Building a workforce development strategy for the area continues to progress, according to the city manager’s report to the Greenfield Village Council during its regular meeting on Tuesday.
In his report, city manager Todd Wilkin discussed an educational summit the county’s workforce development “think tank” spoke at in recent months regarding bridging the gaps between education and businesses, and breaking the language barriers that exist between them so that students have a better understanding of not only what careers are out there after school, but also what is here at home.
As previously reported, at an industrial roundtable meeting in Greenfield last spring representatives of Building Bridges to Careers (BB2C) talked about their success in building bridges across the gaps between businesses and educational institutions to strengthen the workforce and the opportunities that young people have to draw from when deciding on career paths. Since then, BB2C has been helping Highland County create its own BECA or a Business Engagement with Career Awareness group.
Through the summit, Wilkin said the Highland County group met Kristy Amy, who is now working with all but one of the schools in Highland County. Amy is a strategic implementation director with an organization called Future Plans. Wilkin said she has successfully assessed most of the sophomores, juniors and seniors, which helps pinpoint the students’ interests and areas of strength. Now, the group is working with several businesses to set up internships for students to help them explore career opportunities that make sense with their strengths and interests.
Wilkin noted that employers are interested in the assessment for some employees to help them recognize strengths and talents and get the needed training and skills needed for a new career path.
In other business, January’s award recipients were announced.
The citizen of the month is Dr. James Orr, who owns Paint Creek Veterinary Clinic. He was nominated by a fellow citizen who is grateful for Orr’s years of service to the Greenfield community, Wilkin said.
The city manager noted that Orr was one of the grant recipient’s of a Facade Improvement Program and used that money to make improvements that not only help his employees and clients, but the community, too.
Orr said Wednesday that his idea for improvement to the space next to his business is parking, something that makes for smoother operations for employees and clients at the veterinary clinic, and also can be used by the public during events. He also envisions the green space near the new parking lot to be an asset for the community during events so people can use it for rest in the shade.
“I am honored to be chosen as the citizen of the month,” Orr said. “But truly, my employees are the heroes here as they have continued to serve our clients and their pets throughout the pandemic.”
January’s employee of the month is Bob Paul, who has been with the village for many years. Wilkin said Paul is Greenfield’s “utility player,” adding that if there’s a leak, or a door that needs to be installed, or if some other odd job comes along, Paul is called. Wilkin said Paul always responds with a smile.
“We appreciate his dedication and service,” Wilkin said.
In other matters, council’s first regular meeting of every month will for now be a work session and not on Facebook live. Having a work session for one of the two meetings per month, council member Phil Clyburn said, is a chance for council members “to get into the weeds” on matters and is a good thing. While the work sessions will not be on Facebook live, as council meetings typically are, it remains a public meeting.
The village has issued requests for pricing (RFP) for demolition of structures throughout town, which includes the old salt barn between Fifth and Sixth streets, the old streets department barn, and the Elliott Hotel, which the village now has possession of through a quit claim deed from the owner a couple weeks ago. Information on these requests can be found on the village’s Facebook page.
As to the Elliott, Wilkin said he has received questions about the bricks from many people, whether for reclamation purposes and use in other historic structure renovations or for sentimental reasons. He said that once the bids are received, the village will determine how the old bricks can be handled for those interested.
* Friday, Jan. 21 — Industrial leaders’ roundtable meeting, which includes businesses and educational institutions from around the area.
* Saturday, Feb. 19 — G3’s Blues & Stews beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Catch 22 Sports Pub. Along with featuring a contest of chilis and stews, the event will also serve as a fundraiser for G3’s planned mural for downtown. Go to the Grow Greater Greenfield Facebook page for more information.
* Tuesday, Feb. 22 — Grand opening and ribbon cutting for Scotty’s 22 Brews at 2:22 p.m. Scotty’s 22 Brews is located right next to Catch 22 Sports Pub.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.