GREENVILLE — A local business was honored and a new workforce initiative announced during Friday morning’s Darke County Community Improvement Corporation’s (CIC) Economic Forum held at Romer’s Catering in Greenville.
Darke County Economic Development Director Mike Bowers told those assembled that attracting workers will be a priority for the CIC starting in 2017.
“Workforce attraction is going to be our focus, not to say we are going to lose sight of business attraction,” he said.
“We currently have over 300 jobs available in the county, so it’s tough to say how can you work to attract and build a company if we’re not making sure we’re taking care of the folks we’ve already got,” Bowers added, noting that Darke County’s population is projected to decrease over the next 20 to 30 years.
Bowers said, in coordination with West Central Ohio Development Coalition, CIC will be working on an initiative to attract a workforce to the area through a website proposal and social media project.
The idea is to attract workers from outside the region to locate to the county.
“This initiative will focus on promoting our own employees, our economy, and our communities,” he explained. “Our region’s assets are our major employers and our unique quality of life.”
“Target markets are going to be alumni of local high schools, colleges and universities, employees of local companies who have been transferred to other locations, employees being downsized in other Midwest communities, military discharges, and employees with unique skill sets in targeted industries that we have in our county,” Bowers added.
Bowers said the workforce focus should be on attracting Millennials primarily.
“Real estate professionals and economic planners now look at Millennials as consumers and revenue’s generators,” he said.
Darke County Economic Development Career Pathway Coordinator Lisa Wendel touted the organization’s successes working with area high school students in a variety of initiatives, including the Sophomore Manufacturing Tour, the Junior Job Shadow Week, the Senior Straight to Work Job Fair, and the 20 Under 20 Banquet.
Mercer County Community Development Director spoke to attendees on the Hometown Opportunity website (HometownOpportunity.com), which seeks to introduce employers with prospective employees in the area.
During the breakfast, Brumbaugh Construction of Arcanum was presented with the CIC’s “Business of the Year” award. Brumbaugh’s Scott Myers, Kent Myers and Dan Hayes were on hand to accept the award.
Scott Myers credited the success of the 55-year-old business to its employees.
“It’s the employees. They should all be here this morning, but they can’t — they’re out there working,” he said.
“It’s a privilege, it’s a blessing, and we’re honored,” added Kent Myers, thanking CIC for the award.
Brumbaugh Construction received additional recognition from the Darke County Board of Commissioners, the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House of Representatives.
Marchal & Marchal Ltd. and Mote & Associates Engineering were also recognized for outstanding service to the CIC.
For more information on the CIC, visit the organization’s website at DarkeCounty.com.