Carol Kern

County workforce plan is made public

workforce-picPublic-private collaboration to implement plan in 2017

View the complete plan here.

TIFFIN, OHIO – December 23, 2016 – After four months of collaborative effort, a group of more than fifty stakeholders announces they have completed a new strategic plan for workforce development in Seneca County. Six committees have been formed to work on the 18 identified strategies in 2017. The plan is available to the public at www.senecasuccess.com.

Facilitated by Terra State Community College, the planning process was started after a local study done by Heidelberg University student Mark Linsalata revealed that 70 percent of Seneca County companies could not find all of the workers they needed and that half of those companies were not able to expand because of that issue.

State Representative Bill Reineke, who serves on the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board, kicked off the event. “This is one of the most critical issues facing our economy and the businesses that make it run. I am passionate about workforce issues and am really pleased with the large-scale cooperation here among educators, businesses, and workforce and economic development.”

Seneca County Commissioner Holly Stacy also participated and looks forward to what the group can accomplish together. “I appreciate this initiative, and I believe we will make some real progress in addressing critical workforce issues for all of Seneca County.”

Representatives from the education sector include several area public and private K12 districts (Bridges, Calvert, Hopewell-Loudon, Old Fort, Seneca East, Tiffin), Vanguard-Sentinel, NCOESC, Heidelberg and Tiffin Universities. Participating businesses include Alvada Construction, American Fine Sinter, Arnold Machine, Autumnwood, Ballreich’s, Clouse Construction, Croghan Colonial Bank, Fifth-Third Bank, Mennel Milling, Mercy Health, ProMedica, Pyramid Recruiting, Quick Tab II, Roppe Corporation, St. Francis, Surge Staffing, Taiho Corporation, Toledo Molding & Die, US Bank, and Webster Industries. More people are being asked to participate and invited to the committees.

Old Fort Local Schools Superintendent Steve Anway, who is helping co-chair the Education Committee with Tiffin City Schools’ Pat Smith, praised the effort: “I am proud of the work we’ve done and the plan we’ve put together. I look forward to getting to work on the plan in January.” The group will be working on strengthening career awareness, job shadowing, financial and workplace literacy, as well as preparing students for careers.

Kerrie Carte, Planning & Development Coordinator for WSOS Community Action, is chairing the Training & Placement Committee, and is excited about next year. “Our key focus for 2017 will be working to better align adult training programs with the needs of the business community. We also hope to work on specialized job fairs and support for veterans.”

Ron Schumacher, Director of Facilities and Support Operations for Mercy Health in Tiffin, is co-chairing the Community Services Committee with Tiffin-Seneca United Way’s Pat DeMonte. “We hope to join the effort to make progress on some of the ‘big-picture’ challenges including combating the drug epidemic, addressing mental health issues, and getting the word out about available community services.”

The overall planning effort is co-led by the Seneca County Department of Job & Family Services, Terra State Community College, and SIEDC. The six committees will begin work in January, with a Workforce Summit–to celebrate the successes of the year and plan for the next–to take place on November 30, 2017.

If anyone in the public has interest in becoming involved, they may contact Carol Kern at Job & Family Services at (419) 447-5011 x322 or  Carol.Owen@jfs.ohio.gov, Beth Hannam at 419.559.2237 or bhannam@terra.edu, or David Zak with SIEDC at 419.912.1150 or zak@senecacounty.org.

Seneca County Manufacturing Showcase success for students, local businesses

SCMS_logoThe first ever Seneca County Manufacturing Showcase was held at Heidelberg University today, giving 750 high-school students from 12 schools a chance to explore different skills valued in the workplace, specifically in manufacturing.

Fourteen local manufacturers led students through six different skill sets. The kids learned about team building, lean practices, employability, supply chain, machine trades and electrical trades/mechanical engineering/automation through interactive booths staffed by local companies.

Spearheading the coordination of the event was Carol Kern of the Seneca Department of Job and Family Services. Kern was pleased with the outcome of the event,”It’s exciting to see the students so engaged,” she said. “Hopefully they enjoyed the activities and learned a lot about career opportunities in Seneca County.”

Chase Eikenbary of Regional Growth Partnership/JobsOhio stressed the importance of introducing students to career skills early. “October is manufacturing month in Ohio, and it means great things for not only the manufacturing companies in the state but for the pipeline of our future workforce; our students,” she said. “Manufacturing careers are in high demand, provide excellent salaries, and allow employees to work in a high tech, growing industry. Students today were shown how they can become successful adults in their own communities with thriving career options.”

Fostoria Economic Development Corporation President Renee Smith agreed. “Manufacturing is a huge economic component of Seneca County, and it is the largest employer. It is essential that we continue to expose students to the career possibilities with our local companies,” she said.

Nearly 100 volunteers, including teachers from participating school districts, guided students through the planned activities. Tiffin City Schools Business Teacher Stacey Geiger said the event was rewarding as an educator. “It is exciting to see students engaged with Seneca County employers and using the knowledge that I incorporate in my classrooms,” she said.

Carl Pastorella, Human Resources Manager at Toledo Molding and Die, Inc. manning a booth centered around employability, was impressed with the students’ enthusiasm and knowledge. “The students we met got very involved in the activities we were presenting,” he said. “Our intent is to make sure they are prepared to get out and interview for jobs in future, and they already seem to be on the right track.”

Seneca County is also fortunate to have great relationships with state officials who are passionate about workforce development and how it pertains to our young people.

State Representative Bill Reineke, a Fostoria native and Tiffin resident, spoke to the students about the importance of manufacturing and their local community:

Ryan Burgess, Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, also addressed the students, introducing them to Ohio Means Jobs and the tools the program provides for job seekers:

Check out some of the pictures from the event:

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Seneca County to hold Manufacturing Showcase for students

Local manufacturers to demonstrate skilled trades to high school students

SCMS_logoTIFFIN, OHIO – June 30, 2016 – The Seneca Department of Job and Family Services/OhioMeansJobs is partnering with local organizations and manufacturers to hold Seneca County’s first Manufacturing Showcase on October 14, 2016 at Seiberling Gymnasium on the Heidelberg 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 spearheading the effort: “Sandusky County held a similar event with tremendous success, and we would like to bring that same success to Seneca County. Our goal is to show local youths that there are many career opportunities within manufacturing and to give local companies an opportunity to interact with the future workforce.”

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.

Thirteen schools in Seneca County will send more than 700 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; Roppe Holding Company/Seneca Millwork, Inc., Nox Corporation, and The Mennel Milling Company of Fostoria have signed on as well as National Machinery, Webster Industries, Toledo Molding & Die, Tiffin Metal Products and Quick Tab II of Tiffin. 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.