Retirement? Roberts can't BEAR the idea of leaving now
This week, one of the most successful AmeriCorp VISTA Volunteers to ever set foot in the Castle Valley retired from her post with the area's Business Expansion and Retention Project. However, just because Dolores Roberts will no longer be consider a VISTA, her work with the Castle Valley's foremost economic development project is far from over.
"Oh I couldn't stop working all together, I would go crazy," said Roberts following her retirement celebration. "I have become attached to this project and will stick with it for as long as they will have me."
Roberts, who was instrumental in a majority of the success which BEAR has seen over the past four years, will continue to work for the project from home as a business outreach specialist.
According to Carbon County Economic Development Director Delynn Fielding, Roberts was not only instrumental in BEAR's local success but also in taking the program from the Castle Valley to the entire state of Utah. The business outreach and expansion project that is BEAR is now practiced in 20 counties throughout Utah.
$2.5 million in grants
"Training new outreach specialists is one of the things I have have enjoyed most during my time with BEAR," said Roberts. "To go to their community as see how this program is going to fit and adapt to their needs was a very fulfilling project."
While Roberts has done much to see BEAR saturate Utah's economic development landscape, her most impressive work has been done right here in Carbon County. During her four year tenure in the Castle Valley, Roberts was assigned 490 companies which she investigated and assisted through 1,884 separate visits. Those visits generated 171 referrals and helped generate over $2.5 million in rural fast track grants for local businesses.
To recognize her work in the local area, Roberts was named the 2008 Carbon County Woman of the Year and the 2009 Southeastern Utah Woman of the Year. She also was promoted to leader of the state BEAR VISTAs during her last year of volunteer service.
"You know the BEAR project has generated a lot of training, but I would have to say two of the programs I am most proud of are our web design and marketing classes along with the substance abuse educational program we brought to Castle Valley businesses," explained Roberts.
Because of BEAR's success across the state, the Utah legislature is now helping to fund the program, a development that took quite a bit of work from Robert's, the other BEAR VISTAs and the program's local administration.
"As I leave I would like to thank BEAR's leader's," concluded Roberts. "Delynn Fielding, Karl Kraync, Nick Tatton and Ethan Migliori who have done so much to make this worthwhile project a major success."
As Roberts shifts gears, the best way to look back on her service would perhaps be comment made through BEAR's database by a client she had worked with.
"Most employees do as little as possible to collect a pay check and go home. Not Dolores, she really does seem to care and wants to help make each and every business succeed in Carbon County. I wish I could find an employee like Dolores."