Economic Development Update
Local leaders and stakeholders gathered on Wednesday, August 10 for an Economic Update meeting. The purpose of the gathering was to inform community leaders and the business community on events, primarily related to workforce development.
During the conference, Joe Patton from Ohio Means Jobs – Allen County addressed the crowd regarding workforce status and issues. Patton told the group that approximately 195 people have secured permanent jobs through the Ohio Means Jobs program. OMJ began through the help of grant money for the first two years and is now self-sustaining.
Patton also said that OMJ will be doubling their team of case managers, going from three to six. The case managers act as liaison for job seekers during their search for viable employment. There are currently more than 1,000 jobs available in the Lima area, each ranging from entry level to management. Some with salaries ranging from $50,000 to $80,000.
“There are companies looking to expand and to do so the workforce is a big part of that,” said Jeff Sprague, president and CEO of AEDG. “We have been working with Ohio Means Jobs and Joe Patton to really help companies identify good job candidates and work them through a process to eliminate some of the variables and get good people in the right job at the right time.”
Other topics discussed during the meeting include the upcoming MakerFest event, scheduled for October 20. MakerFest engages community members and showcases the products and services produced by local companies.
Ohio Means Jobs also discussed their latest initiative that focuses on promoting the appeal of local jobs to high school students. Through this program, numerous students from schools across the county have toured local factories and businesses to witness daily operations firsthand. A special focus is placed on high school students not planning to attend college, with the goal of helping those students line up local jobs upon graduation. Employers want to hire local people with deep community roots.