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Heath: EDC will work on distributing job info
10,103 people in city, county commute
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
The Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. is working to collect and distribute information about available or soon-to-be-available jobs and the skills needed to fill them.
Mark Heath, president and CEO of the EDC, told the Henry County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that a total of approximately 300 jobs either are or soon will be available at a number of companies.
He said the jobs primarily are in health or related fields and also at Commonwealth Laminating, Drake Extrusion and others.
“There’s really not a lack of jobs” in the area, Heath said. The issue is more of matching up positions with applicants who have the required skills and/or training needed for a particular job.
In compiling job information, the EDC hopes to target some of the 10,103 people who leave Henry County and Martinsville daily to commute to jobs elsewhere, Heath said later Tuesday. That 2010 figure represents just more than one-third of the local work force. Conversely, 9,547 people commute into the area, EDC figures show.
“We’ve identified 200 to 300 jobs that are available ... if they want to stay home,” Heath said of commuters leaving the area.
He gave the board a graph that illustrated commuting patterns. The graph showed that 2,623 people under age 30 travel out of the area to work, compared to 2,150 coming into the area for work.
In the age 30 to 54 group. 5,713 travel outside the area and 5,364 travel in, while 1,830 of the 55 and over group commute outside the area and 2,043 come into Henry County and Martinsville to work.
A graph titled “Commuting Patterns by Wages” showed that 2,864 commuters going out of the area earn less than $15,000 annually, compared to the 2,787 commuting to the area at that pay level.
The graph also showed that 4,864 people traveling out of the area earn $15,000 to $40,000 annually, compared to the 4,670 coming into the area at that pay level.
Only 2,438 of those commuting out of the area earn more than $40,000 annually, compared to the 2,100 coming into the area at that pay level.
The work force in Henry County and Martinsville includes roughly 30,000 people, Heath said, and he noted that the graph illustrated “that people will drive for a really good job.”
Heath said that currently, the EDC is working with a total of 20 projects, including six at the inquiry stage (not visited the area), and 14 active prospects (have visited the area).
Also at their afternoon meeting Tuesday, the supervisors:
• Awarded a $28,922 contract to Trane Inc. of Roanoke for preventive maintenance on HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems at various county buildings.
• Accepted and appropriated $20,175 from the Virginia Department of Fire Programs “Aid to Localities” fund. The funds must be used to pay for training, build training centers and buy firefighting equipment and/or protective clothing.
The funds are equally divided among the eight volunteer fire departments, with each to receive about $2,522.
• Awarded a $43,140 contract to Pro Forma Total Print Solutions of High Point, N.C., for printing and postage associated with the county’s personal property, real estate and other mailings.
The Treasurer’s Office and the Commissioner of the Revenue both use Pro Forma Total Print Solutions for printing the county’s forms for personal property, real estate and decal bills.
• Met in closed session to discuss appointees to the Roanoke River Basin Association, and consult with the county attorney on pending legal matters, the acquisition/disposal of real estate and as-yet unannounced industries.
Deputy County Administrator Tim Hall said the only action taken in closed session was the reappointment of Mike Ward to a one-year term on the Roanoke River Basin Association. The term will end Aug. 31, 2013.