Di­rec­tor touts eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment

The Colonial - - FRONT PAGE - By Dan Clark


The di­rec­tor of the Mont­gomery County Com­merce Depart­ment told the county plan­ning com­mis­sion Feb. 12 he hopes to help bring skills and coun­sel­ing to 1,146 un­em­ployed people in the county that will lead them on a path to gain­ful em­ploy­ment.

Di­rec­tor Brain Regli said he be­lieves his team of 50 em­ploy­ees can make that hap­pen, adding that the com­merce depart­ment has two trans­ac­tions that mat­ter: people get­ting jobs and com­pa­nies get­ting fi­nanc­ing to hire people who need jobs.

“Ul­ti­mately all of our met­rics and ev­ery­thing we’re go­ing to talk about comes down to those two points,” he said. “Our goal is to com­bine la­bor, ed­u­ca­tion and capi­tol in new and unique ways.”

Ac­cord­ing to Regli, Mont­gomery County has an un­em­ploy­ment rate of 6.8 per­cent. He said the chal­lenge in push­ing that num­ber down is that the people who are un­em­ployed now are no longer the ca­su­al­ties of mas­sive lay­offs.

“The high like­li­hood of these people, based on the sta­tis­tics we see, will find jobs in the next six to 12 months,” Regli said.

He said the ma­jor­ity of un­em­ployed people have some kind of bar­rier that keeps them from find­ing a steady job.

“They may be sin­gle moth­ers; they may be in­di­vid­u­als whose chil­dren have dis­abil­i­ties; they may have dis­abil­i­ties them­selves. These are the people we want to make pro­duc­tive mem­bers of so­ci­ety be­cause ul­ti­mately if they are pro­duc­tive and they’re pay­ing taxes and the businesses are us­ing their pro­duc­tiv­ity, our county im­proves,” Regli said.

Regli told mem­bers of the plan­ning com­mis­sion that the depart­ment of com­merce has a va­ri­ety of func­tions to help em­ploy­ers meet ap­pli­cants.

“We have a group of people who do noth­ing but talk to com­pa­nies ev­ery day and pro­vide re­cruit­ment ser­vices to them,” Regli said.

The depart­ment will help re­duce the cost of hir­ing for com­pa­nies in Mont­gomery County, he said.

“How much money do you spend when you’re try­ing to hire a new per­son?” he asked. “At a min­i­mum you’re spend­ing at least $750 to put an ad on Monster, you’ve got your HR per­son, you got in­ter­views.”

Regli said com­pa­nies in Mont­gomery County can call the depart­ment of com­merce for no charge, and com­pa­nies can have coun­selors show them re­sumes for any­body who matches up to the skill sets the com­pany is look­ing for. He said the depart­ment has math and cog­ni­tive abil­ity scores on record for people who have sub­mit­ted their re­sumes.

“We can tell you all of this in­for­ma­tion so you can make a rea­son­able de­ci­sion as to whether or not you even want to in­ter­view this per­son,” Regli said.

He said all in­dus­tries are wel­come to go to him and ask for as­sis­tance free of charge.

“This is the start­ing point,” he said.

He said the mem­bers of the plan­ning com­mis­sion are help­ing to cre­ate jobs by ap­prov­ing cer­tain zon­ing changes and mak­ing an in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture.

His hope, he said, is to have con­trac­tors come to the plan­ning com­mis­sion and ask about good ways to hire in the county if they need to. Then they can di­rect any em­ploy­ers to Regli.

More in­for­ma­tion on the depart­ment of com­merce can be found at www.mont­copa.org.

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