Business leaders see growth and opportunity in Winslow

By L. Parsons

The Winslow Chamber of Commerce hosts Good Morning Winslow on the first Wednesday of each month. Various businesses host the breakfast gathering and the Winslow Chamber of Commerce hosted the most recent event. Chamber CEO Bob Hall explained to those in attendance that the chamber has increased in members over the last year by 22 businesses and agencies. “We are still growing,” Hall said, “things are still happening.”

The ‘shop local’ sentiment resonated through Hall’s presentation, “When it’s possible, shop local. Shopping local is where revenues come from that the city can use to improve our community,” said Hall. He continued, “When I moved here in 1991, the population was half of what it is now, all that was downtown were three bars and The Reminder. La Posada was boarded up, there was no Standing On The Corner Park. The reason I bring this up is because I have seen the ball always rolling forward in Winslow. It doesn’t always roll very fast, but the community has grown leaps and bounds since 1991.”

Hall also encouraged the community to volunteer in various capacities. “Small towns are dependent upon volunteers. Unfortunately, we have the hardest time getting people to volunteer.” Business owner Laura Carrell agreed with that statement, “I really do appreciate those that do volunteer, but we have the same 10 people show up to everything to help, so I really encourage you to volunteer if you can. A lot of the local boards are burnt out, if you see a need that you can fill, step up and encourage your kids to step up as well.”

Winslow Police Chief Dan Brown was also in attendance and gave a brief update on the Police Department. “There have been a lot of changes in the department, like the vehicles we just got, which we bought here in Winslow.” He continued, “What a wonderful place to live, and it really is growing.”

Newly hired Winslow Prison Complex warden Ed Jensen announced that the prison is in need of staff members. He explained that there will be a regional training academy for correctional officers beginning Feb. 26 and running for approximately eight weeks.

Typically, the Correctional Officers Training Academy (COTA) is held in Tucson. “The entire academy will be in Winslow,” Jensen said. “It is a great job, starts out at $33,000 a year plus great benefits.” Jensen mentioned they hope for at least 30 applicants to attend the academy to help fill the ranks of correctional officers.

They are currently understaffed, according to Jensen. “There is no set in stone deadline that would ensure acceptance into the regional academy. However, if the candidate is able to test and pass no later than Feb. 12, and turn in all documentation as requested and meet all appointments, we will be able to get them into the regional.” Those interested may call the local recruiting coordinator Sergeant T. Riley at (928) 289-9551, extension 45522.

“Good Morning Winslow is for the business and agency community, it is an opportunity to meet and know what is available in town,” Hall said.

The event is held at 7 a.m. the first Wednesday of the month at the Chamber of Commerce located at 523 W. Second Street. Citizens are invited to attend the presentations to network their businesses and receive updates on local happenings.