New economic development director will try 'variety of ideas'
By C.J. McMANUS
Sun Advocate associate editor
Well-traveled economic and community development professional Tami Ursenbach has been named Carbon County Economic Development Director.
Ursenbach, who obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from Western Governor's University in Salt Lake, had been working in Cassia and Minidoka counties in Idaho before taking the job here in Carbon County. She replaces Delynn Fielding, who left the post in August 2013, to take a position with the Governor's Office of Economic Development.
"I was working in community and economic development in several capacities in Idaho," said Ursenbach. "The experience there was wonderful, the area was growing and our department was able to bring in seven new businesses while I was there."
Ursenbach also aimed her resources at retention and expansion of existing business entities while in Idaho, an idea that is firmly entrenched in the Castle Country's economic development plan as the Business Expansion and Retention Program has been statewide success.
"Our retention program was just getting started and staffed completely by volunteers when I left Idaho," continued the new Carbon County director. "I'm excited to work with people here at Castle Country BEAR, I think we have the opportunity to do some great things."
According to Carbon County Commission John Jones, once the county talked to a few of Ursenbach's references, she moved to the front of the applicant pack.
"I think we made a great decision," said Jones on Monday. "We are seeing a decline in coal markets and we need to make a small shift."
Jones stated that projects like the oil tank farm in Wellington should cause an upswing in the area's economy as 2014 moves forward.
"Due to several projects, I feel we are going to see a major increase in truck driving jobs locally," continued Jones. "I think we need to see a change occur, and I think Tami (Ursenbach) is just the right person to help us make that change."
Ursenbach spent some time in Provo before moving to Price and reported that she always had a love for rural areas, making Carbon County a great match.
"I relocated to Utah because this is where I was from," she said. "And I fell in love with Carbon County from the first time I came here. When I found out an economic development job had opened I applied immediately because I would love to help this area thrive."
When asked about some of the challenges she will face, specifically a shortage of industrial water, Ursenbach was unfazed.
"Both Cassia and Minidoka faced water shortages and we were able to focus on bringing in businesses that didn't have such an intense need for water," she said. "I have a strong marketing and business background and can't wait to show prospective partners just how much Carbon County has to offer."
The new development director has only been in town for two days and is busy moving her office from the Business and Technical Assistance Center to the county's Planning and Zoning office just south of Price's Main Street.
Coming from Idaho, she will be the new kid on the county block for awhile, a positions she says she is comfortable with.
"I come from a very diverse background and have moved many times. From California to Washington and Colorado, I'm used to new places," she said. "I even spent four years in England at one point, so I have seen a different perspective than someone who grew up around here. There is a lot of potential for growth here and I'm excited to be in Carbon County."