The current disconnect between worker skills and available jobs in Northern Colorado will be the focus of the Larimer County Workforce Business Summit on Feb. 22, from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at the Embassy Suites Loveland, 4705 Clydesdale Parkway, near The Ranch fairground complex.

“If We’re Not in a Recession … Where’s the Talent?” is presented by the Larimer County Commissioners and the Workforce Center to bring together business leaders to address the issues of unemployment and underemployment. The goal is to identify jobs that cannot be filled because of a lack of skilled workers and what can be done to develop those skills to reduce unemployment and help local businesses grow.

Cost to attend the summit is $35, which includes breakfast. Go to larimer.org/workforce/summit for more information and registration.

The summit is a kickoff event for an ongoing initiative through the Workforce Center. The commissioners on Feb. 14 allocated $5,000 for the initiative, part of a $59,000 amendment to the 2012 county budget for several economic development programs, on a 2-1 vote.

The budget amendment also provides $20,000 for a new part-time position within the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp. to support economic development activities in smaller communities in the county; $22,000 for a part-time “economic gardening” position and access to additional proprietary business databases and other resources for small businesses at the Estes Valley library; and $12,000 to support FasTrac entrepreneurial scholarships, an existing program presented through the Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City.

Commissioners Lew Gaiter III and Tom Donnelly both supported all four elements of the resolution; Steve Johnson opposed all but the funding for the Business Summit.

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