State senator Mark Schoessler speaks about the economy and the future during the luncheon Jan. 8. Photo by Briana Alzola.
The Adams County Development Council is working within the local area to promote the increase of business and create a better economic future for the people in this region. They held their annual luncheon Jan. 8 to let their stakeholders and other locals know what they are up to. In addition to accomplishments, they will continue to promote Adams County at the national level, work with the Washington state Commerce Department and work with the Prosperity Center to help with business options in Adams County. They are completing their work very fiscally responsibly, treasurer Leonard Lusk said In the fiscal year of July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, the group brought in $57,175.50. This included $36,285 from the Department of Commerce as part of a reimbursement contract. They also brought in more than $8,000 from their fundraisers, like the golf tournament, and more than $2,000 from individual partners, who donate certain amounts of money to help the group achieve their goals. Local cities and the Port of Othello also contribute per capita donations. The expenses this year, which go to things like staffing, office costs and marketing, totaled $35,707.43. They gained more than $20,000 this year. That brings their reserve in the bank to more than $100,000, Lusk said. At the luncheon, the guest of honor was state senator Mark Schoessler. He is currently the state Senate Republican leader. Schoessler is the fifth generation in his family to be in Adams County. The sixth generation is working here now and the seventh is on the way. Some of the economic problems being battled within Adams County can be seen around the state, he said. Currently, the combination of those people without a job and those people only working part-time totals 17.1 percent. This is the fifth highest rate in the country, which most will agree is not an acceptable number. One way to bring up these numbers is to boost the numbers of college-educated graduates, he said. These are the people who will get jobs. The population of Adams County is not enough to bring a college to this county, he said, but there are plenty of good resources nearby - Big Bend Community College and Columbia Basin College are both great options for the local work force. Now is the time for innovation, getting where we need to go. Doing this means constantly asking why you do things the way you do, he said. Younger, trained workers could mean new ideas and changes in the way business is done, both in Adams County and around the state. Looking forward, the Senate will continue to look at the state budget. They are working on what needs to be done, he said. As we move toward the future, it's important to generate revenue, not just see deficit after deficit after deficit. At the state level, it's important to focus on a guy named JEB, Shoessler said, jobs, education and budget.