly appreciate the local sponsors who made this possible. Those businesses were contacted by KTAB and they handled the entire event.

LaSalle Corrections will be reopening the Rolling Plains Detention Center in early September. We have been busy at the DCOH passing out applications and helping them get established. LaSalle has also been conducting interviews out of the DCOH office.   You will begin seeing ads in the newspaper and on local radio this week.  If you or anyone you know is interested in being a correctional officer, please stop by the office.

The DCOH fiscal year is October to September. That means we have begun working on our budget for the upcoming year. We hope with all the new development, our sales tax will continue to rise. We will be continuing programs like our Façade Improvement Grants, Knox-Haskell Rural Leadership Program, our business recruitment program, and general marketing for the city of Haskell. The DCOH is always here to help entrepreneurs start or expand a business.

I’ve also been working on a small grant application that would be used for community development projects in Haskell.  We will not know for several months if we won the award.

If you follow our Facebook page, Haskell Texas USA, you may have noticed a new hashtag: #workinhaskell. We have several businesses looking for employees. They may only need one or two people, but we try to list them all so people looking can find jobs.  As more people find work in Haskell, we hope they consider moving to Haskell and becoming members of our community.

Volunteers, the Heart of the Community

 

By Mary Jane Buerkle, IOM, Vice President of the Chamber’s Board of Directors

Hello from your Haskell Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center! Summer is upon us, and even though we don’t have any immediate upcoming events, we still have plenty to do.

We hope you’ve had the opportunity to meet our new Chamber Manager, Amanda Hernandez. She has done an amazing job of representing our members and developing key relationships within the community in the short time she’s been with us. Amanda and board member Christina Isbell attended a “Chamber Best Practices” seminar a couple of weeks ago in Abilene with the Texas Midwest Community Network. They gathered a ton of great ideas, and we’ll be implementing as many of those as we can.

However, our board and staff cannot take on all these projects alone. In addition to a renewed focus on our membership, we’re going to work to build volunteer committees for events and initiatives. An organization is nothing without volunteers who share a passion for their community. Volunteering with the Chamber allows you the opportunity to network with others and tell them about your business and have a lot of fun doing it! Plus, you get to give back to Haskell and the surrounding area while gaining valuable experience and building not only your connection base but your resume. Volunteering also can pave the way for leadership development.

The bottom line is – we need you to help Haskell prosper! If you’re interested in volunteering with a Chamber event or initiative, or if you have any questions about the Chamber or becoming a member, please call Amanda at 940-864-2477.

Helping Employers and Employees

By Jimi Coplen, DCOH Executive Director

One of the many hats we wear at the Development Corporation of Haskell (DCOH) is helping our employers find good, qualified employees.

Many times employers will let us know they are looking, but will not advertise it publically. Often times we meet a person with a specific skill set and are able to pair him or her with the right employer.  We help both employers and employees find a good match so please let us know if you are a job seeker or a company looking for employees.

Right now, LaSalle Corrections is seeking employees to reopen the Rolling Plains Detention Center.  If you are looking for employment with good wages and insurance, applications can be picked up at the DCOH office. A background check will have to be passed to obtain employment. The office is located on the east side of the square, 24 Ave D.

We are blessed to have a new company/business coming to town, but we also don’t want to see our current employers lose employees.  If you are currently employed at a local business, please don’t leave that job without weighing all your options. Please talk with your employer before jumping ship. The grass is not always greener on the other side and your boss would appreciate that conversation.

If you are moving to the community for employment, we can also help you navigate the lay of the land. We can put you in contact with our utility companies, real estate companies, get you school information and much more.  The Chamber of Commerce is also located next door to the DCOH so between the two of us, we are sure to be a great resource for newcomers. Also, be sure and visit www.haskelltexasusa.com/edc for additional resources. The DCOH office number is 940-864-3424 and we look forward to seeing how we can help you.

Advantages of Chamber Membership

 

By Mary Jane Buerkle, IOM, Vice President of the Chamber’s Board of Directors

It’s been a very busy June and first and foremost, we want to thank everyone who had a hand in this year’s Wild Horse Prairie Days! We had a successful BBQ Cookoff and Cornhole Tournament for the Chamber, and we commend the City of Haskell and their staff for their efforts in implementing new events during the week. It was great to see so much activity happening in our community.

This month, we are renewing our focus on our membership. Our new Chamber Manager, Amanda Sosa, may be knocking on your door just to say hello, collect feedback, or even ask you to serve on a committee. Our board believes that collectively, businesses can gain much more from their membership by being involved with the Chamber beyond simply paying dues, and we look forward to creating those opportunities.

There are many advantages to being and/or becoming a member of the Haskell Chamber of Commerce.

Referrals: When someone calls the Haskell Chamber of Commerce, members are referred first. In our brochure, Chamber members are specially noted.

Visibility: You’re listed in our online business directory. When someone is new to town, or visiting, often the Chamber of Commerce website is one of the first they seek.

Business Credibility: Statistics show that consumers are more likely to think more favorably of and/or patronize a business that is a member of their local Chamber of Commerce.

Unique Marketing and Networking Opportunities: Being a member of the Chamber allows you to be a part of premier events and programs, which gives you the opportunity to network with other members and community leaders while promoting your business.

Business Advocacy: Your chamber of commerce is your local voice for business, ensuring that you have an advocate at the local, state, and national level. We can collaborate with other chambers of commerce across the state and nation to be even more effective on issues that matter to you and your business.

Community Support: Being a member of the Haskell Chamber of Commerce shows that you want to be a part of progress in Haskell and the surrounding areas. The more support we have, the more effective we all can be, both as an organization and as individual businesses.

To our current members – please know that we appreciate you and your support of the Chamber! If you have any questions about the Chamber or becoming a member, please call Amanda at 940-864-2477.