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New group sets goals

The newly formed Southern Oregon Telecommunication and Technology Council is sorting out goals and a mission.

The council comprises more than 30 people in the telecommunications industry, providers and end users who gathered first in November to address issues of the rapidly growing industry.

The T&T Council was formed on the recommendation of the Healthy and Sustainable Communities Project, a two-county project directed by the Civic League.

Mike Stallcop of Project A, Ashland, will chair the executive committee.

We're in the `jelling-up' stage, he said. We need to solidify our mission statement and set goals.

That's part of the agenda for the next meeting of the council. Interested people are invited to attend the session from 8 to 9 a.m. Wednesday at C.K Tiffin's. Details are available from the Rogue Valley Civic League, 857-8900.

Some goals are inherent with the formation of the group, which includes business owners and educators, manufacturers and economic development specialists.

We want to have the broadest possible collection of stakeholders to work with other similar groups to make sure the right message gets delivered up north, he said. And we want to make sure Southern Oregon doesn't get left out.

Other issues include such education technology essentials as high-speed ISDN telephone service and fiber-optic cable for businesses and end users. The council is sorting out plans to survey local employers to determine their needs for employee skills.

We are trying to formalize a regional approach to national issues like intellectual property and piracy, he said.

Other members of the executive committee include Joe Graf of Southern Oregon University, Charlie Lanusse of Star Seed, Rich Berman of the Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. Marketing Committee, Susan Huntley of Huntley & Associates, Charles McHenry of McHenry & Associates and Roi Crouch of the Rogue Valley Civic League.

Education and training is another component getting swift attention by the council.

We want to address the need for a highly qualified workforce that is developed and nurtured in our region, said Graf.