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Signs point to upswing in jobs, CACEDA Chair says

An interview with Jim Hadley for report on CACEDA meeting Wednesday, March 13, 2013. No announcement made on the possible sale of land discussed in Executive Session. Manufacturers on the board of of CACEDA report new hirings, good leading indicators. Chairman Hadley says community needs to know that the authority is working hard, working together, and all are salespersons for Columbia/Adair. Infrastructure - particularly reliable water and sewer, and availability of natural gas - are keys

By Ed Waggener
from interview with Jim Hadley

Jim Hadley, Chairman of the Columbia/Adair County Economic Development Authority, said yesterday in an interview aftere the CACEDA meeting, Wednesday, March 13, 2013, that he's seeing signs that there is already a recovery in jobs in Adair County, and that more will be on the way.

He said that at the meeting, members of the board reported as much, with Hadley for Majestic Yachts, Anthony Janes of Fabco, and Doug McCammish, speaking for the former McCammish Manufacturing Co. "All three of us reported new hirings," and signs of a pickup in the economy."

Hadley was hesitant to comment at all on the Executive Session held at the meeting, except that it has to do with the possible sale of land in the Green River Commerce Park. He said that no decision was announced at the meeting and that no decision to sell had yet been made. "What we want people to know is that we're working to get jobs to Columbia, now, and we're getting encouraging signs every day."

A key, he said, is that the infrastructure in place, with promised sewer improvements from the Columbia/Adair Utility District, is key. "That's one of the first things prospects look at," Hadley said. "They want to know that they have a reliable water and sewer system in place."

Mr. Hadley said that his own business will be buoyed by the completion of Wolf Creek Dam project, but that Lake Cumberland is just part of his business. "We often have to remind ourselves of Columbia's unique position. We are right in the center of four lakes, not just on Green River Lake and very near Lake Cumberland. We're also very near Dale Hollow Lake, and just a few more miles from Barren River Lake."

He said that Columbians are beginning to see the value of the geographic advantage.

And, he said, even the houseboat business is more national than many would have believed. "We've gotten requests for quotes from several states just in the past few weeks - from as far away as Oklahoma." He cautioned that not all will turn into orders, which would translate into new jobs, but said that historically, requests for quotes usually correlate to leading indicators on the direction of the marketplace.

He said that the current CACEDA Board is one of the best balanced one he's worked with and that there is a synergy which makes him even more of a optimist - he's a natural optimist, everyone knows; and everyone who has followed Majestic Yachts inspiring story on national news knows that Jim Hadley's optimism carried him through one of the worst downturns in his industry's history - and positioned the company well to take advantage of the upswing.

He said he's more confident because of the solid leadership the authority has, starting with Vice Chairman Dan Antle, a pillar of strength he said. "It's now a real team effort. Everybody on the board is a team player. And everyone knows that they are a sales person for Columbia/Adair County.

All were there, at the Wednesday meeting, except for authority stalwart Kay Bowman, who had a rare absence. The authority board includes: Hadley, Antle, Doug McCammish, Tony Corbin, Anthony Janes, Randy Burns, and Kay Bowman.

Also present at the meeting were Executive Secretary Sue Stivers and Greg Jones, and Mark Dykes.
The Columbia/Adair County Economic Development Authority meets each 2nd Wedneday at 8amCT, in the conference room of the Chamber Building, 201 Burkesville Street, Columbia, KY. Sue Stivers, Executive Director. Chairman Jim Hadley, Vice Chair Dan Antle, Treasurer Kay Bowman, and members Doug McCammish, Randy Burns, Anthony Janes, and Tony Corbin.

This story was posted on 2013-03-14 03:58:26
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