Subscribe to Region 10

News

Region 10 and Partners Lighting Up Broadband in Delta and Montrose Counties

Region 10, partners light up broadband

Photo by Pat Sunderland Officials from the cities of Delta and Montrose, Delta and Montrose county commissioners, Delta County Economic Development and Delta-Montrose Electric Association grab onto a fiberoptic cable as Irv Halter, DOLA executive director

In a symbolic gesture, state, county and city officials gathered to light up the fiberoptic cable that will deliver high speed broadband to both Delta and Montrose.

Phase one construction, and the building of the fiberoptic network in those two cities, is complete following more than three years of planning, engineering and construction.

“Today marks the start of affordable broadband for our communities,” said Delta Mayor Ed Sisson. “This regional access point in Delta is the culmination of many years, long hours and organizations working together to make it happen.”

The carrier neutral location is housed in the city’s municipal light and power building. It serves the Delta County Library District and soon, the school district. From that location, internet service providers can deliver gigabit speeds to businesses and residents.

Michelle Haynes, executive director for Region 10 League of Economic Assistance and Planning, said it’s fitting the lighting ceremony was held at ML&P, which generated the electricity that moved the community forward in the ’30s and ’40s. “Now this is where we’re locating one of our regional hubs, which will take our community into the next step, into the next century, and help us move forward with economic development.”

The collaborative effort began in 2013 with a planning grant from the Department of Local Affairs. In 2015, DOLA made a $5.2 million investment in the design and construction of a middle-mile system for the Region 10 network. The project became a reality with buy-in from the cities of Delta and Montrose, Delta County and Delta-Montrose Electric Association. Additional funds were provided by El Pomar Foundation and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, in recognition of the economic impact mine closures held for Delta and Gunnison counties.

“Now with the work of DMEA, we’re looking at gigabit-level service to every home in the Delta-Montrose county area in the next five to six years,” Haynes said.

Delta County commissioner Doug Atchley said the county committed $750,000 in the belief broadband is essential to economic development not only in Delta County, but all of western Colorado. He thanked all the partners for their vision and the push to make the project a reality.

“There’s lots more to do, but congratulations!” said Irv Halter, executive director of the Department of Local Affairs. “I can’t wait to see what this will do for your community as you move forward.”

He commented on one individual who did not attend the lighting ceremony on July 24, but is committed to connectivity across the state — Governor John Hickenlooper.

Phase two of the project, which is currently underway, will extend that connectivity to communities throughout Delta, Montrose, Ouray, Gunnison, Hinsdale and San Miguel counties.

Local internet service providers (ISP’s) can leverage Region 10’s network to build strong business models to provide low-cost access for their customers. Region 10 explains gigabit broadband is the next-generation technology that enables the world of tomorrow, including telemedicine and telehealth, improved education and distance learning, more efficient and effective government, economic development and job creation, enhanced public safety, and smart grid and energy management systems.

Additionally, the network can be used by internet service providers, cellular companies, and phone and cable companies, to lower their costs and improve services.

In a press release issued last week, Region 10 broadband project director Chris Kennedy said, “Abundant, affordable, and reliable broadband services are no longer a luxury in rural areas, but are more like a utility like water or electricity. In terms of attracting and retaining businesses locally, we can now compete more effectively with other, larger urban areas.”

Region 10 Broadband in the News!

‘Middle mile’ fiber optics network up and running

A project to bring high-speed internet to select areas in Delta and Montrose counties started offering broadband services this week.

The Region 10 League for Economic Assistance and Planning said those services have been deployed in the cities of Delta and Montrose, said Region 10 Broadband Project Director Chris Kennedy.

New fiber optic lines installed in the two cities as part of a larger grant program to provide high-speed internet to much of the Delta-Montrose-Gunnison region are designed to fill “the middle mile” between the internet as a whole and direct delivery to homes and businesses, Kennedy said.

“Local last-mile providers have an option now to access more affordable broadband so they can build a business case to offer broadband services to smaller, rural communities,” he said. “That’s the idea. It’s an open-access broadband network.”

Those providers would pay Region 10 and its partners, the cities and counties of Delta and Montrose, for the right to use its lines, but because it is a public-private project conducted by a nonprofit group, they will get cheap rates, which they can then pass on to their customers, Kennedy said.

After more than three years of work, phase one of construction of a fiber optic network through the two cities is complete. Phase two of the project will be to extend fiber optics throughout the region, including to the rest of Delta and Montrose counties, as well as to Ouray, Gunnison, Hinsdale and San Miguel counties.

The new network is available to local service providers to offer lower-cost access for their customers, Kennedy said.

The network connects area schools, hospitals, libraries and city and county offices.

This project is being done in conjunction with a similar one being implemented by the Delta-Montrose Electric Association.

That project is attempting in its first phase to connect about 7,500 homes and businesses, focusing first on south Montrose, Paonia and Orchard City. Cedaredge also just recently joined the ranks of cities with fast internet, according to DMEA. Once completed, the project not only will augment the middle-mile needs of the area, but also act as a direct internet service provider.

It also will be able to offer fast connection speeds, up to one gigabit, at rates cheaper than seen here in the Grand Valley, Kennedy said.

“DMEA is sharing fiber with us, and we’re sharing some fiber with them in order to help them deliver services, and for us to then be able to take a regional approach outside their original footprint,” he said. “Then we’re looking to establish (connections) in Gunnison, Crested Butte, Ridgway and Ouray. Farther down the line, we’re working with San Miguel County.”

BLF Helps Boost Power Logic Electrical and Telluride Window Coverings

Most small business owners have a hard time imagining doing more than one business at a time. Not Steve Peirick. This is a guy whose entrepreneurial spirit works like a snowball rolling downhill—starting off small, quickly growing as it gains momentum, and becoming a force to reckon with in due time.

As owner of Power Logic Electrical and Telluride Window Coverings, Peirick has become a fixture in the Western Slope business community over the last decade. And he is working to increase his investment into the Western Slope with some help from Region 10’s Business Loan Fund.

Peirick first crossed paths with Region 10 back in 2013. He reached out to the organization’s small business development wing when he was looking to grow Power Logic Electrical, his electrical contracting business that served primarily Telluride.

“I first worked with Vince Fandel, who helped me with cash flow for Power Logic Electric,” Peirick comments. “I got to know Region 10 well, and enjoyed working with them because they were focused on creating jobs and supporting small business.”

Shortly after ramping up operations at Power Logic Electrical, the wheels in Peirick’s mind started turning. While installing and wiring custom, motorized window coverings, he noticed a niche market that was ripe for the picking.

As he built relationships with interior designers for high-end homes, Peirick found that he could better serve the Telluride marketplace by supplying the vendors himself. So he launched Telluride Window Coverings, which grew and became the premier retail provider and installer of all window treatments (blinds, shutters, drapery, etc.) in the area.

Several years after the launch, Peirick decided it was time for a change in scenery.

Being so remote, Telluride was difficult to supply. Most shipments were coming from out-of-state, which created gaps in delivery time. On top of that, Peirick was experiencing some quality control issues. Not only were products taking forever to arrive, but they were also incorrect.

“So I decided to try it myself,” he laughs.

Yes, that’s right—ANOTHER business venture.

Peirick relocated to Montrose, moving into the old Jeans Westerner building after it was subdivided. The new building gave him the space to create another offshoot of Telluride Window Coverings, which focused on manufacturing window treatments and interior products. Rather than shipping his products in, he hired a seamstress to build his own unique, custom products.

Region 10 again helped Peirick secure the loan that helped him with the real estate and cover some capital costs.

Since Peirick’s business presented the opportunity for job development, Region 10 jumped at the opportunity to support him again. Shortly after the partnership, Peirick was able to hire another four people: one full-time and three part-time. His goal is to keep growing and potentially hire more down the line.

Peirick considers Region 10 to be a vital component of his success.

“Every experience that I’ve had with Region 10 has been beneficial and pleasant,” he adds. “They are in for your best interests and you can definitely feel that when you work with them. They want your business to succeed.”

Tri County Health and Nucla High School Team Up to Build Wheelchair Ramps

Tri County Health and Nucla High School Team Up to Build Wheelchair Ramps

While most students spend spring break catching up on sleep and their favorite TV shows, six Nucla High School (NHS) students woke up early Tuesday morning and set out to build a much-needed wheelchair ramp for a local Nucla resident through Tri-County Health Network’s (TCHNetwork) Bridging Generations Project. The students learned how to measure out and cut wood with a circular saw, plan out appropriate spacing between support beams, determine how much concrete is needed to secure the posts in place, secure posts together with the proper length screws, determine the angle of the ramp, and much more. When asked what their motivation for volunteering was, the students all agreed they felt passionate about the cause, and wanted to give back to the community and neighbors they love. Cheyenne Joseph said she volunteered “to give back to those in need, and it’s also really fun to learn about the process such as the different wood cuts that go into constructing a ramp.”  Her classmate, Caitlyn Littlejohn, agreed, adding, “I’m learning a lot about the construction process and how to work together as a team to help others.”

NHS has supported the project every step of the way.  According to NHS principal Clint Wytulka, “We want to give students unique opportunities to learn.  Collaborating with local businesses and nonprofits to give students real-life experiences and a chance to give back is a priority for us.”  He continued by saying, “Some students learn from textbooks, and others learn kinesthetically, such as by finding the horizontal displacement necessary for a ramp to be built with angles that are up to code.” For those reasons, NHS is giving classroom credit to the student volunteers—credit that can go towards a variety of subjects.

Len Spina, a retired Engineering Department Manager in the Aerospace industry and active member of the West End Public Schools Board of Directors, graciously donated his time, effort, and tools to play a critical role in the building of this ramp. He started volunteering months ago, taking measurements at the wheelchair ramp recipient’s home and creating the complicated blueprint for the ramp.  He picked up the supplies donated to TCHNetwork from Home Depot stores in Grand Junction and Montrose, and offered up his home to be the initial construction site.  In addition, he shared his knowledge of woodworking and his drive to give back to his community to the Nucla High School volunteers.

The project was initially started in response to a TCHNetwork employee’s concern for individuals she knew in the West End in dire need of wheelchair ramps that were unable to attain them due to financial limitations (each ramp costs upwards of $1,500 for just the supplies).  The West End community came together with TCHNetwork to start constructing ramps; Len independently built two ramps before partnering with TCHNetwork and NHS on the current ramp.  Len firmly believes that the high school students add a special element to the project.  “Seeing the different generations come together to make a difference is really something. I’m proud of the work the students have accomplished so far—they didn’t hesitate to jump right in and get their hands dirty.”

The next step of the project will be to install the different parts of the ramp that the volunteers constructed at the client’s home.  After this ramp is constructed, TCHNetwork will continue to work to improve the health and wellbeing of West End community residents with limited mobility by building additional ramps with the support of volunteers and donated supplies.

Formed in 2009, TCHNetwork is comprised of a group of healthcare providers in southwest Colorado within the counties of Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel that are committed to improving the quality and coordination of health and health care services in this tri-county region by increasing access to healthcare and integrative health services at lower costs through collaboration and innovation. In 2016, TCHNetwork opened a new location at the West End Economic Development Corporation (WEEDC) building at 230 West Main Street in Naturita. For more information, visit: www.tchnetwork.org.

10 Reasons to Start a Business on Colorado’s Western Slope

10 Reasons to Start a Business on Colorado’s Western Slope

Things are hopping business-wise on the Western Slope.  From the reimagined activities of Chambers of Commerce in just about every community and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offices located in Grand Junction, Montrose, Gunnison, and Durango to the recent proliferation of coworking spaces, incubators, accelerators, and innovation centers dotting the “corridor of innovation”, you’re sure to find the support and inspiration you need to reach the dream of running your own business.

  1. Local Chambers serve as the voice for local businesses. While many focus on the promotion of area tourism and retail shopping destinations, many also represent the interest of business at all levels of government, provide networking opportunities, and engage in community development activities.
  2. Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) have a presence in Grand Junction at the Business Incubator, in Gunnison at the ICE Lab on Western Colorado State University campus (as well as a satellite office in Montrose at Region 10), and in Durango at Fort Lewis College. SBDCs offer low or no-cost consulting, training, and specialty programs for startups, solopreneurs, small businesses, and small manufacturers.
  3. Region 10’s Small Business Resource Center serves a six-county area including Delta, Montrose, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Ouray, and San Miguel counties. It hosts an SBDC satellite office as well as provides workshops and training for second-stage and growth companies, access to capital through its Loan Fund, and serves as the administrator for Colorado’s Enterprise Zone tax credits. www.region10.net
  4. Voted the top co-working space in the world, Proximity Space is an ever-expanding network of coworking spaces across the Western Slope and beyond. One membership in any location will give you access to their vast network including the Factory in Grand Junction, the Hive in Paonia, ICE Lab in Gunnison, and Collective Mine in Naturita.  https://proximity.space/
  5. Grand Junction’s Business Incubator was voted National Business Incubator Association’s (NBIA) Incubator of the Year in 2012/2013—out of more than 7,000 incubators worldwide. In addition to providing SBDC services, it leases space to client companies and provides access to a licensed commercial kitchen, a makerspace, and light manufacturing area as well as providing affiliate space, with hourly rent and shared services, for those who don’t need a full-time workspace.
  6. Newest in the pack, and still under development, is the upcoming Delta Innovation Center’ s ENGAGE (ENergy, Growth, AGriculture, and Entrepreneurship) a project of the Delta County Public Schools and Delta-Montrose Technical College. Planned to be a combination office space, coworking, workshop, and training venue, it will also serve as an innovation hub for agricultural technology, energy, and value-added food development.  ENGAGE is expected to open in 2018.
  7. ICE Lab, located on the Western State campus in Gunnison, is a mentor-driven program that pairs high-growth startups with industry specific mentors, advisors, and investors. Selected businesses undergo 12 weeks of acceleration programming, mentorship, and training, culminating in a pitch day to investors from across Colorado and beyond. https://icelab.co/
  8. SCAPE in Durango boasts 15 companies launched, 45 jobs created, and $3.6 million in capital raised. The core of the SCAPE Program is an intensive 6-month program with access to mentors, advisors, investors, seed money, and office space.
  9. Telluride Venture Accelerator (TVA) is leading the conversation around building real companies in mountain towns. Directing and facilitating such conversations has earned the TVA a reputation for being a global hub for entrepreneurial thinking.  Since 2012, eighteen startup companies have graduated the program and raised more than $1 million with the help of a world-class network of more than 90 mentors spanning the globe. As a result, more than 87 jobs have been created. http://www.tellurideva.com
  10. Southwest Innovation Corridor (SWIC) is a neutral coordinator, convener, and capacity-building initiative of the Telluride Foundation. Its purpose is to create a coordinated hub of innovation by bringing together efforts to inspire idea creation, cultivate business innovation, and build an eco-system to support sustainable outcomes. SWIC serves new and existing entrepreneurs and innovators in an eight county area, including Delta, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel, Montezuma, Dolores, San Juan and La Plata counties, and partners with the Telluride Venture Accelerator, Ft. Lewis College, Regions 9 & 10 Economic Development Districts, Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs, co-working spaces, and SBDCs.

Broadband Update: From Concept to Reality

Broadband Update:  From Concept to Reality

As construction wraps up in the cities of Delta and Montrose and as detailed engineering activities are completed in the Phase 2 communities in Gunnison, Delta and Ouray counties, the concept of a regional broadband network connecting community anchor institutions to a robust fiber optic broadband network is moving off the pages of concept and planning to physical deployment of infrastructure at a rapid pace. With the recent issuance and award of a Request for Proposal for network equipment core routing and access, electronics are being tested and installed at the Delta and Montrose Carrier Neutral Locations and anchor institutions in those communities.  Partner agreements continue to be negotiated and executed and excitement is building in the region as we get closer to lighting up the network.

DMEA and Region 10 recently executed their Indefeasible Rights of Use agreements, a key component in the delivery of middle mile broadband throughout the region. Conversations continue with other regional partners to acquire assets that deliver diversity and redundancy to the network.

Stay tuned for more….

Region 10 Offers Leadership Training to Area

Region 10 Offers Leadership Training to Area

Successful businesses know the importance of investing in high performing employees and moving them into leadership roles within the company, but few business owners actually know how to develop leaders.   Region 10’s Small Business Resource Center is hosting a three-day leadership training on Thursday and Friday, April 13th-14th and Friday, April 21st. The training will take place at Region 10’s office, located at 300 Cascade Avenue in Montrose.  The cost is $395.

Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.) is for businesses looking to develop individuals and more engaged, high performing teams. Created by the Gordon Training International, this training will show managers how to increase personal and team productivity, spend less time on “people issues”, and dramatically increase team collaboration.  Companies cited on “Best Places to Work” lists like Fortune 100 companies and best places to work in Colorado use this training as a foundation for great employer/employee relations.

“This training is essential for managers,” said certified L.E.T. trainer and human resources consultant Dave Knutson, who has been facilitating L.E.T. trainings for 25 years.  “It builds strong working relationships and reduces employee turnover…  because people don’t leave companies, they leave bad managers,” he added.

Participants will learn how to:

  • Clearly identify problem ownership;
  • Apply active listening skills to create effective solutions;
  • Avoid communication roadblocks that interfere with problem solving;
  • Practice constructive confrontation that results in lasting behavior changes; and
  • Recognize approaches to conflict and apply true win-win approaches.

Knutson brings 30 years of leadership consulting, coaching, and training in the private, nonprofit, and local government sectors. Designated the Human Resources Professional of the Year by the Western Colorado Human Resources Association, he has also been awarded the Pinnacle Award, The Society of Human Resource Management’s highest level of recognition in the profession, and the national Workforce Readiness Award.

“While Region 10’s Small Business Resource Center provides consulting services and training opportunities for small businesses, it is our goal to expand services by providing second-stage and growth businesses with access to essential trainings that only larger, more established businesses have access to.  L.E.T. is one of those opportunities,” said Nancy Murphy, director of small business development.  “We’re thrilled to be able to offer training of this caliber at this price to area businesses.”

Normally priced at $1695, this training is available for only $395.  Limited space is available.  To register, go to https://r10-let.eventbrite.com.  For more information about the workshop, contact Nancy Murphy 970-765-3130 or nancy@region10.net

 

What participants say about L.E.T. training…

“I have been through so many training courses and nothing was as comprehensive and practical as L.E.T. Bank employee

Cairo, Egypt

 

“For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that every minute of this course was worthwhile.  It went above and beyond my expectations.  The trainer fostered a supportive, fun and collaborative environment.  The materials and structure are perfect. This class is phenomenal!”                                                                                                         

Associate

W.L. Gore & Associates

 

“It was fantastic.  It challenged my perceptions of many leadership and communication philosophies and it [L.E.T.] won me over.”

Bill S.
Electrical Engineering Manager, Esterline Technologies

 

“I was very impressed when I initially went through the L.E.T. training. It was by far the best leadership communication training that I have been through in my 30 year career.”

Cyndi M.
Human Resources Specialist

 

Great training for anyone who supervises and provides valuable skill building opportunities. Best training I have been to in 12 years with the State of Maine.”

Employee
State of Maine, Department of Human Services

Community Living Services to issue request for proposals

Community Living Services to issue request for proposals

Contact:          Region 10 Area Agency on Aging

Eva Veitch/AAA Director

300 North Cascade, Suite 1

Montrose, CO  81401 (970) 765-3127

eveitch@region10.net

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Region10 Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is requesting proposals from public, private, and non-profit organizations to provide services and programs for older adult citizens (60+) in Region 10 (Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel Counties) utilizing Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019 Older Americans Act funds and Older Coloradans Act funds. Funds are intended to promote services as follows:

  1. Secure and maintain maximum independence and dignity in a home environment for older persons who are able to care for themselves, if they receive appropriate supportive services;
  2. Remove individual and social barriers and create greater economic and social independence for older persons; and
  3. Provide a continuum of care for persons who are elderly and vulnerable.
  4. Services include the following: Congregate Meals, Home Delivered Meals, Nutrition Education, Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Homemaker Services, Information & Assistance/ADRC, Legal Assistance, Evidenced Based Health Promotion, Transportation Services and other Innovative Senior Services that demonstrate a coordination of services.

Applications will be available beginning 10:00 a.m. Fri., March 10th 2017 at www.region10.net/rfp and accepted until 5:00 pm, April 17, 2017. Applications must be submitted electronically.   To obtain technical assistance interested organizations should contact Region 10 Area Agency on Aging, 300 N. Cascade, Suite #1, Montrose, CO 81401, phone (970) 765-3127

2017 is the year of gratitude at Gunnison County Senior Resource Office

2017 is the year of gratitude at Gunnison County Senior Resource Office

The Gunnison County Senior Resource Office (SRO) announces 2017 as its “Year of Gratitude.” Each month, the SRO will award a local service or organization that improves the quality of life for seniors in Gunnison Valley.

Please join us in celebrating and thanking our 2017 Year of Gratitude recipients as they are announced throughout the year in the Senior Scoop and media outlets.

The January recipient is Gunnison Valley Health Senior Transportation, which has continually increased its services since its inception and continues to be a highly notable customer service for seniors in Gunnison and Crested Butte.

The Senior Resource Office is committed to keeping seniors safe through Adult Protective Services, and is also fully staffed to help determine what resources and services are available to seniors in the community.

We connect adults over 60+ and all adults with disabilities with information and service deliveries that empower them to age safely and independently during every stage of their aging transition.

Only through innovative and collaborative relationships with local services and organizations are we able to achieve our goals. If you have any questions regarding the Senior Resource Office of the Gunnison County Health & Human Services Department, please call us at 642-7300.