Seneca County

2019 small business seminar schedule set

2014_03_24 - BillAuxter

Small Business Development Center Director Bill Auxter

Bill Auxter, Director of the Ohio Small Business Development Center at Terra State Community College, hosts a free, monthly Small Business Basics seminar at the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services. On average, Bill works with more than 150 small businesses each year, which includes pre-ventures, start-ups, and existing businesses.

The Business Basics seminar is a two-hour session designed to answer questions about starting, buying or expanding a small business. Participants are walked through the basics of name registration, licensing, taxes, advisors, business entities, employees, insurance, financing, business planning and more.

The seminars take place at the Seneca Regional Chamber and Visitor Services’ Community Room from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. on the following 2019 dates:

  • January 9
  • February 13
  • March 13
  • April 10
  • May 8
  • June 12
  • August 14
  • September 11
  • October 9
  • November 13

To register, contact Bill Auxter at 419.559.2210 or bauxter@terra.edu. Click here for more general information.

Oliver named state director of the year

Press release provided by the office of the Seneca County Commissioners

KathyOliver.jpgSeneca County Department of Job and Family Services Director Kathy Oliver was named Ohio’s DJFS Director of the Year Friday by the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association.

Oliver, who has been the county’s director since June 2003, was given the award Friday at the OJFSDA Annual Recognition Banquet in Columbus.

“It is an absolute honor and blessing,” Oliver said. “There are so many talented, skilled and innovative directors in Ohio. I consider myself fortunate to get to work with them on various committees, task forces and work groups.”

The award recognizes a director who, through dedicated efforts throughout their career, exemplify the professional qualities and achievements of an outstanding director. OJFSDA received nominations for director of the year through the end of October.

As part of Oliver’s nomination, other directors and staff members recognized Oliver for her hard work. The letter she received informing her that she was selected as director of the year states, “your commitment to the residents of your county, as well as your involvement in the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association, is greatly appreciated. Your peers described you as open, kind, hard-working and a steadfast advocate for the well-being of your customers. It is fitting and with great honor that we recognize you for all your dedication to your agency, community and the entire job and family service system.”

Oliver credited DJFS staff for allowing the department to succeed.

“We are successful because of our staff’s commitment to helping individuals and families with the services we provide,” she said. “We have skilled, talented and trained staff. We are fortunate that we have an excellent workforce who constantly adapts to new rules and regulations to provide the best service possible. We also work with amazing community partners that are interested in finding solutions and implementing best practices.”

Ginger Mack, of Seneca County DJFS, said she was happy Oliver received the recognition.
“Kathy is a respected leader in our agency, community and the state,” she said. “I don’t know anyone who is more deserving of this award.”

Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas said Oliver deserves the award.

“Seneca County is proud to have Kathy Oliver leading our JFS agency,” he said. “Her guidance has led to best practices being implemented across our system, this is reflected in recent outstanding audits from the state of Ohio. We are thankful that she continues to serve some of our most in need populations.

Oliver said many changes and improvements have been made during her time as director.

“We started electronic imaging shortly after I became the director,” she said. “That project freed up space for offices for our staff instead of having file rooms. We also created an agency database that holds all types of documents, guidance and rules for ease of our workers to quickly find what they need to do their job.”

Oliver also said two call centers have been implemented to provide better customer service.

“There is a call center for public assistance and one for child support. Both have less than a minute wait time. We have also implemented a human resources software, which allows us to efficiently process payroll and electronically submit it to the auditor’s office,” she said.

Oliver said 2018 has been a busy year for Seneca County DJFS.

“We are implementing state-wide imaging solutions for public assistance, child care, child protection and child support,” she said. “Also, we completed the transition to the state-wide public assistance system called Ohio Benefits. We have been part of many committees locally and in the state to better serve our families in Seneca County, by creating sound policy, systems and solutions. We continue to develop leaders within our staff by participating in Seneca County Leadership with some of our staff.”
Oliver said other strides are being made in the child support program, in the workforce program and in several others.

“In the child support program, we are in the process of preparing to implement new state legislation which provided technical fixes and update to the child support guideline,” she said, adding that the changes will be implemented in March 2019. “In the Workforce program, we just completed work as part of a team with economic development, the chamber, local employers, community partners and Tiffin University for the 2018 manufacturing showcase event. Over ten schools and 750 students participated in learning about jobs in manufacturing here in Seneca County. We were also one of the first apprenticeship programs with employers in Ohio as part of Area 7. We continue to assist individuals with training and on-the-job training needs.”

Oliver also said many families have been helped with winter clothing through a partnership with local retail stores.

“We have also been able to help families with training, car repairs, gas vouchers, heating and other services to help families who are eligible,” she said.

Seneca Wind Introduces Office in Tiffin

sPower-Logo_onWhite.jpgsPower Opens Seneca County Headquarters at 23 Court Street

Press release provided by sPower

Joined by Seneca County residents, business leaders and elected officials, sPower cut the ribbon on an office for the Seneca Wind project in downtown Tiffin that will be open to the public during designated hours, five days a week. sPower encourages people to visit the office at 23 Court Street for information about Seneca Wind or to leave comments or questions about the project.

“Today we make it official that Seneca Wind is a long-term member of this outstanding community,”  said Gordon Gray, director of wind for sPower. “We thank the residents and community leaders who have welcomed us, and we invite everyone to visit our office and engage with us.”

The Seneca Wind office will be staffed by Cynthia Beat, a resident of Attica, and will be open during the following hours:

  • Monday, 9 a.m. – noon
  • Tuesday, 9 a.m. – noon
  • Wednesday, 2 – 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon
  • Friday, 9 a.m. – noon

“I welcome sPower to our downtown community – another success in the efforts to revitalize the courthouse square area,” Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas said. “Representatives from sPower made several commitments to the commissioners. One of them was to have a staffed local office in downtown Tiffin. I thank them for keeping that pledge. This move demonstrates their long-term commitment to the county and their promise to be accessible to concerned citizens. sPower’s small local office will grow into hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment across the county.”

The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) is reviewing sPower’s application for a 212 megawatt wind farm. sPower is seeking a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need as part of a comprehensive public review process.

In September, the State of Ohio certified Seneca Wind as a Qualified Energy Project, establishing a fixed payment in lieu of taxes throughout the operational life of the project. Based on the proposed 212 megawatts of nameplate capacity and the 30-year expected lifetime of the project, this will result in $56 million of revenue from sPower to be divided among schools, townships and other taxing jurisdictions in Seneca County. The Qualified Energy Project program also creates requirements for in-state employment, renewable energy education, road improvement and repair, and emergency response training.

Seneca Wind will consist of up to 85 wind turbines on approximately 25,000 acres of privately leased land in Scipio, Reed, Venice, Eden and Bloom townships, providing enough clean energy to power almost 60,000 homes each year.

About sPower: sPower, an AES and AIMCo company, is the largest private owner of operating solar assets in the United States. sPower owns and operates a portfolio of solar and wind assets greater than 1.3 gigawatts and has a development pipeline of more than 13 gigawatts. sPower is owned by a joint venture partnership between The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES), a worldwide energy company headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation, one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment fund managers. For more information, visit www.sPower.com. To learn more about the Seneca Wind project, visit www.SenecaWind.com.

 

Bascom Communications Named Certified Gig-Capable Provider by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association

GigCertified_4c.pngPress release provided by Bascom Communications

Arlington, Va., (9/27/18)Bascom Communications Inc. was today recognized by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, the premier association representing nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America, as a Certified Gig-Capable Provider for delivering gigabit broadband speeds and enabling technological innovation in the Bascom and surrounding communities.

As a Certified Gig-Capable Provider, Bascom Communications joins a national campaign to build awareness and industry recognition of community-based telecom providers that have built communications networks capable of delivering Internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, which is 100 times faster than those currently available in many U.S. households. Bascom Communications also received tools to promote itself as a Gig-Capable Provider in the Seneca County and will be recognized in NTCA media, on the NTCA website, and during association conferences and events.

“I applaud Bascom Communications for its commitment to delivering the Internet’s fastest speeds—an accomplishment worthy of much praise considering the unique and challenging circumstances small, community-based telecommunications providers operate under every day in serving some of our country’s most rural and remote communities,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. “By building a gigabit-capable network, Bascom has not only overcome these challenges, but also shattered conventional benchmarks for broadband speed to enable cutting-edge technologies that drive innovation and promote economic development in their communities, region and nationwide.”

To achieve certification, telecommunications companies must show that gigabit technology is currently commercially available within 95% of one or more exchanges within its serving territory and that such service can be provided without new trenching or stringing new aerial facilities. This statement must be confirmed by a letter from an engineering firm or other independent source involved in the company’s network planning, deployment or operation.

More information about the NTCA Gig-Capable Provider certification program is available at www.ntca.org/gigcertified.

About Bascom Communications
Bascom Communications is a progressive cooperative that continues to be a technological and service leader in the area since they were formed in 1906. Bascom Communications is made up of four companies, Bascom Mutual Telephone Co., Bascom Advanced Services, Inc., BTC Multimedia, LLC, and Bascom Cellular, Inc. All of their wired customers, business and residential, have a fiber optic connection directly into their premises from a local and caring provider. Bascom Communications offers high quality telephone service, Fiber TV, Accelerate high-speed Internet access, security and personal home safety, Ethernet transport, Wireless Internet with LTE, along with many other services to make your communications experience enjoyable, easy, and affordable. Their Accelerate Full Throttle Gigabit service was the first in Northwest Ohio when launched in May of 2017. They continue to broaden their profile and reach to be able to offer the most to their customers now and into the future. Visit them at
www.bascomtelephone.com.

About NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association
NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 850 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. NTCA advocates on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and it provides training and development; publications and industry events; and an array of employee benefit programs. In an era of transformative technological advancements, regulatory challenges and marketplace competition, NTCA members are leading the technological evolution for rural consumers, delivering robust and high-quality services over future-proof networks that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development, e-commerce, health care, agriculture, and education and contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year. Visit us at www.ntca.org.

Family & Children First Council to offer Bridges Out of Poverty training

Bridges Out of PovertySeneca County Family & Children First Council will hold a Bridges Out of Poverty training session at the Department of Job and Family Services (900 County Road 20, Tiffin) Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, 9 a.m.-12p.m.

The goal of the program is to review the skills, policies and procedures that will enable organizations, employers and communities to become more skilled in working with individuals who are in poverty.

Key objectives:

  • Explore mental models of poverty, middle class and wealth;
  • Learn the hidden rules of each class;
  • Understand key concepts that underline Bridges Out of Poverty;
  • Learn the different registers of language;
  • Identify resources; and
  • Explore how to use Bridges constructs with clients.

Key Questions You will be asked:

  • Before training – What are some things I do not understand about individuals living and poverty and the choices they make?
  • During training – How can I support individuals seeking to move out of poverty?
  • After training – What are program design changes I think need to be made based on what I have learned today?
  • Individuals living in generational poverty are excellent problem solvers. How can we engage people from all classes?

To register, contact Sharon George at (419) 443-0981 or sgeorge@ncoesc.org

Seneca County to hold third annual Manufacturing Showcase

Showcase LogoLocal manufacturers to demonstrate skilled trades to high school students

TIFFIN, OHIO – July 31, 2018 – The Seneca Department of Job and Family Services/OhioMeansJobs is once again partnering with local organizations and manufacturers to hold Seneca County’s third annual Manufacturing Showcase on October 12, 2018 at the Heminger Center on the Tiffin University campus. The event is an opportunity for area students to learn about careers in manufacturing and participate in hands-on skill demonstrations.

Carol Kern of Seneca DJFS is looking forward to another successful event: “We are excited to host this event for the third year, to get students talking about their options, and we are pleased that businesses and educators see the value in introducing students to different career paths.”

The showcase will focus on six skills: team building, lean practices, employability, machining, supply chain and mechanical engineering/electrical trades/automation. For each skill, there are six spaces available for a hands-on demonstration.

Eleven schools within Seneca County will send 700-750 students to participate in the showcase. The event will last a full day, with students split into one morning session and one afternoon session. Lunch will be provided at no cost.

Several manufacturers are already on board; Callies Performance Products, The Mennel Milling Company, NSI Crankshaft, and Charter Steel of Fostoria have signed on as well as American Fine Sinter, National Machinery, Taiho, Webster, Ballreich’s, and Toledo Molding & Die of Tiffin. Sentinel Career and Technology Center will also have a skilled booth. If you would like more information, to make a donation, or to sign up for a space at the showcase, please contact Carol at 419.447.5011 ext. 322, or visit http://senecashowcase.wordpress.com.

Check out last year’s event:

Reclaim It holds open house

IMG_20180618_114753_2.jpgA new establishment opening in downtown Tiffin later this year is holding an open house to highlight major renovations to the interior and exterior of 127 S. Washington St. Reclaim It is a charitable organization partnering with a wide variety of community businesses and organizations to uniquely refurbish household items for resale to benefit and empower local youth.

Karen Klepper is spearheading the initiative along with a board of 11 comprising community educators and leaders, as well as a youth advisory board made up of 11 college and high school students. “The greatest tool we have here is the youth board,” Klepper said. “They are the ones that will actually make the changes.”

Building trades instructor with Sentinel Career Center Aaron Thompson, who, along with his students, assisted in the renovation of the building added, “The kids act as mentors, but they still need mentors. Everyone gets something.”

Through furniture, creativity, story, community interaction, and group meals, Klepper hopes to create a safe and supportive environment for youth in our community to gather and learn both soft and hard skills, with the assistance of mentors.

“I am absolutely amazed by the community I live in,” Klepper said. “For all of the painful stories, there are more positive ones, and people who want to roll up their sleeves and make a difference and doing it for the right reasons. If we (in Seneca County) can’t change things, no one can. We are small enough to be manageable, but big enough to reflect others’ issues.”

Seneca County unemployment at 18 year low

Unemployment April 2018.jpgFor the first time since 2000, the unemployment rate in Seneca County dipped below four percent, coming in at 3.9 percent for April 2018, an 18 year low for the county. In comparison, Ohio’s unemployment rate was 4.3 percent and the national rate 3.9 percent, according to a May 18 press release from Ohio Job and Family Services.

Many factors contribute to the growth in employment, including the availability and access to jobs. Between 2014 and 2017 alone, Seneca County saw $339 million in business and building establishment and expansion, creating more than 1,400 jobs.

Already in 2018 we have seen several new business announcements, including:

  • Spire Advertising – A satellite office for an Ashland, OH based advertising firm announced in March, opening in June 2018.
  • The Chandelier – A new event space set to open in the former Community Civic Center in downtown Tiffin later this year.
  • Trilogy Health Services – Announced in April, Trilogy is to build a senior living facility that will employ 110, at an estimated investment of $14.5 million.
  • Kiku Fusion Sushi and Steak House – A full-service sushi and hibachi restaurant to locate in the Tiffin Mall later this year.
  • Panda Express – An international chain serving fast-casual Chinese cuisine was approved for a setback to build on the Tiffin Mall site.
  • Senecare – A local pharmacist has started a new business in the Laird Arcade offering one-on-one pharmacy services.
  • Time Staffing – A northern Ohio-based staffing agency opened a branch in Tiffin earlier this year, growing to a total of 9 offices throughout the region.
  • Yoga Chuck Health and Wellness Studio – Longtime yoga instructor Chuck “Yoga Chuck” Burmeister renovated and opened his own studio.
  • The Attic – A new specialty shop in downtown Tiffin, an expansion of a successful Findlay, OH store.
  • Glass N More Store – Another specialty glass shop that opened its fifth northern Ohio location in downtown Tiffin.
  • Stover Veterinary Services – Veterinarian Dr. Amber Stover and her husband launch a mobile vet clinic in early 2018, to be accessible throughout Seneca County.
  • Tiffin Candle Co. – A Tiffin couple has created their own business producing and selling community themed candles with a charitable aspect.
  • Mantra Mind Management – A new consulting business in the Laird Arcade focused on self-discovery, emotional regulation, and vision creation.
  • Wireless Boys – A Boost Mobile retailer opened their doors on W. Market St. in Tiffin earlier this year.
  • Reineke RV – Reineke Family Dealerships purchased and relocated Fort Ball RV to W. Market St. earlier this year.

2018 Outstanding Business Award – Zeis Companies

The 2018 Outstanding Business Award was presented to Zeis Companies for their business growth and exemplary community service.

Zeis Companies started in 1984, in the cabinet resurfacing business. The business grew into fire restoration services, and then sub-divisions and homes. Just this pass year, Zeis Companies was able to bring all of their operations under one roof in a new building N. SR 53. The building includes a showroom, a full shop for custom trim work and other pieces, as well as storage.

Zeis Companies is not just an asset to the community for the remodeling and restoration services they provide, but also for their community involvement and charitable works. Zeis was asked to assist in two Extreme Makeover: Home Edition builds, which inspired them to create the Extreme Build for Habitat for Humanity in 2011. Over the course of a day, volunteers are able to frame up and enclose an entire house. They have done four such builds since launching the program. They are also working with Habitat for Humanity to establish a ReStore, a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price.

Rich Zeis accepted the award on behalf of the company and all of its employees.

 

 

Outstanding Business Award criteria:
The business must be able to demonstrate leadership in their particular field. The business must be able to show the involvement of its owners, managers, or employees in community affairs. The business must be able to demonstrate generosity of time, talent, and money to local charities or non profit programs. The business must be able to show initiatives taken to improve the quality of life in the community. The business must be able to show activities that improve the community.

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award – New Riegel Cafe

The New Riegel Cafe was the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The cafe has been a Seneca County staple for more than 60 years.

The New Riegel Cafe is a family owned and operated restaurant started by W.J. “Pete” Boes in 1953. The cafe started out selling barbecued ribs and chicken before branching out to other fare, like ham and shrimp, and in 1971 began selling homemade bologna and sausage, as well as homemade salad dressing. The business expanded in the late 80’s with the addition of the gift shop, connected to the restaurant but located in the building next door.

The award was accepted by Tom Boes, who currently owns the restaurant with his brother, Dick Boes.

 

Lifetime Achievement Award criteria:
The business must be established with a history of continuous operation in the community. The business must be able to demonstrate community involvement and/or made some civic contributions that have made a significant impact on the quality of life in the community. The business must be an example of leadership in their business field, and an example of entrepreneurial spirit.