Regional Economic Development Inc. Welcomes New Board Member Matt Ida

The Board of Bourbon County Regional Economic Development Inc. recently added a new member: Matt Ida, president of Extrusions, Inc. in Fort Scott.

According to a press release from REDI, the mission of the organization is as follows:  They ” are committed to uniting community voices, forging strategic partnerships, and securing pivotal grants. From fostering business growth and tourism to championing development initiatives, we are the nexus of vibrant community transformation. Here, you’ll find the resources, leadership, and opportunities essential for a prosperous and resilient future.”

Ida joins the following members of the board:

  • Mark McCoy – chairman of the board
  • Misty Adams – secretary – Fulton
  • Payton Coyan -vice president
  • Bryan Holt – treasurer
  • Tim Van Hoecke – City of Fort Scott Commission
  • Clifton Beth – Bourbon County Commission
  • David Stewart – USD 234
  • Vance Eden – USD 235

“Since our inception, we’ve achieved remarkable milestones,” according to the press release, including:

  • “Partnered with Legacy Health Care to present $34,000 to Bourbon County Emergency Medical Service for the purchase of a Lucas device and a new ventilator.
  • Awarded funds for community projects, such as Kansas Rocks, Bourbon County Fair, Gunn Park bike trails, and ball field renovations in Bronson.
  • Secured grants for Bourbon County EMS for equipment, the Fort Scott Fire Department for a new All Terrain Vehicle, and the City of Fort Scott for automated external defibrillators and storm sirens.
  • Announced $800 Million in solar development.
  • Secured funding for the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry Mural
  • Successfully recruited Kansas Renewal Institute.
  • Announced Project Fort Scott with the potential to bring in $114.3 Million in development.
  • Facilitated the creation of studies that included retail, housing, labor, health care, business environment, and many others. These studies create the bedrock of data that is essential in recruiting and attracting new business and development.
Hosted events for community and business development such as:
  • Wichita State University Center for Economic Development and Bureau of Research for a community outlook and economic forecast event.
  •  Held the inaugural rural workforce summit in Fort Scott, which brought professionals from all across the state to hear from seven industry-leading and nationally known economic experts.
  •  Co-hosted the Bourbon County Job Fair to assist the displaced workers from both Valu Merchandisers Company and the Timken Company as well as anyone looking for career opportunities.
  • County-wide strategic planning and community visioning session
  • Held ongoing meetings with both housing and childcare representatives along with professionals who specialize in those fields.”

According to the press release, looking ahead, the group is  focused on:

  • “Developing business community data.
  • Conducting annual business retention and expansion surveys.
  • Providing technical assistance to existing businesses.
  • Collaborating with Fort Scott Community College on technical training.
  • Organizing seminars and training for local businesses.
  • Exploring opportunities with the Department of Commerce.
  • Recommending training and education for start-ups.
  • Providing resources to entrepreneurs.
  • Facilitating attraction of new healthcare, housing, and business development projects.”

The REDI office is now located at 401 Woodland Hills Blvd., downstairs, just south of the stairwell and elevators.

Bourbon County Regional Economic Development Inc. has a new office in the lower level at 401 Woodland Hills Bvld. The old Mercy Building.

To reach the REDI  team call the following numbers:

  • Rob Harrington – Executive Director: 620-215-0144
  • Tayton Majors – Business Retention and Community Initiatives Manager: 620-215-0821
  • Lauren Engstrom – Executive Assistant and Marketing Coordinator: 620-215-3546
Rob Harrington. Submitted photo.

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