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Region 10 announced as participant in Colorado Rural Resiliency and Recovery Roadmap program

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced 16 regional teams as participants in the Colorado Rural Resiliency and Recovery Roadmap program, which provides assistance for regional teams of rural communities to drive economic relief, recovery and long-term resilience.

Region 10 is one of the 16, and partners include Ouray, San Miguel and San Juan counties, as well as towns of Ridgway and Telluride, among others.

The program will connect the regional team and asset current community situations, roadmap planning and strategizing and implement matchmaking. It received $869,723 in matching funds from the state and is expected to create more than 100 jobs and up to $50 million in private investments.

“The Roadmaps Program is coming at a time when our local governments need to swiftly recover from the impacts from COVID-19. The pandemic has shown that we can govern and do business in a new way. These roadmaps will help ensure coordination regionally, strategically and efficiently, in order to maximize once-in-a-lifetime stimulus dollars that are flowing into Colorado communities,” said DOLA Division of Local Government Director Chantal Unfug in a news release.

The program is funded by a $2.3 million U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant.

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert sends letter to Gov. Polis, requesting he cancel federal unemployment bonuses

U.S. Reps. Lauren Boebert, Doug Lamborn and Ken Buck sent Gov. Jared Polis a letter requesting him to reject federal unemployment bonuses. The trio want Polis to join other state governors who have rejected federal unemployment benefits, arguing that leaving the benefits in place forces Coloradans not to return to work.

“The May jobs report demonstrated that the federal unemployment insurance supplemental is prohibiting our economy from reaching its full potential and is causing severe workforce shortages,” Boebert, Lamborn and Buck wrote in the letter. “A record 8.1 million jobs were unfilled in May and more than 100 million woking-age Americans are currently not participating in the labor force.”

The Colorado Restaurant Association reported 90% of Colorado restaurants, through a survey of 195 operators, said they were having trouble hiring enough staff for the summer season, with 65% of those operators citing the unemployment benefits as the primary obstacle.

The association added that 95% of operators reported increasing wages to combat staffing issues.

The national unemployment rate in May was 5.8%. Colorado’s unemployment rate in April was 6.8%, not as severe as April 2020 (12.1%), but not near figures in 2019 (2.7%) and 2018 (3.1%).

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