The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

February 10, 2012

Commissioners pay to get the business

JEFFERSON — Commissioners on Tuesday approved a $15,000 contract with Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County to provide business service representation on behalf of the county’s One-Stop job training center.

The move came out of a survey conducted among the county’s employers last year. That survey showed that about 70 percent of the Ashtabula County employers who responded said they have difficulty finding qualified employees from the local labor market.

That led Commissioner Daniel Claypool, who serves on the Geauga, Ashtabula, Portage Partnership, to explore the possibility of the county having a business service representative. He said Geauga and Portage counties have someone who serves as a liaison between employers and the job training programs in those counties.

Claypool said Tuesday that GAPP members looked at freeing up money in its budget for a business service representative in Ashtabula County, but doing so would require taking money away from training services.

“That would not be appropriate,” said commission President Peggy Carlo.

Instead, the board is taking the $15,000 from the county’s economic development fund, which is funded by a portion of the real estate transfer tax.

Under the agreement approved by the board, Growth Partnership will work on a per project and as-needed basis. The services include:

  • Layoff aversion: This would involve working with employers whenever “significant layoff events” are identified in the county and exploring with them alternatives to the action.
  • Incumbent worker training: Identify and determine which employers would best benefit from training for incumbent workers, then work with the One-Stop to offer training subsidies.
  • Current workforce development: Determine county employers’ hiring needs, then work with the One-Stop to offer assistance in meeting those needs. The service would be geared toward companies with “lean human resources departments.”
  • Future workforce development: Meet with employers in order to identify the education and training requirements of positions of employment that pay a “livable family wage.” That information will be used by the One-Stop in developing its programming.

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