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 June 1, 1999

Centera to study jobs Web site for Boulder Economic Council

BOULDER — The Boulder Economic Council is moving ahead on a plan to create a regional jobs Web site, finalizing a contract with Boulder-based Centera Information Systems for a initial assessment of how the site would perform.

Clif Herald, vice president of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, which oversees the council, says Centera, which will be paid between $15,000 to $20,000, will create feasibility and marketing plans, including how the site “will interface with both job seekers and employers.”

Centera also will help create a budget for the entire project, giving the Economic Council information it needs to decide whether to go forward or not, probably at its July meeting.

Centera, headed by President Rick Dakin, says on its Web site that its clients have included Qwest, U S West, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Compaq and the city of Louisville.

The jobs Web site is one part of a work program the council, which represents about 24 county businesses, approved for this year. The idea for a jobs site grew out of meetings the council had with local human resource directors, who said they favored more cooperative efforts to find new employees.

The council also has contracted with RRC Associates and Economics Research Associates in Boulder to assemble a study, or “white paper,” on the “State of the Regional Economy. Later, the council will hold meetings with businesses and other groups to present the study’s findings.

Later in the year, the council wants to begin updating a regional workforce study that was first done in 1998.

Herald said Centera’s job site study, as well as responses from large, local employers, should give the council information it needs to answer two important questions:

* Will the actual Web site be effective in helping to bring new workers to the region’s labor-short companies?;

* Will a group of “charter” companies come forward to underwrite the project?

So far, several companies, including Sun Microsystems, Corporate Express, Ball Aerospace, Leanin’ Tree, Case Logic, Celestial Seasonings and Powerworks have assisted the council on the job site plan.

Herald said he expects that companies agreeing to fund the site, by paying for online employment advertising, would form a board to work with a Web design company as well as a service provider to build and maintain the site. But ownership of the site would remain with the chamber.

“It would be pretty much like any other chamber program .. we depend on members to support and guide” a project, said Herald. Companies interested in participating on the jobs site should contact him, Herald said.

If the jobs Web site is approved and is successful, eventually smaller chamber members might be able use the service as well. One idea, Herald said, is that chamber members would be able to post a certain number of jobs as an added benefit for their membership.

BOULDER — The Boulder Economic Council is moving ahead on a plan to create a regional jobs Web site, finalizing a contract with Boulder-based Centera Information Systems for a initial assessment of how the site would perform.

Clif Herald, vice president of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, which oversees the council, says Centera, which will be paid between $15,000 to $20,000, will create feasibility and marketing plans, including how the site “will interface with both job seekers and employers.”

Centera also will help create a budget for the entire project, giving…

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