Committee works on ideas for Pulaski collaborative space

Published: Feb. 19, 2020 at 9:59 PM EST
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In late 2019, the Town of Pulaski received a grant to start putting the pieces together for a training center and makerspace.

Now, a group of about 30 community leaders are coming together to make this vision more of a reality.

A project advisory committee is trying to narrow down areas of interest to bring to a downtown collaborative space. They want to help the community jumpstart highly skilled careers.

“We are delighted on behalf of the leadership team,” said committee member Elaine Holeton. “The fact that folks will take time out of their busy schedules to come and sit with us as we brainstorm over the course of this year what this center can do.”

Experts in fields from agriculture to manufacturing are part of the group. They agree that employers need workers with more training.

“They’re going to need something besides just their high school diploma in order to be really competitive in today’s job market,” said Marty Holliday of Virginia Career Works.

Holliday specializes in connecting people with the right skills to get the best jobs.

“With the rapid way that technology is changing businesses, those skills are changing and moving up all the time,” she said.

As community development continues in the downtown, an increasing demand for contractors that understand their craft and the business is also a need.

“I think the growing trend towards promoting career and technical education is really a wave that we want to jump on and ride and even boost as we can,” said town plan commissioner Janet Jonas. “I think it’s important for the regions in our community to come together to make that happen.”

At Wednesday’s meeting, they discussed five categories of interest:

• Arts

• Agribusiness and Food

• Manufacturing

• Building Trades

• Technology

Virginia Tech experts are working on a study for this group to help them figure out what sectors to focus on. The project advisory committee will meet again in May to hear those results.

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