From the Director's Desk -
Great Resignation? The thing about me and work is that I like it.
All the quitting or reshuffling going on with employees right now has me thinking about the many expectations we have for work, and what my own kids expectations might be. Like my wife and I, back in the day, both are good students, and good workers, neither is on an obvious “career track.”  Not sure being in a career track is so common anymore, which leads to a lot of questioning.

My two kids are in college. They also work.

They are not “working their way through college.” That is largely an outdated fable. My wife and I, at the peak of our earning power are basically spending what would be our retirement savings covering their college experience, and then, just barely.  Ostensibly they are going to college “to get good jobs.” To those two concepts in quotations, I say this; as a society we carry a lot of unhelpful baggage about work and why we work.

For our kids, earning money represents a dose of freedom and self-respect. It teaches them responsibility, and provides experience navigating other people and the ways of the world.  One is a bike mechanic on campus. He also “interns” doing free research work for a professor—watching hours of game camera footage of deer corpses, taking notes on the scavenging animals. Both jobs interest him while providing perspective into what he doesn’t want to “spend the rest of his life” doing. This summer, the other is office managing at the dance studio where she studied through childhood. At college she gives campus tours where her boosterism sometimes conflicts with her actual experience as a student. Both jobs provide her an adult view into institutions she still mostly views through the idealistic eyes of youth.

Besides being insufficient for tuition, neither makes wages that would come close to paying their monthly rent, which isn’t really the point of work for them…yet.

Each opines as I did once (and occasionally still do at age 53) about the perfect job, or ideal career. They agonize over employment choices looming ahead.  They worry over making enough money. They also worry about their skills, their fortitude and most fundamentally, they worry about their value (Full stop there). Yes, I mean self-worth which is woven indelibly into work, perhaps more so for some than others. I’ve certainly known people who are competent, if dispassionate, about their work which allows them enough to do what they want with their free time and to not think for a second about their job till they show up at their station again. Contrary to all the hype about employee engagement, Instagram postings about the perfect side hustle, articles about perks, benefits and compensation or “the best places to work” the world needs a lot of people who just do their jobs well, or well enough. Some would consider that a “healthy” relationship with your job.  I don’t think that is where either of my kids are headed.
They worry as did my wife and I did about choosing a first “real” job poorly, and getting stuck in a profession they dislike for the rest of their lives. They worry about being compromised through work. Because of a lifelong condition, my son is very concerned about finding a job with good employer attached health coverage (until someday when the U.S. provides universal care), something that didn’t occur to me until I had kids. They look at the home they grew up in and wonder aloud if they could ever afford it or one like it here. Honest answer: probably not for 20 years for more and then, only if they find “good work,” some other place first.

Such contemplations can be oppressive. They also set unrealistic expectations about most of the work one will do throughout a lifetime.

In anxiety over working, they would not be alone. Evidently there are a lot of adults of all ages re-thinking their relationship to work these days. Since COVID, over 4 million people are quitting jobs each month with roughly 47 million quitting a job in 2021 according to CNBC. Fox Business has called it a “reshuffling” while Bloomberg cites a survey from HR firm Mercer that says 1/3 of current workers are considering quitting in the next 12 months in spite of what the same article refers to as a looming “economic hurricane.”

Oh, and between the weather, and the rapidly changing climate, reservoirs running dry, Congress gridlocked, gun violence making the news every day, politics being more hostile than it has been in over 50 years, with some people pumping themselves up for an un-civil war, a pandemic, pandemic backlash, black lives matter, blue lives matter, an actual war near where the last two World Wars were fought, and well, the cost of… everything, young adults can be cut some slack trying to reconcile all of that with what they may want from their future, or if there is a future worth planning. For that matter, we should all be cut some slack, especially over this question of work and how it does or doesn’t define us.

The thing is, I’ve had over 30 “paying” jobs so far in my 53 years, and I’ve enjoyed just about every one of them at the time. Though I needed money, the choice of any specific job was rarely made because of the wage itself. Very few of those jobs did I think then would turn into a career, although a couple did, if you count 5-10 years in a profession to constitute a “career.” A few jobs were for a month or two, one for a week. Some jobs were overlapping; most were instructive in one way or another, and each of them I can embrace as part of my life’s journey, my ongoing education.

Bottom line, what advice would I have for my kids? Work does not define you or define your worth. If you are fortunate, you fundamentally like to be occupied and engaged. Work is an opportunity to do that. You will likely have a lot of different jobs. They may provide a “path” to a job you think is perfect for you. It is common to not see that path until you look back. You do not need to like the work that you do, but it is often easier if you find something about every job that you like, and something you can learn.  You will need to work to do things you want to do. If you only see it as a means to an end, work can be drudgery. If you see every task as a game or a challenge, and you find some joy in it, the time will pass much more quickly.  Even working for other people there is often (but not always) the opportunity to shape your work, or at least you always have the ability to shape how you see the work. Don’t weigh happiness so much over competence. There is always an opportunity for somebody who does something well. Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well.

Maybe it runs in the family. Upon his 60th birthday, which was 23 years ago, after 30 years working in public schools as a teacher or administrator, my Father said to us, “I still feel like a kid who doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up.”
Jon Stavney
Executive Director - NWCCOG

Curious about the 30 paying jobs and lesson learned from each? Click here.
Heard around the Region
Granby - Quietly Independent
This authentic small town in the mountains has a vision to keep it that way. Fortunately, they also know what they don’t want – and that’s to be another Summit County owned by big resorts (no “bashing” intended). According to an article in the Denver Post on July 22, the town leaders have hired an advertising company to “turn what is not in Granby into an asset.”

Many small mountain towns face the inevitable changes brought on by developers, investors, and people just looking for a quiet get away. As the article puts it, the question is: “How to save the organic local uniqueness as hordes move in to do things differently?”

Desperately seeking to maintain the hometown feel, town leaders are working with a Nebraska-based marketing company to create a ‘this is independence campaign’. Lauren Huber, director of the chamber of commerce says the campaign “will serve as ‘tourism management'; encouraging short stays and spending money that stays in Granby, while avoiding the amusement park atmosphere available in other resorts.” Their goal is to encourage visitors to “truly connect to nature in a quieter way.”

Small business owner Ed Raegner says, “We do need to get people to come here, stop and stay. But you want them to do it for the right reasons. This is about growing in a creative way that is real and more authentic.”

Authenticity, connecting quietly to nature, preserving a hometown feel, locals who welcome visitors – an idyllic goal – worthy of deep thought.
Water Water...anywhere?
In just the past three weeks there have been at least a dozen water articles in publications from the Denver Post, to the Colorado Sun Times, to the Summit Daily and others, yet again raising the red flag about the dwindling supply in the Colorado River -- especially in the Lower Colorado River Basin which includes California, Arizona and Nevada.
All states served by the Colorado River, are being asked to come up with a plan to tighten their belts where water consumption is concerned. As of now, the upper basin (Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico) is not currently using its full allotment, while the lower basin is guzzling almost 19% more than its allotment with California using the most of that overage, followed closely by Arizona.
“Whatever method of analysis of the water supplies of the Colorado River is used, the results are essentially the same, i.e., there is not enough water in the river to satisfy the apportionments under the Compact and the allocation to Mexico under the Mexican Water Treaty.”
— Royce J. Tipton, civil engineer, “Water Supplies of the Colorado River,” 1965
Both basins must submit a comprehensive plan to the U S Bureau of Reclamation by August 15, that reduces overall consumption by 2 to 4 million acre-feet. If the plan is not submitted by the deadline, the Feds will step in and make the cuts for the basins.
For context, the upper basin is allotted 7.5 million acre-feet, the lower basin is allotted 8.5 m – but is currently using about 10 million. Mexico is allotted 1 million acre-feet. Basically, the Bureau is asking the seven states to save 21% to 41% with a focus on the biggest reductions by California and Arizona. The upper basin has already submitted its plan.
As originally quoted in the Denver Post, “Ultimately, life will change in some way for the 40 million people depending on the Colorado River. That likely means less water for major cities like Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Diego, along with higher electric and grocery bills. Short-term cuts are needed now, but hydrologists agree, there must be a new way to divide the Colorado River’s water for the decades ahead.”
The situation is dire with no easy resolution in sight – conserve water – shower with a friend.
Vintage Services now available to
Routt County residents
On July 1st, Vintage officially started providing services as the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) in Routt County. We are excited to serve Routt and meet older adults and caregivers in the region. While you can always reach us via phone and email, we loved meeting individuals in person during our mini-roadshow in Routt County June 20-22nd when we attended the senior meals sites for lunch, gave a brief introduction and welcomed questions. We are thankful for our partners, including the Routt County Council on Aging, and look forward to a long and collaborative future in our newest county!

Check us out online:
State Rulemaking on Protecting
Trailer Park Residents
Pitkin County BOCC has purchased Mobile Home Parks recently to protect the housing while Eagle County BOCC has advocated to protect water quality and assisted with a resident buyout that fell through. As we push resources toward addressing the deficit in affordable homes, it is also important to keep an eye on preserving existing affordable housing. There is no more urgent area for this than with regard to trailer parks. This year the Colorado Legislature passed HB 22-1287, which aims to shore up residents rights and aid in buyouts. The 103 hearings on the Rulemaking begin August 1, and continue August 4, 8th and 12th, with the intent of the “permanent rulemaking hearing” to occur on September 30th.

The point person is Christina Postolowski, Program Manager for the Office of Regulatory Oversight, Mobile Home Park Oversight Program. Her contact info is .
Next Council Meeting - AUGUST 25, 2022
Full Council Meeting, EDD Board Meeting
Location: Zoom Conference Call, On-site location TBD
Time: Council 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM - EDD 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Primary Agenda Items: Strategic planning for 2023; approve 2nd Quarter Financials; approve July minutes