Sabetha Economic Development Commission
Submitted by Melissa Detweiler
On Tuesday, Nov. 7, the Sabetha Economic Development Commission (SEDC) hosted 31 business and community leaders at the first annual Business Update Luncheon. The meeting was held at the Glacial Hills Business Resource Center (former Cobblestone building). SEDC president Kyle Allen welcomed guests and introduced fellow board members.
Allen said in his address, “SEDC is still new, and we’ve been taking these past several months to gain as much knowledge as possible. We want to open the lines of communication between SEDC and the business community.”
In an effort to better serve its members, SEDC has recently launched a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/sabethaedc and created an email address email@example.com. All are encouraged to utilize these new avenues to reach the commission to update SEDC about ideas for bettering the business environment in Sabetha.
Lyle Peterson, business and community development representative for the Kansas Department of Commerce, was the guest speaker. Peterson showed data and charts depicting the unemployment rates and median wages across the state. He explained that business expansion can be difficult in Nemaha and Brown counties because of the very low unemployment rates. When corporations look to expand, they often choose locations where there are more people available to employ (i.e. people actively looking for jobs).
“The key,” Peterson said, “is to maintain contact with the young people of your community while they are away at college or their first jobs. Convince them that their hometown is where they ultimately want to return when they are ready to put down roots.”
“This means that it’s more important than ever to continue investing into our community to create a place that people want to return to,” said Melissa Detweiler, SEDC secretary.
Continuing the conversation about “return migration,” Leslie Scoby of the Greater Sabetha Community Foundation explained the details of their “Youth Outreach and Community Connection” program, where foundation members take time to connect with local Sabetha alumni at their various college campuses. The goal of the program is to mentor college students and young people about career opportunities in the area.
“Sometimes it’s as simple as taking them out for coffee or a quick meal, just to let them know that we care about how they’re doing and want to help them reach their goals,” Scoby said.
The meeting closed with open discussion about ways that SEDC could continue assisting with business needs in Sabetha.
Several suggestions were made, including one by Daniel Nussbaum, of the newly constructed N&N Storage on east Main Street, requesting an updated zoning map be available to developers. He said that it was a challenge to get information about available property for development and current regulations when they were looking for a spot to build.
Additionally, Daniel Coughlin of Coughlin Law spoke about the possibility of short-term usage of office space at the Glacial Hills Resource Center for family and friends who may be coming to visit during the holidays.
SEDC invites all interested individuals to contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook at facebook.com/sabethaedc.com, or regular mail at PO Box 187, Sabetha, KS 66534, with any questions or concerns they have, including details about becoming an SEDC member.
The mission of the Sabetha Economic Development Commission is to support business and industrial development in Sabetha. The group strives to create and maintain a strong economic development culture, promoting a thriving and prosperous community.