Workforce collaboration with other counties


The possibility of a new workforce collaboration with multiple counties was discussed at the Wednesday meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners.

Commissioner Terry Britton said the program is called the Ross County Workforce Development Program and would serve Ross, Pike, Highland Fayette, Pickaway, Jackson and Vinton counties. He said the program would collaborate with the county commissioners, educators, the GRIT Assessment System, Jobs and Family Services and businesses/employers.

Britton said the commissioners would have Julie Bolender, the Highland County economic development director, look over the program and get back to them with more information. He also said that the county already has a workforce program.

A news release said that the program will look to have a hub center in Ross County, with satellite offices in Highland and Jackson counties.

In other news, Dave Daniels, vice president of the board of commissioners, congratulated the Highland County Fair Board on its continual work on the fair.

“Fair board does a pretty good job, year in year out, of putting on a pretty good fair and it has lots to do for a lot of people in Highland County and it gives people an opportunity to come together and learn a little bit about agriculture,” he said. “And a lot of times you just learn a little bit about your next-door neighbor that you haven’t seen in a long time sitting on the bench someplace. So, I know the fair is not over. There’s still plenty of time left to go in it. But I wanna congratulate the fair board on, once again, putting on another good show here in Highland County.”

Britton said the new barn at the Highland County Fairgrounds has been a “really nice” addition to the fair and a “pretty neat” deal. However, he also said the other buildings at the fairgrounds are in need, with some of them needing to be replaced. He said “especially” one of the hog barns. Britton said some of those buildings have gotten to a point where the county will “have to try” and figure out how to replace them.

Britton said that the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) let the county know that it planned to hold a regional meeting for the Southwest region in Highland County. He said the meeting would be held on Oct. 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Rocky Fork East End Overlook restaurant where budgets would be discussed and reviewed.

He said that Fran DeWine, the state’s first lady, contacted the county to promote her Imagination Library program which started in 2019. He said a representative would be coming to the county soon to talk about partnering with them again.

Tonya Sturgill, director of programming and clinical services with the Highland County Probation Department, said this was the third time the grant has been brought to the board of commissioners. She said the first time they brought it, a part of the grant was forgotten. Following some additions and multiple signings, the state came back and said when everything was finalized, they would give a 5 percent increase to all of the departments. Sturgill said this meant she would need to go back into the budget and make that change. However, other than that, it is the same grant as usual.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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