2018 Cowley County Job Fair Announced

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Cowley County Job Fair

Feb 22, 2018; 3:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

Cowley College Wright Room, 215 S 2nd St, Ark City

Cowley First will be hosting the annual Cowley County Job Fair on February 22, 2018 at Cowley College Brown Center’s Wright Room, 215 S. 2nd Street. Job seekers may meet with local employers from 3:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m. 

Cowley First is currently registering businesses for booth space.  Cost for a business to participate is only $50.

Cowley County employers who are interested in attending or have questions may contact Kerri or Deb at Cowley First at (620) 221-9951 or 442-3094.  Due to advertising deadlines employers are asked sign up by January 31 to participate, but Cowley First will take booth registration until space is filled.

FREE Affordable Care Act Presentation

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December 1, 2017
Cowley College Wright Room
1:00 – 2:30 pm

A FREE Affordable Care Act Presentation will be hosted by Cowley First-Cowley County Economic Development from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., December 1, 2017 at Cowley College Wright Room, 215 S. 2nd, Arkansas City. The presentation is geared towards employers, business owners, human resource managers, CPA’s and attorneys but anyone can attend. Continue Reading

Barn Quilt Kits and T-Shirts for Sale

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Just in time for the holidays, Cowley First-Cowley County Economic Development is offering 2 foot barn quilt kits for sale. Kits include a primed barn quilt board, brushes, a selection of paints, and a pattern of your choice or provide your own. Kits cost $40 and can be reserved by calling Cowley First at (620) 221-9951 or 442-3094.
Cowley First is also taking orders for Cowley County Stone Arch Bridge and Barn Quilt t-shirts until November 28 and will be delivered mid-December. Pictures of the shirt design and color choices are available online at www.cowleyfirst.com. T-shirts are priced at $15 with a long sleeve option for $20.
“With the holidays just around the corner, we have received many requests to paint a barn quilt to give as gifts. Since calendars are too hectic this time of year to host a barn quilt class, we are offering the next best thing; barn quilt kits,” said Deb Firebaugh, Cowley First Assistant. “Since we have a limited number available we encourage everyone to call ahead of time and we will hold your kit and schedule a time for you to pick it up so we can go over the painting process and choose paints and patterns.”
In its fourth year as a tourism attraction in the county, the barn quilt trail now boasts over 160 barn quilts across Cowley County. Maps of their locations can be downloaded at www.cowleycounty.org/barn-quilt-trail along with maps of the stone arch bridges.
Shirt Order Forms

Ask a Business Expert Event Planned

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Whether you are starting a business or are already operating a business, questions seem to arise on a regular basis. Yet spare time to track down the answers is not easy to come by. Cowley First hopes to get your business questions answered in an easy and effective way by hosting an “Ask a Business Expert” night. This come-and-go event will be hosted in both Winfield and Arkansas City with business experts available to meet with you one-on-one. Free business advice and access to free resources will be the focus of the evening.
Local experts in lending, financing and banking issues along with experts in commercial business insurance, legal advisors and retirement planners will all be on hand to meet with you. In addition, businesses can seek free help on business plan development and cash flow projection templates.
Cowley First will have information on E-Community loan funds and also how to utilize the Cowley-Works website and Facebook page to post job openings for free. The E-Community Loan fund is a locally-controlled loan program that provides seed capital for new business startup or the expansion or restructuring of an existing business. E-Community loans are an attractive option to business owners as they offer flexible terms and match loans from other lending sources.
“Ask a Business Expert” will be held in Winfield, September 11, at Winfield Senior Center-Baden Square, 700 N Gary Street from 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. The second location is Arkansas City, September 12, at Cowley College Wright Room, 211 2nd Street from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
All information and discussion is strictly confidential. All questions are asked in a one-on-one setting. No pre-registration is required to attend, but for additional information prior to the event contact Cowley First at (620) 221-9951 or (620) 442-3094 or email cowleyfirst@cowleycounty.org.

Business Workshop Series-Grow Rural Business

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GRB Class outline
Register online at www.Wichita.edu/GRB
Cowley First-Cowley County Economic Development provides a wide range of business support services including business plan and cash flow assistance, commercial building locating, marketing, workforce development classes, job fairs and employee recruitment, plus much more.
While Cowley First staff often provides these services or partner with local experts, there are times that business resources are brought into Cowley County to provide more in-depth business training; such is the case this fall. Cowley First is partnering with NetWork Kansas and WSU Center for Entrepreneurship to host a very popular and instructive business workshop series called “Growing Rural Business”. Continue Reading

Back Road Dining

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Locations and Hours
With just a month left to fill the back road dining punch card, local foodies still have time to complete the Cowley County Back Road Dining experience. For the second summer Cowley First-Cowley County Economic Development teamed up with five restaurants in Cowley County to offer a chance to win a $25 dining gift certificate from your favorite stop.

To participate, pick up a punch card at your first stop. Once you have dined at all five restaurants by the September 10 deadline, your filled card is entered in a random drawing. You may complete the Back Road Dining circuit more than once prior to the conclusion of the promotion.

The Back Road restaurants are excited to be kicking off the summer promotion and welcome you to their dining establishments. All known for homemade specialties and crowd-pleasing favorites, a large variety of amazing food awaits you.
Participating restaurants are: The Solid Rock Café (Rock), Lil’ Red Rooster (Atlanta), Sassy Lady Café (Burden), Grouse Valley Grill (Dexter), and Chihua’s Mexican Restaurant (Udall).

While traveling the back roads of the county enjoy the many roadside attractions, the 18 stone-arch bridges, the 160 plus barn quilts that decorate the country side or the Cowley County waterfall. Information and maps of the many county attractions plus dining locations and operating hours can be found at Visit.CowleyCounty.org.

If traveling a great distance or near the summer holidays to dine at one of these café’s it is recommended to call ahead to confirm their hours.

Questions regarding back road dining in Cowley County can be directed to Cowley First at (620) 221-9951 or (620) 442-3094 or email cowleyfirst@cowleycounty.org.
Cowley County

Facilities Management Networking Luncheon

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In the fall of 2016, Cowley First-Cowley County Economic Development teamed up with Cowley First Business Partner, Mahaney Roofing, to form a Facilities Management (FM) network in Cowley County.

Larger metros such as the Wichita area have formal organizations such as an International Facility Management Association, (IFMA) chapter. While the Cowley County Facilities Management Network has been informal with no dues or membership requests, the intent is similar; to connect professionals who have chosen or been thrust into the role of facilities manager or maintenance.

According to Wikipedia, a facility manger is an interdisciplinary business function that coordinates space, infrastructure, people and organization. It is often associated with the administration of office blocks, arenas, schools, universities, sporting complexes, convention centers, shopping complexes, hospitals, hotels, manufacturing and shipping.

IFMA outlines 11 core competencies of facility management which are: communication, emergency preparedness and business continuity, environmental stewardship and sustainability, finance and business, human factors, leadership and strategy, operations and maintenance, quality, real estate and property management, and technology. Continue Reading

Growing Rural Business Series in Cowley County – Register Now

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Growing Rural Business Flyer and class outline

Wichita State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship, in partnership with Cowley First-Cowley County GRB CC logoEconomic Development and the Network Kansas E-Community Partnership, is pleased to announce the entrepreneurial certificate program “Growing Rural Businesses” will be offered in Cowley County beginning in September. This 8-week course is custom-made to meet the needs of existing rural business owners who are ready to grow.

Taught by faculty from Wichita State University who are experts in running businesses, this program provides hands-on, practical solutions and techniques to grow and modernize business ventures while living in a rural setting. Insights and learning tools include small group exercises, case studies, and interactive discussions with peers, facilitators, and industry experts. This popular course is offered only a handful of times per year on a competitive basis. More than 140 Kansas businesses across a variety of trades have benefited from this instruction. Continue Reading

Business Appreciation Month Reception

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Each year Cowley First and the Winfield and Arkansas City chambers nominate local business to the Ks. 2017 Save the DateDepartment of Commerce for consideration of the Governor’s Award of Excellence. A reception is also hosted to recognize the local businesses during the month of June, Business Appreciation Month. The BAM reception will be held June 22 at Wheat State Winery from 4:30-7:00.

Business being recognized at the come-and-go reception are: Greif Bros., Green Vision/Dr Gail Burden, Reedy Ford, ReJuvv Spa, Skyline Homes, Twin Rivers Developmental Support, Winfield Public Library.

For more information contact Cowley First or the chambers.

Summer Computer Skills Classes

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Cowley First has teamed up with Ark City High School to provide computer skills training for local clip art 1businesses and employees. Intro, Intermediate and Advance Excel will be offered throughout the month of June. More dates may be announced if there is enough demand.Class sizes are limited to 24. Enroll in one or all three. All instruction will be hands-on in the computer lab. Click on the flyer for full class details, topics covered, date and location. If you have questions or want to register, call or email Deb at (620) 221-9951, (620) 442-3094 or dfirebaugh@cowleycounty.org

Computer Skills Flyer

Facilities Management Lunch planned for June 7th

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Facilities Mgt Flyer

Cowley First and Mahaney Roofing teamed up in 2016 to bring resources and information to local businesses and front line workers that deal with facility Image result for free facilities clip artmanagement issues. The goal is to gather facility managers, maintenance techs, custodians, project managers and even the financial gurus of your business or organization to discuss and present information on how to plan and prepare for your facilities’ future.

Topics may range from certifications, training, facility planning and benchmarking. We very much want your input so that we may respond to your needs and concerns as we invite quarterly presenters. Continue Reading