Northeast Tarrant County continues to offer a vibrant environment for business in the face of the Delta variant of Covid. Business continues to flourish by and large with the constraints of workers continuing to be a challenge.
School is back in session in our area, so let’s encourage all our teachers and administrators as they return to in-person education. They will continue to face challenges and they need our support.
Tarrant County has been offering Covid testing at the Northeast Courthouse at 645 Grapevine Highway on Monday mornings this month. The numbers jumped dramatically in the past weeks, starting with just 5 participants the first week, to over 100 the second week and over 200 this past Monday, August 23. Yesterday (August 30) was the final day of testing at the courthouse, and that mission will be taken over by local fire departments.
Hurst Fire Station 1 at 2100 Precinct Line Rd is one of the vaccine locations. All three vaccines are available for first and second doses as well as the booster. This clinic is only open on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Consideration for wearing or not wearing masks has led to serious conversations and even some protests in our area, with the issue facing about a 50-50 split. From schools to public events, each side has been passionate in sharing its feelings in public forums and in personal communication with our elected officials.
I ask you to be considerate when expressing your opinions, remembering that the elected members serving on each of our school boards and city councils are doing so on an unpaid basis because of their desire to serve our community.
In addition to our volunteer public servants, some of the most overworked people in our area are our healthcare providers in the hospitals. They face worker shortages at a time when the demand for their services is extremely high.
I was impressed this past Friday when a local company delivered 600 candy bars so that all 600 staff members of the day shift at Texas Health Resources Harris HEB Hospital in Bedford could enjoy a burst of energy.
We should all ask what we can do to encourage our first responders in this time of stress and high demand.
Some of our major events are on the horizon, with high school and college football. Major festivals are returning and our local chambers of commerce have been hosting their annual events.
Tarrant County officials are in the early stages of planning for distribution of the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act of 2021) funds. Unlike the CARES Act, which distributed funding on an immediate impact basis, the ARPA money is intended to provide longer term solutions. Commissioner Fickes explained the program very well at the August 12 luncheon of the HEB Chamber of Commerce.
We thank the City of Grapevine for sponsoring our August 10 breakfast meeting that featured Dr. Kristen Bennett from Tarrant County College. As Executive Vice President of Advancement, she shared encouraging insights on how TCC is providing next-level training for existing employees and offering to customize training for growing industries. We were impressed when she announced that TCC will match scholarship funding that any organization such as ours provides.
We wish each of our local chambers of commerce well as they launch their leadership programs for this year. Leadership programs help identify and equip emerging leaders to serve on our communities’ committees, boards and commissions. Some of our existing school board and council members are graduates of their chamber leadership initiatives.
Let’s look forward to some nice fall weather and our mixer on September 30, and our next breakfast on Tuesday, October 12, at the Hurst Conference Center. And following that breakfast will be our Heart of North Texas Conference on Friday, November 5. We thank Eli Mercer, RaDonna Hessel and Craig Hulse for their leadership in directing the conference committee.