By Candie Fix
Managing Editor 

PC Economic Development celebrates successes


Tanley Andersen

The recent pandemic caused the cancellation of many things this spring, including the annual meeting of the Phillips County Economic Development Corporation. Despite not being able to gather together in April to celebrate the organization's success and grant and intern recipients, PCED Executive Director Trisha Herman compiled a list of top notable happenings for the year.

Perhaps one of the biggest 2019 accomplishments, Herman said, is that PCED completed a six-month housing study with Hanna:Keelan Associates and from that established a Housing Committee to execute the action plan.

The five-year plan is divided into four primary categories including housing partnerships and education; housing development, rehabilitation and preservation; impediments/barrios to fair housing; and housing study implementation and review.

The 132-paged document can be viewed in its entirety at

Additionally, PCED took on a lead role with the Holyoke Community Childcare Imitative and raised $425,000 for the cause, according to Herman.

The local economic development group had a total of 42 members throughout Phillips County Last year. Herman said her organization continues to host On Board meetings with local governments, hospitals and schools to focus on sharing successes, giving progress reports and serving as place to share ideas and needs with other entities. The next On Board meeting is slated for this fall.

Herman was the recipient of the Northeast Colorado Start Up Colorado's Champion of the Year award but due to COVID-19 restrictions was unable to attend a ceremony at the Governor's mansion to receive her award.

PCED received the Homegrown Talent Initiative Grant through the Holyoke School District to create work based learning curriculum and to expand on the Careers Program, a project Herman will take on. Additionally, the organization, again, serves as a large part in the Ogallala Commons Intern program and this year hosts four individuals including Tanley Andersen, with the Haxtun Chamber of Commerce, Alli Keisel, at Melissa Memorial Hospital, Emma Roll, with the City of Holyoke, and Kyle Donovan, at CHS.

Over the past year, PCED has awarded four individual winners and one group winner in the Economic Impact and Opportunity Grant. The following is a list of those who won and a brief description from them of their opportunities:

• Tanley Andersen: "I plan to use this scholarship money towards my college education. I plan to study at the University of Wyoming next fall and major in Marketing."

• Tessa Gales: "I am planning to use it for my Sweet T's Treats Bakery. My goal is to open my own business in Paoli. I want to continue to work hard to make treats that people love."

• Jacob Walker: "I am saving for college expenses. I am attending John Deere Tech program at Southeast Community College in Milford, Neb."

• Josie Herman, Shianne Willmon and Emily Jelden: "We plan to donate our money to our local FBLA Chapter in order for them to carry on our project of working with elementary students and taking them to RuralAmeritowne."

• Traeli Hutches: "I will save this scholarship money to go towards college and use it for books and supplies. I will be attending Colorado State University in the fall of 2020 to study Chemistry in preparation for being a dentist in the future."

• Victor Baeza was also an award winner but was not featured for this piece.

The Phillips County Economic Development Corporation is a resource-driven catalyst for economic development throughout Phillips County. For more information about PCED and its programs contact Herman at (970) 580-3614.

Tessa Gales


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