ACCESS celebrates opening


The Highland County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for the Highland County ACCESS program Friday, at the Hopewell Center in New Market to celebrate the program’s kickoff.

Highland County ACCESS is a program created to build a stronger Highland County workforce by connecting schools, students, businesses and agencies. The ribbon cutting was attended by representatives from Highland County schools, businesses and local agencies as well as elected officials.

“The ACCESS portal, as we call it, is the connection between schools, students, businesses and community agencies,” said the program’s director, Tim Dettwiller. “It’s one of the few in the state of Ohio that brings all those groups together, and what it provides is easy access for those students that want to be in the workforce to have a job placement of some kind with our local businesses.”

Dettwiller said there are about 328 businesses in the program, and the program has agreements with about 20 of those businesses so far.

The program runs through Transeo, a software program purchased by Highland County ACCESS.

Local organizations in Highland County began working to create Highland County ACCESS in July of 2021 and collaborated to form the Highland County Workforce Leadership Council. The council is made up of representatives from the following organizations: the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, Highland County Community Action Organization, Highland County Economic Development, Highland County public schools, Growing Rural Independence Together (GRIT), the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center, Southern State Community College and the village of Greenfield.

The mission of the council is to coordinate and sustain efforts among Highland County schools, businesses and communities to build a stronger workforce by identifying and cultivating the needs of existing and emerging industries.

“Our shared desire for the program is to have students and adults prepared for the workforce,” said Dettwiller.

During the ribbon cutting, three Highland County students shared the experiences they have had with internships and work-based learning experiences. Alyssa Burleson, a Fairfield High School student, is currently interning with the Highland County Prosecutor’s Office. David Smith, a McClain High School student, has been working as an employee at Greenfield Research. Alysa Carroll, who is also a McClain High School student, is an intern at Greenfield Veterinary Clinic and has recently been accepted into the veterinary technician program at Hanover College.

Representatives from local businesses who would like to participate in the program either as a host for a student work-based learning site, providing and internship opportunity, or to join the Highland County ACCESS speaker pool can email Tim Dettwiller at [email protected].

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