Economic Summit Held in Kent County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Economic Summit Held in Kent County

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DOVER, Del.- Jobs are at a premium in Kent County, with 5,000 people out of work in the area. That is why leaders there are strategizing how to get more people back to work.

Leaders are shifting their focus, trying to attract more small businesses instead of one large company.

Buffalo Wild Wings is one of many small businesses in Dover. The restaurant employs 75 people. By hiring more people, the company is trying to make a small dent in Dover's more than 8 percent unemployment rate.

Kent County Economic Director Jim Waddington said it is a small step, but one that needs to be duplicated by other companies.

"We all sort of become seduced by the idea that we're going to bring in the next new Amazon with 800 jobs but really, job gains are incremental," Waddington said.

Buffalo Wild Wings owner Bobby Pancake said job training is essential to get people back to work.

"Training workers is absolutely the right thing to do. That's what every business wants, skilled, trained, intelligent workers," he said. "And I think that's the piece we really need in Dover."

The challenge becomes matching people's job skills with available work in Kent County.

"There are about 5,000 people unemployed in Kent county so if we could create 5,000 jobs that'd be wonderful, but it's a little unrealistic," Waddington said.

For those dreaming of opening their own small business, the city of Dover says it is trying to streamline the process to make the dream a reality.

"You come in to me and want to open a business, we can put you together with the right people, we know how to get you your business license, we know how to help you with your financing," said Dover Economic Director Bill Neaton. "We can do all of those things."

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