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Upper Arkansas Sector Partnership Launches Regional Job Board and Career Center

Upskilling a Top Priority for Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership 

CAÑON CITY, Colo., July 1, 2021 (Newswire) – Fremont Economic Development Corporation, a 501c6 private not-for-profit focused on economic development in Fremont County and central Colorado, today announced the creation of an online job board and career center to connect local employers with prospective employees. The project was launched as part of the Upper Arkansas Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership, also known as “TOR,” which consists of Fremont, Custer, Lake, and Chaffee Counties.

 

“By offering businesses the ability to post and promote hyperlocal job openings within the communities they serve, we hope to create a pipeline of perspective employees who will have access to free upskilling and reskilling resources such as Career Readiness Bootcamp, Customer Service & Sales certification and more,” said Kevin Mahmalji, engagement coordinator for the sector partnership. “This will ensure that those entering the workforce for the first time, re-entering the workforce, or simply changing careers will have the skills they need to succeed within the region’s tourism, retail or food service industries.”

 

Explore the job board here: https://jobs.fremontedc.com/

 

Established in 2005 by the State of Colorado, Sector Partnerships facilitate collaboration between business leaders from the same industry within a shared labor market region. In return, business leaders and other stakeholders work with academia, workforce development, economic development, and community-based organizations to empower our workforce while addressing other competitiveness needs of each sector.

 

“As some businesses within the region continue to struggle with staffing issues, there’s an obvious need for workforce development,” Rob Brown, Fremont Economic Development Corporation (FEDC), Executive Director, said. “The small businesses in our region rely on employees to perform a wide variety of tasks. Cross-training and upskilling are very valuable both to the employees and the companies they support.”

 

The Upper Arkansas Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership, in collaboration with Pueblo Community College, and Colorado Workforce Centers across the region, have partnered with the Colorado Workforce Development Council to promote resources and facilitate training for individuals currently employed in, or recently displaced from the tourism and retail industries. The partners are concentrating on up-skilling through the Lives Empowered Training Academy – which has been made possible by a $4.1 million grant from Walmart to the Colorado Workforce Development Council

 

The Upper Arkansas Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership will utilize a variety of cloud-based tools including Zoom, Basecamp, and Slack – a communication tool used by more than 700,000 organizations around the globe – to promote the job board and career center across the four-county region.

 

About Fremont Economic Development Corporation (FEDC): Fremont Economic Development Corporation is a professional economic development organization focused directly on business attraction, retention and expansion in Fremont County, Colorado. With an established and growing network of business, academic and governmental partners, we directly assist companies with competitive locations or expansion projects by connecting them with the right people, the appropriate resources and the most meaningful and relevant information. 

 

FEDC directly manages or assists in supporting multiple sector partnerships across the Upper Arkansas region of Colorado, serving Fremont, Custer, Chaffee, and Lake Counties. www.fremontedc.com

 

For media inquiries, please contact Kevin Mahmalji, [email protected] 

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The Region 13 Retail and Tourism Sector Details Some of the Many Resources Available for Upskilling

As small businesses operating within the tourism and retail sectors ramp-up to accommodate the droves of tourists who descend upon the Arkansas River Valley for rafting, hiking, and other outdoor activities the region is known for, Region 13 Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership is working to empower our local workforce through reskilling and upskilling. 

 

Take a few minutes to review the resources below and register for the FREE certifications to take the first step toward your next career! 

 

Career Bootcamp – Learn the fundamentals for all professions. From learning about communication skills and organizational planning to using core technology tools and understanding professional etiquette, the Career Readiness Bootcamp program provides the skills you’ll need to stand out in any job.

 

Hospitality – Show your Colorado pride by demonstrating your knowledge about our breathtaking state and enrich each of your interactions with visitors this summer by becoming certified through the Colorado Concierge Program – an online hospitality training.

 

RetailRetail Industry Fundamentals is a 10-lesson program from the National Retail Federation Foundation’s RISE Up initiative that allows you to explore the business of retail, customer service, sales, and merchandising.

 

Customer Service – Those who earn their Customer Service & Sales certification will master their ability to engage customers effectively, close sales, assess customer needs, and demonstrate other vital customer service and sales skills. 

 

Business of Retail – This course covers best practices for planning your career path and advancing your professional career.The Business of Retail: Operations & Profit program will teach you about revenue generation, marketing, store operations, and workplace safety to ensure you have the tools you’ll need to be successful. 

 

TOR Slack Channel – Every Wednesday between 8:00 – 9:00AM, Region 13 Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership hosts a free-flowing discussion about workforce empowerment, the need to attract and retain local talent, and the importance of upskilling/reskilling to accelerate economic recovery. Create a FREE Slack account to join the conversation!

 

WorkLife Partnership – Founded in 2009, WorkLife Partnership is a nonprofit organization that’s focused on creating economic equity and thriving workplaces across the country. WorkLife deploys its Resource Navigator benefit inside of businesses to provide personalized, immediate, one-on-one assistance when workers need it most.

 

To facilitate trainings, certifications and committee communication across Fremont, Custer, Lake and Chaffee Counties, Region 13 Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership utilizes a variety of cloud-based tools including Zoom, Basecamp, and Slack – a communication tool used by more than 700,000 organizations around the globe. Through these courses participants will also gain a better understanding of how to build a stand out resume, learn best practices for interviewing and exploring career paths, and more! 

 

About Fremont Economic Development Corporation (FEDC): Fremont Economic Development Corporation is a professional economic development organization focused directly on business attraction, retention and expansion in Fremont County, Colorado. With an established and growing network of business, academic and governmental partners, we directly assist business leaders by connecting them with the right people, the appropriate resources and the most meaningful and relevant information available.

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How SIEM Behavioral Analytics Can Protect Organizations from Cyberattacks

Prior to joining Exabeam, I was a private contractor, attached to a special operations team, doing surveillance and providing behavioral analytics to the team. Delivering analytics via drone surveillance did not share much in common with modern-day security information and event management (SIEM) platforms or the level of analytics they provide. At that time, SIEMs generally gave static-based rules and were incapable of providing the level of flexibility and context as I would have, doing my surveillance.

So, what do I mean by that? In the surveillance world, I was assigned an asset (which is a person, building, vehicle, or geolocation), and my responsibility was to monitor everything associated with that asset, to determine normal behavior or when things deviated from normal patterns. Some examples are, how many people does person X associate with each day, how many different compounds does person X visit each day, what clothing do they wear, what vehicle do they drive, what paths do they walk, what are their driving patterns, etc.

If any one of these things deviated outside of normal, it wasn’t cause for alarm unless that one thing was so significant, it warranted escalation to the team. Things that warrant escalation and heightened observation levels were mass deviations from several key aspects of an asset, and they were never expected to be in any recognizable order. However, if an asset was seen driving a different vehicle, or following different walking paths, and visiting new compounds, or dressing differently and behaving in any other possible options, we would direct resources towards this asset.

The problem with non-linear behavior

In real world analytics like this, you don’t expect to see changes in behavior in any particular order, such as A happened, then B happened, then C – and if they didn’t happen in order, do not trigger an alarm or notification.

Unfortunately, this is exactly how most legacy SIEMs operate. Analysts are somehow expected to know the appropriate order of operations on how an operation will be compromised. This would be equivalent to me providing surveillance to the team but not making them aware of a potentially bad situation because a person’s behavior didn’t change in an exact, expected order.

Stitching together a timeline from non-linear events

SIEMs must evolve to provide baselines of all user and machine behavior and create profiles for an environment. Attacks can then be identified by anomalous behavior, regardless of the order in which it occurs. For example, if a profile deviated x amount from normal, it would trigger an alarm based on a risk threshold that a user defined.

Some SIEMs only create baselines around authentication data, which can leave gaps in the attack chain and leave an organization susceptible to threats that fly under the radar. Some solutions do baseline a wide range of fields to provide a holistic profile of “normal” across things like badge access, email activity, database activity, asset logon and access, account creation and management, user agent strings, web traffic and more. When a profile begins to deviate across these fields in any order, risk is applied to the session. Once enough risk has been applied, the user or asset will be flagged for the security team to investigate.

Importance of understanding nonlinear events in a military setting

During a given day, doing surveillance, I would be asked to create a timeline of a user’s activities. These timelines would be used to compare against previous activities to see if there was deviation from standard behavior. Telling someone that Asset A went into compound B at a specific time lacked context unless you knew the previous timelines of when Asset A typically went into compound B, so creating these timelines were crucial in providing context.

The same goes for creating timelines for users and machines in an organization. If User X logged onto the network at 3 a.m. and I was to trigger an alarm for this behavior, it would lack context unless I was able to show what time this user typically logs onto the network.

A typical SIEM alert would be laid out as such:

User X logged in after hours: Fire Alarm A

User X logged in after hours and hit a critical server: Fire Alarm B

User X logged in after hours and hit a critical server and created a new local account on the asset: Fire Alarm C

These have traditionally been the types of rules an analyst would have to create and predict the pattern of how they would be compromised.

With behavior analytics, the baselines would let us know if it is normal or not for that user to log in after hours, hit critical servers and create local accounts. And if the deviation from normal was great enough, it would trigger one alert for the analyst to investigate, not numerous ones that you have to try to piece together.

Also, with behavioral analytics, you can get away from time-consuming tasks such as maintaining lengthy whitelists for users that you would typically see doing these tasks. As they take new roles in the organization or leave the company, these lists need to be updated, but with behavioral analytics the data models will let you know when the operations being performed are normal or not.

This type and level of profile building is what was expected of me when I conducted surveillance as a contractor for our military units. This level of comprehensive intelligence should be what we expect from the SIEMs that are designed to protect our organizations. The level of detail, clarity, flexibility and insight regarding organizations’ users and machines can and should mimic the human intelligence provided by military contractors, keeping our companies and our customers safe from cyberattacks.

About Keith Buswell
Keith Buswell serves as a senior sales engineer at Exabeam and has been with the company since 2018. Prior to joining the technology sector, Keith worked in the Air Force and was attached to a special operations team, doing surveillance and providing behavioral analytics to the team.

This article was originally posted on October 15th, 2019, by Keith Buswell, and is reposted courtesy of Homeland Security Today.

 

Photo credit, https://unsplash.com/photos/Q44xwiDIcns

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SoCo Angels Launches to Support Southern Colorado Start-Up Ecosystem

Calling all entrepreneurs and accredited investors: The Southern Colorado start-up ecosystem is gaining momentum.

The Southern Colorado Angels Group (“SoCo Angels”) is a newly established network of accredited investors that make investments in early-stage technology companies.  The network was created by a group of experienced entrepreneurs, business professionals, and supporting organizations located in Southern Colorado.  The SoCo Angels are looking to foster and develop new businesses, new ideas, and new entrepreneurs located in Pueblo, Fremont, and El Paso Counties and the surrounding areas.

Entrepreneurship in Southern Colorado has a rich history that dates to the mid-1800s.  Notable entrepreneurs include Charles and William Bent, who built a trading post on the Santa Fe Trail in 1833, John Thatcher, who founded the First National Bank of Colorado in 1871, and John D. Rockefeller, who invested in the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company in 1903.  The SoCo Angels are looking to continue in this pioneering spirit by supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs.

The SoCo Angels will host a variety of events, including company pitch nights, local networking events, educational workshops, and will act as a feeder for locally run accelerators and incubator programs.  The group will assist early-stage companies by providing them access to information, advisors, and capital.  The club is open to accredited investors (that can be located anywhere) interested in meeting unique, early-stage investment opportunities.  The club has already hosted some great companies in 2021 including: ActiveArmour, Barn Owl Drone Services, MODL Outdoors, Laborjack, Bravrr, and F3tch.  

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or to inquire about getting involved as an entrepreneur or an investor by visiting the website or email listed below.

https://socoangels.com/

[email protected]

 

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/OlSGcrLSYkw

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BootStrapU Spring Accelerator Completes 7 Week Series at Emergent Campus

Starting on Tuesday, March 9th,  Southern Colorado Innovation Link (SCIL) and Fremont Economic Development Corporation, ran a 7 week Business Accelerator Boot Camp hosted at the Emergent Campus in Florence.

The planned outcomes focused on strategies for success in the participants’ business ventures.  This included a focus on strengths, customers, business fundamentals and networking.

Over 20 people participated in the Boot Camp, representing 7 businesses, Barn Owl Vision, Spile, Fire Age Design, Trustio, GuestNav, Vitalscape Design, SoCo Eats. Each session was kicked off by a notable entrepreneurial keynote, including 3 time TEDx speaker, Jason Sosa, CoinStar co-founder, Aaron Finch, and Cory Finney, Greater Colorado Venture Fund. The keynote recordings can be viewed on the FEDC TechSTART YouTube channel, here.

Starting and running a business is always a challenge in small town, rural America. Even more so in the Covid era. This Boot Camp was meant to help and provide strategies to meet some of those challenges.

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Retail Tourism Sector Partnership Launches Initiative to Support Talent Development Network

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Sector Partnership Launches Initiative to Support Talent Development Network

Talent Acquisition Through Upskilling a Top Priority for Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership 

 

Florence, Colorado, April 15, 2021: The Region 13 Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership (“TOR”), which is comprised of Fremont, Custer, Lake and Chaffee Counties, recently announced the expansion of engagement efforts to include Kevin Mahmalji of Two Rivers Consulting – to shore up support for initiatives aimed at talent acquisition, and retention through upskilling.

“As small businesses operating within the tourism and retail sectors ramp-up to accommodate the droves of tourists who annually descend upon the Arkansas River Valley for rafting, hiking and other outdoor activities the region is known for, Region 13 Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership will work to empower our local workforce through reskilling and upskilling,” said Brad Rowland, Fremont Economic Development Corporation (FEDC).

Established in 2005 by the State of Colorado, Sector Partnerships facilitate collaboration between business leaders from the same industry within a shared labor market region. In return, business leaders and other stakeholders work with education, workforce development, economic development, and community-based organizations to empower workforce and other competitiveness needs of their industry.

The Region 13 Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership, in collaboration with Pueblo Community College and Colorado Workforce Centers across the region, have partnered with the Colorado Workforce Development Council to promote resources and facilitate training for individuals currently employed in, or recently displaced from the tourism and retail industries to up-skill through the Lives Empowered Training Academy – which has been made possible by a $4.1 million grant from Walmart to the Colorado Workforce Development Council

“There’s no question the economic restrictions imposed during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented challenges for businesses that depend on the annual influx of outdoor enthusiasts and other tourists who flock to the area,” added Jeremy Boswell, Vice President of Park Operations, Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. “With a renewed focus on opening our economy and the easing of government mandated restrictions, I welcome the opportunity to work with businesses across Region 13 Tourism and Retail Sector to attract and develop the talent our industries need to thrive.”

The Region 13 Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership will utilize a variety of cloud based tools to facilitate committee communication across the rural, 4 county region, including Zoom, Basecamp, and Slack, a communication tool used by more than 700,000 organizations around the globe.

About Fremont Economic Development Corporation (FEDC): Fremont Economic Development Corporation is a professional economic development organization focused directly on business attraction, retention and expansion in Fremont County, Colorado. With an established and growing network of business, academic and governmental partners, we directly assist companies with competitive location or expansion projects by connecting them with the right people, the appropriate resources and the most meaningful and relevant information. 

FEDC’s TechSTART program is an award-winning tech sector coworking community, creating an innovation catalyst for rural Colorado. TechSTART facilitates the Upper Arkansas Technology Sector Partnership, working to develop a public and private sector tech ecosystem in Fremont, Custer, Chaffee, and Lake Counties. www.fremontedc.com

For press inquiries, please contact Diana Armstrong, [email protected]

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Emergent Campus Celebrates Its 100th Anniversary as a Hub of Education and Innovation

April 15th, 2021, marks the 100 year anniversary of the dedication of the historic Florence High School, located at 215 Maple Avenue, in Florence, Colorado.

When the Florence High School was constructed in 1921 it was the realization of a dream of a more modern Florence. Before the age of the internet, you had to physically “wow-impress” visitors with actual handsome-in-real-life buildings. Modern, attractive public buildings equaled a thriving successful city. Buildings were the physical representation of the hopes of the community, and the old High School was imbued with the dream of a common education and growing the success of each new generation. Citizens realized then that knowledge was crucial to a prosperous local economy. The Florence business community have always dreamed bigger than their little city and supported the construction of the beautiful high school, one of the very last Classical Era Progressive governmental buildings erected in Southern Colorado.

We were a little late to the game, but we arrived, nonetheless. By 1921 America was recovering from some difficult years, and the Arts and Crafts style had grown in popularity. Architecture moved in a new direction, but happily we were left with this gem of a school.  

Exactly 100 years later there is an economic and educational rebirth at the old Florence High School, and in many ways its foundations are the stately architecture of the school. The impressive schools of this era are in a sense, our American castles. As humans we flock to immense masonry buildings built with careful design and care. The Florence High School is a building you cannot help but be proud of. With its rebirth, a modern workforce can now work from home or anywhere, so where do they want to be? In cool historic buildings that have meaning, where they themselves are helping to create the new meaning of the building and community.

While the Florence High School was aspirational at the time it was built and was probably a little larger than we needed, it was truly on par with buildings of school districts in much larger cities. These American castles are expensive and difficult to maintain community icons. The cost of maintenance of upkeep for our old Florence High School resulted in its matriculation from education, but luckily, it fell into a new chapter of significance almost immediately. It is rare to repurpose such large buildings into anything at all in rural America, and most are bound for the dump despite best efforts of the community. So, to have local business leaders willing to take it on, leveraging the building and history into new jobs, ways of working, and success for local people, that is truly remarkable.

When citizens originally heard about the ownership change to the old campus, they were most worried something would happen to the gorgeous façade. To help protect the historic architecture, it is with great pride that the City Council recently voted to assist the Emergent Campus getting listed on the national Register of Historic Places. With these next steps the building will be protected as a historic landmark and continue to be a source of pride for all children who learned how to be better kids and citizens at that school. The listing will also help to make certain that state grants are available to assist the owners in maintaining the building as a center of education and commerce in Florence. We believe the work and investment on this project will create new meaning for an entirely different generation for the next 100 years.

Guest contributor, Wade Broadhead, is the Planning Director for the City of Florence, Colorado, and has been a National Alliance of Preservation Commission (NAPC), Preservation Trainer, since 2013.

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Star Wars Battlefront Podcast Rebranded to Expand Focus

5 years ago, in the cold of a Colorado November night, I started what was then called The Star Wars Battlefront Podcast. We covered everything that involved the video game series Star Wars Battlefront. After 200 episodes and over 250,000 downloads, it was time to freshen things up. So I began the process of rebranding.

In late April of 2020, support ended for the game I had covered for years, but it wasn’t the end for the podcast. I had built up a great community, with great connections and friends. I knew I wanted to continue producing content, but to do that, I needed to shift things around with the branding. 

I had experimented in the past with a spinoff podcast called Star Wars Uplink in 2017, but it didn’t hold up at the time. For one, the world of Star Wars gaming was only Battlefront. Electronic Arts, a large publisher in the gaming world, held an exclusivity license to produce Star Wars games until 2023 and released Star Wars games infrequently. Because of the lack of other Star Wars games around that time, there wasn’t a huge want or need for the show. People wanted to hear about Battlefront, and for that, they went to the main show: SWBP. 

But the branding of that name was strong and recognizable. In Walker Assault, the premiere game mode of Star Wars Battlefront (2015), your goal was to activate or deactivate uplink points, so the community was already comfortable with the phrase. I decided to build out the brand further, instead of calling it Star Wars Uplink, I wanted to build up a brand that can be expanded into something more than just Star Wars should the need arise. 

To mark the final episode of the Star Wars Battlefront Podcast, I produced a documentary telling the story of Star Wars Battlefront 2’s redemption from a controversial launch to one of the greatest Star Wars experiences made. On October 1st of 2020, I released the 200th episode of the Star Wars Battlefront Podcast and began the rebrand process for the podcast, twitter account, and YouTube channel. 

Since the rebrand we’ve actually grown, welcoming many new listeners, and followers. At the time of the rebrand we had just hit 250,000 downloads on just the audio offerings, and since the rebrand we’ve surpassed 300,000 downloads! Growing our YouTube channel to over 1,000 subscribers, the Twitter page to over 1,400, and developing our awesome community further. Now I run the podcast from the Emergent Campus, I record in my studio space, edit from my office and collaborate with people both virtually and in person from all over the world.

 

Sage Goodwin – Podcaster, Videographer, Graphic Designer

tyedyesheep.com

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Local Entrepreneur Expands “Backoffice as a Service” to Fuel Fremont County Business Growth and Strengthen Communities

Through her leadership role at Second-61, Amber and her team provide back office services including bookkeeping, tax preparation, payroll, and consulting, to over 35 local businesses, including construction companies, restaurants, e-commerce, merchandisers, franchises, services, vendors, manufacturing, churches, ministries, government, non-profits, real estate, and many others. Amber recently relocated her team to Emergent Campus, at the Historic Florence High School. To learn more, visit https://www.second-61.com/ and click “Get in Touch.”

For someone who loved oil painting and horticulture, Amber Conover never thought she’d be spending the last 24 years immersed in bookkeeping. Amber spent her teenage years in college studying horticulture and painting whenever possible. She enjoyed working hard and was a successful greenhouse manager. “Every time I had a job, I was offered a management position and the opportunity to take over the business. At the time I didn’t realize it was my aptitude for business principles, not just because I was a hard worker,” said Amber. “Although working hard never hurts.”  

After moving from Colorado’s front range to Fremont County, she quickly realized she would have greater opportunities by owning her own business, instead of working for someone else.  Amber then started a trim carpentry business for residential homes.  She really enjoyed the hands-on aspect of the work, but when the economy slowed down and she was offered a job at a tax and accounting office, she took it.  “There wasn’t much new construction going on and I was ready to start a family. Because of my history with bookkeeping and businesses management, it seemed like a good fit. Besides, being pregnant on a ladder with my nail gun in hand didn’t paint the best safety picture,” Amber quipped.

Amber continued to work at the accounting office for 15 years where she assisted with tax prep, bookkeeping, payroll, and audits for individuals, non-profit and for-profit businesses, as she continued running her own businesses.  

Being a business owner and working with other business owners, she encountered some of the primary areas where a business would struggle to stay afloat and keep their doors open. “Whether the economy is at a high or a low, one of the biggest challenges, is to understand where your cash flow is. You need to be able to project and budget a worst-case scenario, expected scenario, best case scenario, and be able to sleep at the end of the day. Having the upfront investment funds is key, but then you have to manage it well and determine where your profit leaks are, minimize those, and at the same time capitalize on your greatest profit margins.”  She believes that far too many business owners are just trying to keep their bills paid and hope they keep making sales and periodically check to see if there is still money in the bank account. This can make it very difficult to make key decisions when necessary for the health and prosperity of their business.

Some business owners opt to do their own bookkeeping but to the expense of their personal time as well as possible expense due to their lack of knowledge in accounting. Some might decide to hire someone in house to handle bookkeeping, but this can also create additional overhead costs, due to the additional employee salary, therefore making it cost prohibitive. Amber believes that outsourcing bookkeeping and back office services can be a very viable solution that makes sense for small business owners and free them up to do what they do best.  

When Amber became a tenant at FEDC TechSTART, she found herself working with a diverse group of entrepreneurs who were collaborative, and had a clear and strategic focus on revitalizing the local economy. She explains, “I had felt for far too long, we were becoming more globally minded economically and needed to bring it back to the heart and breath of the community, localizing it as much as possible and rebuilding our personal connections with one another.” She started working with Chris Koehn, founder of Second-61, who was also a tenant at TechSTART. The work she was doing for local businesses and non-profits paralleled the purpose of Second-61 and the ‘Rural Reboot’ project.  Amber responds, “My biggest desire as a bookkeeper is to see a business be successful, because when they are successful, we are all successful. The people they employ are my neighbors, they have families, and those jobs are important. We want to build up, train up, and equip our local business owners, which will make our community stronger, add value back in, and give people hope.”  

The recent challenge of COVID-19 has left scars on many in rural communities. There has been a tremendous shift in the economy, the lasting impact of which is undetermined and far reaching. While globalization and urbanization have driven the world’s economy for the last four decades, COVID-19 will quickly reverse that trend as people move to remote working and lesser populated areas. Some may think a world that is less global and urban will isolate people and create instabilities.  However, Amber believes that the opposite is true. This difficult challenge, which has created contractions in the urban market has offered a great opportunity to the rural market. She explains, “In the rural market, we still know who our neighbors are. Our kids play together, we see each other at the grocery store, we shop from each other’s stores and use each other’s services. We aren’t living on isolated islands; we are interconnected and that is the greatest advantage that we have.” It is Amber’s desire to see a community that is vested in each other and can continue doing the things they do best, which is serving one another at a fraction of the cost of the urban market. Instead of competing with a high cost of living, inflated overhead and operational expenses, the rural market and small business owner has the upper advantage. With greater flexibility and tenacity they are ready for the work at hand.  

Amber Conover recently moved her office to Emergent Campus at the Historic Florence High School with the rest of the Second-61 team. They have hired new employees and are growing.  She is excited to continue serving the local businesses and non-profits of Fremont County with bookkeeping and back office support. She is invested in the vision of revitalizing our rural economies and serving the needs that have risen from the evolving gaps from the instabilities of the urban market, globalization, and outsourcing overseas. Amber adds, “I would challenge all of us to step up to the plate and reclaim what has been lost along the way as we serve one another, and do it well.”

Florence’s Emergent Campus becomes a hub for business opportunities (Canon City Daily Record)
Member of President Trump’s cabinet visits Florence’s Emergent Campus (Canon City Daily Record)
We Need To Strengthen Rural America If We Want To Unify Our Country (Forbes)

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