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Annual Jobfest continues to grow
Commission renews support of annual job fair
new deh county commission job fest pic web
Shown is the 2016 Central Kansas Jobfest. The Barton Count Commission Monday morning voted to help sponsor the 2017 fest, a job fair that attracts the areas largest employers and continues to grow. - photo by Tribune file photo

Commission accepts county inventory


The Barton Count Commission Monday morning accepted the annual inventory of personal property owned by the county as required by state statute. The law states that each county officer and department head make an inventory of the county property in each office or department.  

The inventory, which is taken during December, is filed with the County Clerk’s Office on or before Dec. 31. The inventory doesn’t include books, records, files, stationery, writing materials and blank legal papers. 

The information is presented to the commission in February of each year. The mandated duties have been assigned to the Information Technology Department.  

“It’s a work in progress,” IT Director John Debes said, adding this year was more challenging that in the past since he was short staffed in his office. However, technician Chris Sanchez from the Count Clerk’s Office stepped in to help with data entry and other departments also contributed to the effort.

“We have most of the  major items,” Debes said.

In other business, the commission:

• Named David Hill and Tammy Sturn to the Center for Counseling and Consultation Board. The County recently solicited for open positions on center’s Governing Board. This Board reviews and makes recommendations on mental health services in Barton County and the surrounding area. 

There were two uncompensated positions open that will term in 2019. However, there were three applicants. 

In addition to Hill and Sturn, Lori Waters applied. Commissioners said Waters would make a valuable board member and are going to ask if she wants to be on the Economic Development Board.

 Noting the importance of promoting job growth in Barton County, the County Commission Monday morning voted to support the annual JobFest with a $500 sponsorship.

The lOth-annual Job Fest will be held Thursday March 30. It will be held for the second year at the Great Bend Event Center, 3017 10th, Great Bend.  

Job Fest Committee member Karen Neuforth said the new venue was needed because of the events growth.

“We just ran out of room,” she said. The fest started in Jack Kilby Square 10 years ago, moved to the Angus Inn Courtyard for weather reasons, and stayed there until there wasn’t enough space.

“That’s a good problem to have,” said Commissioner Alicia Straub. The job fair attracts all of the area’s largest employers and more employers sign on every year.

Since the inception of JobFest the county has been a sponsor and supporter. This regional job fair is targeted for businesses and employees in Central Kansas, and is collaboratively presented by representatives from many organizations within the region. Entities involved with the planning and execution of the event include the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development, Barton Community College, KansasWorks and several employers.

“They actually see who is applying,” Neuforth said of the face-to-face fest. 

“With your generous support we were able to provide an outstanding event in 2016,” Neuforth said. Highlights of the event included:

• 25 participating employers promoted open positions within our local area businesses to over 200 job seekers.

• The KansasWorks bus was on-site to provide resume assistance. This will again be the case.

• A career closet was set up by Barton Community College business students to offer free professional clothing that was donated by community members and made available. This service will also be available this year.

This year, organizers want to offer the same services and increase the marketing and promotion efforts to bring in even more participation from area businesses and job seekers, Neuforth said. “We are confident that the benefits provided to Great Bend in exchange for partnering sponsorship return your investment by retaining valuable employees that might otherwise leave our community.”