Delynn Fielding, left, and Karl Kraync share a laugh at a BEAR meeting.
After working to facilitate multiple successful initiatives in Castle Country, Carbon County Economic Development Director Delynn Fielding has been appointed to the Governor's Office of Economic Development as Rural Program Director.
Fielding's work in this area started in the private sector at Zion's Bank, were he was Vice President and Regional Manager of Eastern Utah before taking an early retirement.
Finding that retirement didn't suit him just then, Fielding joined Carbon County as Economic Development Director in June 2000.
"As I started the job, our office knew that we wanted to expend resources chiefly on local business," said Fielding. "The county had used funds to recruit outside business with little success and we could see that our efforts would be better spent working to create and expand the area's market from within."
One of the first projects Fielding worked on was the Southeastern Utah Small Business Investment Fund or SEUSBIF, which used multiple sources to create new business opportunity for 78 start-up enterprises in the four-county area. As 60 of those businesses hailed from Carbon and Emery County, the program was an instant success.
"It was a great feeling to work with those start-up businesses," said Fielding. "There were some fantastic success that came from that program, many of which are still in operation today."
According to Fielding, the strength of SEUSBIF came from the inter-agency cooperation at its core. Some of the funds major players included the College of Eastern Utah, the local Association of Governments, the Small Business Development Center, the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Vocational Rehabilitation and city governments from every municipality in the area.
Looking to grow on the success SEUSBIF has created, Fielding again partnered with multiple agencies and put Carbon County Economic Development at the very center of the Castle Country Business Expansion and Retention Project.
Starting in 2006, BEAR as it is known locally, used a revolutionary software program to catalog and gather information from every business operating in Carbon and Emery County. Once obtained, that information was used to disburse nearly $3 million in funding to local businesses, working to promote their continued expansion.
Because of its success, BEAR has been expanded to include independent rural programs all across the state of Utah.
"The best part of this job has been working with the agency partners in these programs," said Fielding. "Working with them to see a business start up and grow, that's a rewarding thing."
Fielding will know use his decades of experience to assist the Governor's Office of Economic Development to promote rural business programs. The BEAR program will celebrate Fielding's accomplishment with a farewell on Aug. 28 at 2 p.m. in the Business and Technical Assistance Center at 400 South and Carbon Avenue in Price.
"I am just now starting to get input about various issues and looking forward to using state resources to grow business in rural Utah," said Fielding. "For our own area, we have some exciting possibilities for new business and hope to have some announcements in the next month or so."