Seneca County companies receive funding through TechCred

Information provided by Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation

COLUMBUS — Two Seneca County companies that applied for the first application period of the TechCred program have been fully funded for their requests. Lt. Governor Jon Husted, who serves as director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, announced Dec. 6, 2019 that awards are being distributed to qualifying employers.

 “TechCred gives Ohio employers the chance to help mold their future workforce and develop the talent they need in order to grow in the community,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “Today’s announcement means that over 1,500 Ohioans will soon be better prepared for the next step in their career.”

Webster Industries Inc. in Tiffin received a $2,000 grant to train one employee and Omar Associates, LLC, in Attica received a $2,390 grant to train two employees.

Applications were approved for 234 Ohio employers, resulting in 1,576 credentials that will help upskill Ohio workers.

“These tech credentials will add value to the workplace, increase job security, and lead to higher wages,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the state economic development agency. “This will be a catalyst for both businesses and workers to succeed in new ways.”

The current online application period runs through Jan. 31.

Through TechCred, businesses can identify the specific qualifications they need and employees they want to upskill toward a more advanced position. In partnership with a training provider, the employer can apply online at TechCred.Ohio.Gov. The state will reimburse up to $2,000 of training upon completion of a credential.

A pre-approved list of eligible credentials is provided, but employers can request a credential be added to the eligible list by submitting an application for TechCred to be reviewed by a panel of stakeholders. Over 200 technology-focused credentials were approved for inclusion and potential funding following the first application period.

For more information or questions, please reach out directly to Workforce@OWT.Ohio.Gov.

Board approves first façade grants for 2020

Gem Yoga, Philips Electric and Kahler Apartment buildings to be updated

TIFFIN, OHIO – January 21, 2020 – Today, the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved Façade Enhancement Grants for Kahler Apartments, 210 S Washington St.; Gem Yoga and 3EC Development, 2 Sycamore St.; and Phillips Electric, 176 S. Washington St. These projects are the first approvals for the program in 2020.

At the meeting, the ABR approved a Downtown Façade Enhancement Grant, amount to be determined, for residing, porch repairs and painting at Kahler Apartments; a $8,580.97 grant for 3EC Development to replace windows on the building; and $9,544.50 to replace the roof at Philips Electric. Combined, the projects total a $49,600.94 investment in Downtown Tiffin.

The City of Tiffin set aside $100,000 for the program in 2019. The ABR approved grants for the owners of 14 buildings in Downtown Tiffin in 2019, for a total investment of $239,764.85.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented: “Even in its sixth year, the façade program is still providing a benefit to downtown property owners looking to invest in the City of Tiffin. I’m proud that council is continuing to support this important program.”

Since the program’s inception in 2014, 80 projects have been approved for a total downtown investment of more than $2.4 million.

About the Façade Enhancement Program
This City of Tiffin reimbursement grant program was started in 2014 and provides a 50 percent match of funds for eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district, up to $10,000. Each building is eligible to receive up to $10,000 per calendar year. For more information, visit www.senecasuccess.com (search “Façade Enhancement”).

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.com.

Heidelberg apartment projects underway

Story published on heidelberg.edu

There’s about to be a flurry of construction activity on campus. In fact, it’s already started.

Construction of the new Townhouse Apartments, a student housing complex on Main street, is well underway, according to Associate VP for Facilities & Engineering Rod Morrison.

The complex will feature 15 contiguous 2-1/2 story, four-bedroom apartments built between Krieg Hall and King Hall, overlooking Rock Creek. The project will create 60 new student residences in two buildings, one with nine unites and one with six units.

Rod reports that excavation of the site has been completed, the foundation for one of the buildings has been poured and with a second to be poured this week. Weather permitting, walls could start to be framed in the next couple of weeks, he added.

After extended planning and some unanticipated challenges, the France Hall restoration/renovation project also kicked off the week before Christmas with abatement of hazardous materials. Demo began late last week and construction moves into high gear this week.

When completed, France will provide about 70 beds for female students, two female faculty apartment annexes, our four female (including one mixed-gender) Greek society halls, a women’s leadership office, a restored parlor, a renovated multi-purpose event hall and a five-story elevator.

The France Hall project is being funded by generous donor gifts and our approved USDA low-interest, long-term loan.  The Main Street townhouse project is being fully funded by the USDA loan.

Targeted completion for both facilities is August for fall semester occupancy.

Additionally, planning and design meetings for the upcoming renovation of Miller Hall are also underway. “If all goes well with the scheduled completion of the town homes and France Hall, Miller renovation will begin this summer,” Rod said.

Downtown Tiffin applying to be on HGTV show

Citizens invited to nominate for “Home Town Takeover”

TIFFIN, OHIO – Friday, January 17, 2020 – Amy Reinhart, Downtown Main Street Manager for Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, has submitted a nomination for Downtown Tiffin to be in HGTV’s new series “Home Town Takeover.” Ben and Erin Napier hosts of HGTV’s popular series “Home Town,” will be leading a team of renovation professionals as they takeover and makeover an entire small town in the six-episode special event slated to air on HGTV in 2021.

According to a press release from HGTV, the Napiers have experience in whole-town transformation. They’ve not only helped rescue and enhance dozens of homes in their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi, they’ve also played a pivotal role in helping revitalize the city’s downtown while preserving and celebrating the town’s architectural treasures, endemic charm and historic features.

The release states that HGTV is launching a nationwide call to find towns for the series. Residents may also nominate Tiffin by visiting hgtvhometowntakeover.com and filling out the form. Application deadline is Feb. 7.

The revitalization of downtown Tiffin began in 2011, when a group of community members came together to for “Tiffin Tomorrow”, with the goal of promoting and encouraging economic development in downtown Tiffin, and creating plans, programs and actions to ensure long-term vitality and prosperity. In 2014, the city of Tiffin contracted with Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, then Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Crop., to act as the downtown organization and “Tiffin Tomorrow” became the TSEP “Downtown Development Committee,” which serves as the governing board of the downtown organization. In 2015, Tiffin joined Heritage Ohio’s Ohio Main Street Program. Since January 2016, Tiffin has had $29 million invested in downtown, 43 new businesses opened and 119 new jobs were created. There are currently 174 businesses in downtown, including restaurants, retail, professional offices and government buildings.

For more information on the nominating process or the new series from HGTV, visit https://www.hgtv.com/shows/home-town/ben-and-erin-take-home-town-on-the-road-in-new-hgtv-series-home-town-takeover.

About Downtown Tiffin

The revitalization of downtown Tiffin began in 2011, when a group of community members came together to for “Tiffin Tomorrow”, with the goal of promoting and encouraging economic development in downtown Tiffin, and creating plans, programs and actions to ensure long-term vitality and prosperity. In 2014, the city of Tiffin contracted with SIEDC to act as the downtown organization and “Tiffin Tomorrow” came under the SIEDC umbrella as the “Downtown Development Committee,” which serves as the governing board of the downtown organization. In 2015, Tiffin joined Heritage Ohio’s Ohio Main Street Program. For more information, click here.

Seneca County listed as most affordable to retire in state

Information via SmartAsset

Screenshot via SmartAsset

A recent study by SmartAsset lists Seneca County as the most affordable place to retire in Ohio.

According to the website, the study measures each county by Social Security income, property taxes, state pensions and living expenses.

The results show Seneca County’s cost of living is $30,146 with an estimated property tax of $1,233 and full Social Security income of $19,362. Nationally, Seneca County is ranked 668th.

To come up with its methodology, first the study looked at the average Social Security income for each county in the United States. It then calculated Social Security income for each age group by measuring the average Social Security income and age distribution of people collecting Social Security in each county.

Next, it looked at 401K and pension plan statistics for each county, as these plans are designed to help people meet financial goals for retirement. The metrics included for 401(k) performance were employer contributions, fees and fund performance. Government contribution, fund returns and funding percentage were looked at for pensions.

To assess costs that will affect the affordability of an individual’s retirement, the study analyzed data on the median annual property taxes paid in each county and their respective cost of living, which included items such as food, medical care and transportation.

It then determined a weighted score for each county’s retirement affordability by evaluating each of the factors above. The study indexed the affordability scores so the values reflect the most affordable places to retire.

Sources were taken from US Census Bureau 2017 American Community Survey, MIT Living Wage Study, Informa Financial Intelligence, Social Security Administration.

Other counties in the top 10 included Washington, Ashtabula, Pike, Putnam, Columbiana, Wyandot, Clinton, Harrison and Geauga counties, respectively.

Other neighboring counties ranked higher: Sandusky County, 12th; Wood County, 50th; Crawford County, 55th; Hancock County was ranked 60th and Huron County, 68th.

For more information, visit smartasset.com/financial-advisor/financial-advisor-firms#ohio.

TechCred application period open throughout January

Information via Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation

Per a release from the Ohio Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, the second application period for TechCred will be open throughout the month of January. 

TechCred was created to connect businesses with the talent they need and gives employees the ability to earn industry recognized, technology focused credentials to better prepare them for a job in today’s advanced technology infused economy. 

Through TechCred, Ohio businesses can identify the skills they need and employees they want to upskill toward a more advanced position.  In partnership with a training provider, the employer can apply online at TechCred.Ohio.Gov.  TechCred replaces the Ohio Voucher Training Program.  Whereas funds were available under that program on a “first come, first served” basis, TechCred applications are reviewed for merit, and funds are designated for small, medium and large employees.   If approved, the state will reimburse the employer up to $2,000 per employee upon completion of a credential. 

A list of eligible credentials is provided, but employers can request a credential be added to the list by submitting an application for TechCred to be reviewed by a panel of stakeholders.  When the program was originally launched, 154 credentials in 6 categories were on the approved list.  At the time of the announcement for the second round of funding, the list has grown to over 500 credentials in 8 categories.  Information about the program, including the complete list of credentials, can be found at https://techcred.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/techcred.

Questions about TechCred can be sent to TechCred@Development.Ohio.Gov.

Tiffin Fire and Rescue Division receives upgraded public protection score

Press release provided by Tiffin Fire/ Rescue Division

Tiffin, Ohio — The Tiffin Fire and Rescue Division received notification from the Insurance Service Organization (ISO) of a change in the department’s public protection classification (PPC). The department’s previous rating was a class 3, but after the most recent survey from ISO the department’s PPC score was upgraded to a class 2.

The PPC classification system assigns a number grade from 1-10 with 1 being the highest score and 10 being the lowest to 40,355 communities across the United States including 2,081 communities in Ohio. The new class 2 designation places the Tiffin Fire and Rescue Division into the top 4% in the State of Ohio and within the nation’s top 5% of the fire departments who have received a PPC of a class 2 rating or better.

This grading scale plays an important role in the underwriting process at insurance companies. ISO documents state most insurers, including the largest ones, use PPC information for underwriting and calculating premiums for residential, commercial and industrial properties.

The PPC program evaluates communities according to a uniform set of criteria, These criteria incorporate nationally recognized standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association and the American Water Works Association.

Lutheran Social Services of Northwestern Ohio expanding

New office in Tiffin to allow for more services

TIFFIN, OHIO – Jan. 6, 2020Lutheran Social Services of Northwestern Ohio is moving to a new location in Tiffin, expanding its footprint and offerings. Scheduled to be open by the beginning of 2020, the organization will be moving to 676 Miami St., Suite A, where staff will have access to three private offices and a group therapy room.

Since opening its Tiffin office in September 2017, the organization has brought on four employees. With the additional space provided by the new location, therapists will be able to expand services beyond the mental health counseling currently offered. The new location will enable the therapists to provide drug and alcohol addiction services, anger management, parental counseling and batterers intervention groups.

“We’re really excited about being able to expand in Tiffin,” said Jeffrey Bischoff, Senior Program/Clinical Manager for Lutheran Social Services of Northwestern Ohio. “Our therapists are ready for the move and will be able to accommodate and make other interventions available to the community.”

Lutheran Social Services of Northwestern Ohio was founded in 1911 by a group of pastors in Fremont, Ohio. In addition to support services at its local offices, the organization operates a Financial Opportunity Center which is part of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation service model. In the most recent program expansion, Lutheran Social Services became the Lead Agency for the Shared Success Employer Resource Network in 2018, which is a collaboration between LSS and six companies in Northwestern Ohio.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented: “It is always great news to see a company be able to grow and provide more services in Tiffin.”

For more information about services provided by Lutheran Social Services of Northwestern Ohio, call (567) 220-6495 for the Tiffin office or visit www.lssnwo.org.

About Lutheran Social Services of Northwestern Ohio

Founded in 1911 by a group of pastors in Fremont, Ohio, as Lutheran Inner-Mission Society, Lutheran Social Services of Northwestern Ohio is a 501©(3) organization that regularly receives reaccredidation by the nationally recognized Council on Accreditation as well as licensures by the Ohio Department of Mental Health, Ohio Department of Alcohol & Drug Addiction Services and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The agency’s stated mission is:  “In response to God’s love for all persons, Lutheran Social Services of Northwestern Ohio provides human services that will strengthen the mental, moral, physical, social and spiritual well-being of those who seek this agency’s services.” For more information, visit www.lssnwo.org.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

Register for Midwest Buyers Mission in Columbus

Information from Food Export – Midwest

Registration is open for the July 29, 2020, Midwest Buyers Mission in Columbus, Ohio. Position yourself and your products in front of pre-qualified, experienced international buyers who continue to seek the latest food trends and products from the United States. Early registration deadline is May 27, 2020, and the registration deadline is June 17, 2020.

Food Export In-Market Representatives from around the world will be on hand to meet one-on-one with to answer questions and assist with market specific insight. Food Export Helpline Counselor Dennis Lynch will be available for one-on-one meetings as well. These local marketing experts provide on-the-ground help and can help you:  

  • Learn how to be competitive when entering and remaining in a market.
  • Gain insights into emerging market trends.
  • Find the right buyer for your product in specific market segments.
  • Get your product and promotion plans market ready.

Early registration price is $325 for two company representatives and after that it is $400 for two company representatives. Registration includes up to 10 one-on-one meetings with buyers, the option to meet with all In-Market Representatives and the Food Export Helpline Counselor for two company representatives, and a networking lunch session.

For more information and additional dates, visit the registration page.

4CG opens wage and benefit surveys

Surveys focus on citizens, business owners

TIFFIN, OHIO – Dec. 17, 2019 – Economic development and workforce development organizations in Huron, Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca counties representing the partnership of the 4CG initiative have announced the openings of two surveys to gather information on wages and benefits for the region’s workforce. This is the first wage survey of Seneca County employers since at least 2005.

The wage and benefit survey is being conducted with the goal of improving local industries’ competitiveness for skilled labor. The surveys are focused on citizens/employees (https://tinyurl.com/4CGCitizenSurvey) and industry/business owners/plant managers (https://tinyurl.com/4CGOwnerSurvey). Employers should encourage their employees to fill out the survey.

4CG represents the 4 County Group 4 Collaborative Growth. The group began working together six years ago to collectively address the region’s workforce challenges. To date, the group has completed a SWOT analysis and industry specific focus groups on manufacturing, healthcare, tourism/service/travel, transportation/logistics, Davis Besse, agriculture and education

Following the survey, the plan calls for the identification and recommendation of partnerships with potential training partners. Final analysis and strategies based on the SWOT analysis, focus groups and surveys are to be provided to 4CG by May 2020 and will then be released to the public.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.org.