Highland County and Local Partners Set to Host Grand Opening of Workforce Development Center


Highland County Director of Economic Development Julie Bolender announced plans for the upcoming grand opening of the county’s first-ever Workforce Development Center at the Highland County Commission meeting on Wednesday. October 19.

As previously reported, Bolender and other local partners including Village of Greenfield, Southern State Community College and Great Oaks Career Campuses have announced plans for the “first ever Workforce Development Center ‘County Brick and Mortar Work’ to be built in Greenfield in November. 10, 2021, also at a county commission meeting.

Less than a year later, the official opening of the Jefferson Street Business Center facilities is now scheduled for Friday, October 28.

“It’s a partnership with the Village of Greenfield and Southern State Community College,” Bolender said. “dr. [Nicole] Roads [SSCC president] and Amy McClellan worked diligently on a grant that we were able to use to bring this center to fruition. We are ready to show the community what we have in store for them and we have also worked on different partnerships.

Bolender said last year that the goal of the new center was to help everyone from students, to area residents looking for work, to current employees who need a continuing education. On Wednesday, Bolender briefly discussed more specific plans for the new center.

One program will consist of medical assisting courses, helping individuals get basic training to get their start in the health care field.

“One of the first things we are going to do at this workforce development center is to partner with the Great Oaks Consortium, as well as Adena, to offer medical assisting courses which will be the first level of education for those people who are interested in health care,” Bolender said. “We can get them accredited to be a medical assistant. They can go and work in one of our many health care facilities here in Highland County, and many of these institutions such as Adena, Highland District, and HealthSource of Ohio all offer continuing education.

“We hope this center will be a place where they get their feet wet, where they start, where they get a good job that will also allow them to continue their education.

This includes preparing them to eventually pursue a two- or four-year degree in SSCC’s nursing program or other medical fields, she added.

Other classes offered at the center will include “adult basic education classes, GED classes, and literacy classes” through SSCC, Bolender said.

For existing employers and employees in the community, the center is also a resource for continuing education, training or other meetings.

“The great thing about the center is that it has two classrooms with all the latest technology,” Bolender said. “It’s also a great place for businesses and Highland County, and we hope they will use this center.

“The two classrooms are separated by a removable partition, so if you want you can open this partition to have a very large room. It’s a great place for companies to use for training. If they have need to have a corporate meeting offsite, this is a great location for that.All the amenities are there, all the technology is there.

The center can also serve as a resource for workers away from the community, according to the director of economic development.

“Another thing we offer in the center are three private co-working spaces,” Bolender said. “If you’re one of those people who work from home and need a place to go where the kids and dogs aren’t running around during your Zoom meeting, we have three shared workspaces. These are private rooms with all technology and internet access.”

Commission Chairman Jeff Duncan praised Bolender for the “great” news for the county.

“We know there was a lot of work done before all of this,” he said. “We’re finally starting to see a bit of the fruit of all the hard work you’ve been doing behind the scenes. It’s been going on for quite some time that you’ve all been working on it. Congratulation to all participants.

Bolender thanked the commissioners and their community partners for their support.

“We certainly hope the people and industries of Highland County will use it and see what a great blessing it is to this county,” she said. “I really appreciate the support from the Board of Commissioners, the Village of Greenfield and Southern State Community College. Together, you all made this happen, and it’s a great asset to Highland County.

The opening event will begin with the Highland County Chamber of Commerce hosting its “Coffee and Commerce” event from 8-9 a.m., followed by a ribbon cutting at 9:30 a.m. at the new center, located at 1300 Jefferson Street, Suite A in Greenfield. After the ceremony, there will be tours of the facility and demonstrations, Bolender said.

“We’re really excited to open the doors,” Bolender said. “I think the Workforce Development Center goes hand in hand with the ACCESS program and the Workforce Leadership Council. [also discussed Wednesday]. It really shows that Highland County is truly dedicated and committed to developing a workforce and making Highland County a great place for industry to put down roots.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, Commissioner David Daniels asked Bolender for an update on the state’s $500 million Appalachian grant program. She said they were still awaiting official advice, although a day later it was released by the state. (Read more: https://highlandcountypress.com/Content/In-The-News/In-The-News/Article/Governor-DeWine-announces-Appalachian-Community-Grant-Program-details/2/20/84287 .)

Bolender said Highland County worked with leaders in Adams, Brown and Pike counties to develop ideas for the grant.

“The main theme has always been collaboration,” Bolender said. “We think it is very important that we all join forces, that we determine what is best for our region, for our region, and that we apply as a group, as a unit which has the same objective and the same objectives for the future.

“We’ve sort of split into three sub-committees and we’re going to meet the other two sub-committee heads tomorrow. Then we’re going to get back on track with a few more meetings in the very, very near future to outline exactly what we would like to see the future of Highland County and this region be and what we would like as a band to apply for.

• • •

In another thread:

• Commissioners considered a citation from Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera to possibly add more vehicles to the HCSO fleet.

“We’ve been very fortunate to be able to purchase a few new vehicles each year for the sheriff’s office,” Duncan said. “They put a lot of miles on these cars.”

According to curator Terry Britton, Barrera emailed a quote for two 2023 Dodge Durangos for a total cost of $92,478.

Britton added that what the commissioners need to consider is whether they already want to buy two more cars for the HCSO, having “already bought two cars for them this year” (in January). He said they could discuss “if maybe we want to go ahead and order them for next year or wait”.

“He got a pretty decent price on these,” Britton said. “I think vehicle prices were going to go up seven to eight thousand dollars.

“The other problem was that we had to wait a long time to get the other vehicles.”

However, Britton said the purchase was “unbudgeted” for 2022, so if they act now, “we’ll have to move some money around.”

Daniels asked if there would be “immediate” delivery for these vehicles.

“I believe, if I’m not mistaken, that they have these cars,” Britton said.

Daniels said he wanted to “take a look and see what our fund balances are” before making a decision. “I mean, the price of vehicles is going to keep going up, I believe,” he said.

Duncan agreed with the idea of ​​”tableting” the proposal until the commissioners “have an opportunity to review our finances”.

“We’ll be back here probably before the end of the year,” Duncan said.

• Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley shared copies of permissive sales tax receipts for October 2022. Although the monthly total of $751,851 is the lowest number since April, it still represents an increase of $24,320.65 over the October 2021 total, as noted by Duncan.

“The sales tax numbers continue to be positive,” Duncan said. “This is a good thing.”

The county has now topped $7.6 million in revenue in the first 10 months of the year, with January-October totals ($7,677,806.23) up $257,846.24 from the same period. from the record year of 2021 ($7,419,959.99).

“At this point we’re doing really well,” Duncan said.

• Daniels noted that the Adena Greenfield Regional Medical Center was holding a ribbon cutting for its newly expanded facility on Wednesday afternoon.

“Congratulations to them and all the good work they are doing in providing health care assistance to Highland County, not only the Greenfield area, but Hillsboro and other areas they touch” , Daniels said.

Read more about the expansion in Angela Shepherd’s story at: https://highlandcountypress.com/Content/In-The-News/In-The-News/Article/Adena-Greenfield-Medical-Center-celebrates -expansion-opening-/20/02/84273.

• Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin, who was on hand for the Workforce Development Center announcement as well as another meeting with commissioners on Wednesday, asked to speak about the loss of a senior member of the Greenfield Police Force.

As previously reported, Greenfield K-9 Officer Rony passed away last week after a long illness. Rony had worked alongside his master, Greenfield Police Chief Jeremiah Oyer, for seven years.

Wednesday was observed as “K-9 Rony Day” in Greenfield in his memory.

“K9 Officer Rony was all over the county,” Wilkin said. “Just two weeks ago he was running a lead trying to nab a bad guy for another nearby agency, and then there’s also ongoing cases that we can’t talk about, but the amount of drugs that’s been identified and captured by him – his touch on the county, he will be missed.

“The impact K9 Officer Rony had on Highland County and Greenfield, he will be sorely missed.”

Wilkin said the village is exploring options to get another K9 officer for the department, but added they “will never replace” Rony. “He was a special dog,” he said.

• Commissioners voted 3-0 on Wednesday to make two endorsements:

A resolution for a budget amendment in the Highland County Sheriff’s Office budget in the amount of $11,500; and

A renewal of a fire prevention contract between the commissioners, the sheriff’s office and Johnson Controls for 2023.

For more on Wednesday’s meeting, click below.

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