Sunday, 11 June 2017 / Published in Job Opportunity

Are you looking to make an impact in your community? Are you interested in working with Hendry County leaders to help create a stronger community with more sustainable career opportunities?

If you said yes to the above questions, we encourage you to review the two VISTA Associate positions now open in Hendry County. You can learn more about the openings, and how to apply below:

Hendry County VISTA Associate:

Hendry County EDC VISTA Associate:

Sunday, 21 May 2017 / Published in SBA

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that federal economic injury disaster (EID) loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes located in Florida as a result of droughts sustained on or after May 2, 2017.

In accordance with the recently released Secretary of Agriculture’s designation, the following counties are qualified for EID loan assistance:

· Primary Counties: Charlotte, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee, Osceola, and Polk.
· Contiguous Counties: Brevard, Hendry, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, Saint Lucie, Sarasota, and Sumter.

“If your business has experienced any significant delays in normal operations due to the ongoing droughts, I would encourage you to apply for SBA loan assistance,” said South Florida District Director Francisco “Pancho” Marrero.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan amounts can be up to $2 million with a maximum interest rate up to 3.215 percent for small businesses and small agricultural co-ops; and 2.50 percent from non-profit organizations, with terms up to 30 years for applicants without credit available elsewhere. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources.

To qualify, all applicants must meet certain criteria:
· Must have a credit history acceptable to the SBA
· Must show the ability to repay the loan
· Produce collateral for the economic incident injury loan totaling more than $25,000 which can be in the form of real estate, when available. Although, the SBA will not decline a loan for lack of collateral; however, the borrower must pledge collateral that is available.

EID loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than January 10, 2018.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to Loan applications can be downloaded from Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, visit our website at

Saturday, 10 December 2016 / Published in education improvement task force

2016 Captain Hendry Dinner is a wrap!

A special thanks to our core sponsors, to our donors, to our event support team, to our attendees, and to everyone else involved in making last night a success.
Our event was a tremendous success, with close to 200 attendees, over 100 auction items, and gross sales funds raised exceeding our 2015 totals by over $6,000.
For all auction items won and not yet received, we will be working over the next few days to schedule delivery and payment arrangements as needed. If you have any questions in the interim, please let us know at

Thank you Hendry County!

Karson Turner, Business Owner, Commissioner, Task Force Member…and a stellar auctioneer

Monday, 21 November 2016 / Published in training

Hendry County EMS, Hendry County EDC, and Medical Career Institute of Bonita Springs Partner to offer 16-week Emergency Medical Technician course to Hendry County Workforce

Hendry County EMS Operations Chief Donna Akin took the concept of adding needed training to the Hendry County workforce to local and regional partners and together made this concept a reality.  According to Akin, “The need for an EMT course was recognized by myself, and then presented to County Administration to ensure that the project would adhere to contract rules. It took several months of planning and patience for the entire project to come together. It was not any one person’s work that made this happen but the desire of all of us to bring a course that will hopefully lead to the employment of local people into local jobs. If this happens then the stability of the EMS will be greatly affected. Talks have already started as to how to make the next level of certification happen for currently employed EMTs and it would be my hope that this will be able to take place sometime in late 2017. Quality Paramedics are desperately needed by the EMS department and it has been proven that hiring local talent in this area greatly stabilizes the turn-over of these positions in rural departments. Even though I will be retiring in December 2016, I hope to play an integral part in making this training happen for Hendry County EMS.”
Course Details
-Emergency Medical Technician course
Medical Career Institute – Bonita Springs, FL (Program Director & CEO- Richard Gonzalez)
-16-week duration; student must pass a national standardized exam to receive certification
-The salary for this area is approximately $32,000 starting with a 24 hour shift schedule
-There are 10 students, most are firefighters and their names are not public record
-The cost of the course per student was $2,050. Currently the course can only be offered to the volunteer firefighters or employees of the County due to rules as a contract class
The key to Akin’s successful effort was her ability to identify a needed skill, pull together the resources needed to make the training for this void a reality, and executing collaboratively with local and regional partners.
If you or your business could benefit from the availability of specific training for current, or new employees, contact me directly at