(Editor’s Note: This is part of an occasional series of interviews with each of the five members of the Economic Development Corp. of Clark County.)
The ultimate goal of the Economic Development Corp. of Clark County is to help all of Clark County grow, said Euodias Goza, one of the five board members of the corporation. He was also named chairman of the board during the panel’s first organizational meeting, held last week.
Goza said the county needs good-paying jobs from long-lasting industries and businesses. “We don’t need ones that come for only a few years and take advantage of the incentives and then leave us,” he said.
He said that sometimes business and industries have no alternative but to leave. When that happens, other businesses and industries have to be able to “lessen the impact of their leaving.”
Goza, an employee of Southern Bancorp, was born in Gurdon. He wanted to be part of the EDCCC because “I want to give back” to the community. He said that he doesn’t “have all the answers,” but wants to contribute as much as he can.
Clark County has much to offer its residents, Goza said. “We have great amenities. We have everything to offer” except jobs which will keep young people here when they finish college. “That’s my goal,” to attract jobs and industries which will allow college graduates to stay and work in Clark County, Goza said.
Students “want to have a choice of whether to stay here. Now, they have no choice” but to leave, he said.
Goza said he looks forward to working with his fellow board members and the 15-member advisory committee. “I’m not looking to make all of the decisions by myself. I will take others’ opinions into consideration before I cast my vote.”
After it gets organized, Goza thinks the board should begin the process of hiring an executive director, one who “has the experience and knowledge to be an advocate for the county.”
He said the executive director must be experienced in economic development and show progress pretty quickly. “Experience costs,” he said, but the expenditure for the salary of a professional executive director will, it is hoped, be offset by successes. “I don’t think it could be anyone without experience.”
Goza said he has no political or personal agenda for serving on the board. “I have not seen substantial change in this county since 1967. It’s time to get something viable started.”
Goza said the appointment of the EDCCC is “one great opportunity” for him and all the citizens of Clark County.
“The citizens’ vote (in favor of an economic development sales tax) showed us that they are ready to grow.”