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News & Events

Workforce Development is Producing Results

GREENVILLE – Darke County is making headway in training the next generation of workers. One might think that is an odd statement and respond, “Our kids are going to school. Of course we’re training the next generation of workers.” Yes, but not too long ago sending kids to school didn’t mean they were preparing for today’s workforce.

From the 7-19-15 edition of The Early Bird

By Ryan Berry, Managing Editor

GREENVILLE – Darke County is making headway in training the next generation of workers. One might think that is an odd statement and respond, “Our kids are going to school. Of course we’re training the next generation of workers.” Yes, but not too long ago sending kids to school didn’t mean they were preparing for today’s workforce.

According to Darke County Economic Development Director Marc Saluk there was at least a 20 year gap when no one wanted to discuss workforce development, which ultimately led to a shortage of workers coming out of high school and college ready for a career in manufacturing. The industry was changing quickly and manufacturers and educators were not on the same page.

It didn’t take long after Saluk took the reins of the economic development office for him to realize that something needed to be done. He would talk to local industry leaders and they would share their concerns. He talked to local educators and learned their issues. He realized it was a matter of getting both into the same room to have a discussion. The first meeting included a representative from Midmark, Greenville Technology, Inc. and Tri-Village Schools. Those initial discussions have since led to hiring a workforce development specialist in the economic development office. Lisa Wendel, a former school superintendent, has held that position for the past two years.

Today, the committee that started with three persons has grown to a great mixture of educators and manufacturers that meet monthly. Members now include Superintendents Jeff Patrick of Franklin Monroe, Aaron Moran of Versailles and Jason Stephen of Arcanum-Butler; Matt Sutter represents Ansonia; manufacturers include Barry Hounshell of Ft. Recovery Industries, Sue Hulsmeyer (an original member) of Midmark, Craig Evers of Midmark, and Dave Dunaway of Ramco Electric Motors.

Is this committee making a difference? Wendel believes it is. In a short amount of time they have been able to change perceptions – starting with educators.....

Click Here to Read Entire Article in The Early Bird