New CEDA director settles into job
More than one month ago, Rachel Dahl took a gamble with her professional career.
The longtime Fallon resident left both her city council seat and teaching position at Churchill County Middle School and accepted the position of executive director of the Churchill Economic Development Authority.
She hasn’t stopped running since.
Dahl has been speaking at various functions and meeting with local business leaders to receive their pulse on the community and how to attract and keep businesses in the Lahontan Valley. As CEDA director, she relies on a business council because it is important to the overall economic development scheme.
“CEDA exists to protect an expand local businesses and the economy and go out in the world and find businesses to enhance what we have,” she said at this month’s CEDA breakfast. “I’ve also been visiting with members of the community asking them what they think. It’s phenomenal to get the view of the people in the community.”
Two days later, she addressed business leaders at a Fallon Chamber of Commerce meeting and expanded her comments on what it may take to attract businesses to the area.
Dahl, though, knows it’s important to retrain and expand existing businesses and to grow the economic base of Churchill County.
“Industries provide jobs and improve the economy,” she stressed.
CEDA doesn’t stand alone in trying to achieve its mission. Dahl said CEDA works closely with the county and city governments, Chamber of Commerce, the Highway 95 Corridor Rural Development Authority, Northern Nevada Development Authority and the business council.
With CEDA reaching out to work with the other agencies, Dahl said it would help the county in the long run.
Dahl is adamant in developing a local workforce and keeping tis residents here.
“We want a place where our children will stay or come back to,” she said.
Her objective is improving the quality of employees in the county through training and education; additionally, she would like to see a revitalization of the downtown area and how to find funding to do that.
Yet, a hurdle faces CEDA and the other economic development agencies.
Like many of the business leaders in the county and around the state, Dahl, along with Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Natalie Parrish are also dishing out information on the Nevada Education Imitative or the Margin Tax Bill, which, if passed in the general election, would assess a 2 percent tax on businesses that gross $1 million or more in a year.
Both directors are worried about the tax and how many businesses have adopted a wait-and-see-attitude before coming to Nevada.
“If it passes, we’ll be one of the highest taxed states in the nation,” Dahl added.